Date: 3rd October 2019 at 12:30pm
Written by:

I hate to say I told you so but, I more or less told you so.

Leeds were dealt a hammer blow yesterday as it was announced that captain Liam Cooper and midfielder Jamie Shackleton would be out for up to six and four weeks respectively. Injuries to both players are obviously going to put a dent in Leeds’ plans this season, but it’s the injury to Cooper specifically that I want to talk about.

I spoke numerous times in the summer, as did a large number of fans about how the club were playing a dangerous game by going into the season with so few centre-backs, and I hoped that we’d be able to avoid a similar injury crisis to last year and get away with it.

However, we haven’t even reached the second international break of the season and we are on the verge of a crisis at Elland Road. Speaking of which, that is the one saving grace in all this, is that we lose a week to the international games, so it’s not the same as if it was over the busy Christmas or Easter schedule, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that Marcelo Bielsa and the board played an incredibly dangerous game by not bringing in another centre-back.

This is going to be a serious challenge of Bielsa’s capabilities as manager. He has spoken before about his preference to carry a small squad, but this is going to really test that philosophy to the absolute limit. The sale of Pontus Jansson left the club incredibly short of central defenders, and with this latest injury, they now find themselves down to just two for the foreseeable future.

What about you? Do you think that the club will be able to deal with this injury to Cooper for the time being? Or do you think that we’re about to enter a rather difficult period in the season with him being on the injury table?

Click for the forum

8 Replies to “Marcelo Bielsa faces possibly his biggest test as Leeds boss with latest news – Opinion”

  • Marcelo’s argument will be that he has players in his squad to cover center-back injury issues, namely Berardi or even Ayling. Will have injury problems constantly, so it may just be that these happening before the winter transfer period could force the club to plunge into the market inevitably (be it loan transfers). Last year we were in the top-two positions constantly when the market opened and Marcelo stressed out that he will add a player only if his considerably better than the one in his squad. What he wasn’t expecting was the huge injury issues we faced after January. From the time Roofe got injured the team’s performances deteriorated.

    Let’s hope the team can manage to stay on the high positions by the time the market opens. Imagine what effect on the team an injury to White could have. Our team is capable to get promoted, but we definitely need to sign a central defender and a quality striker who can score. I know Bamford’s performances have bettered but don’t think he has the quality to fire us for promotion. In my opinion Nketiah is a better finisher than Bamford but don’t think Marcelo will drop Bamford. He will only do it if Bamford’s injured.

    He has a tendency to prefer white players. We have the same situation in our local team AEK Larnaca where the set up is similar to Leeds. Spanish technical director and an all Spanish coaching team. We have 7-8 Spanish players in the starting 11 and only one black player in the entire squad.

    • Another centre back essential and a striker too Hopefully we will be in contention at the top when January comes But we must strengthen the squad then Still worried about the training regime Too many players getting injuries which I think are related to Bielsas training methods

      • Everyone has their preferences and beliefs and, dare I say it, prejudices, and this is part of life, no amount of legislation by politicians and do gooders will change this, indeed it will only make things worse. People need to get on together trying to force them only erects barriers. If it works don’t change it.

  • Cooper got injured same time last year. It’s to be expected with him. Good captain, average player, gets caught out for pace and has a tendancy to put his foot in at wrong time or overzealous in his tackles, particularly when done for pace. Bielsa has argued that we have full backs that can play at centre but everyone is crocked or not up to speed. Maybe one from the under 23’s. Berradi to small big heart.

  • Ayling is back from injury and we have Berardi ready to step in. Obviously, if any more get crocked we’ll be in trouble, but with White, Ayling, Berardi and Alioski at the back, I’m still confident we’ll beat most teams. Cooper was injured in the run-up to Christmas last year and we had our best run of the season, so no need to panic just yet.

  • For me Pontus was a liability and not a loss to LUFC.
    White is a different class and with the experience of beradi alongside I think we’ll be fine. Ayling getting up to speed and the defence protected by Mateus and Calvin we’ll be fine. No panic yet!
    I’m more worried that we create so many chances and convert so few !

  • Still need centre back and centre forward, regardless of injuries, have to start banging in goals,finish games off,take pressure of back 4!

  • cooper missing we can handle but when were not mot then things go wrong. so 3 2 4 1 would be a good place to start.get it right at the back.and put clark on lets see some forward movement.great goals.and clean sheets.we have great players lets see them.there is no i in team so m.o.t.

Your Comment