Does this count as damning with faint praise?
Because if it isn’t then it’s certainly pretty close to the mark.
It’s fair to say that Patrick Bamford has come in for a lot of criticism so far this season, but he manages to ‘get away with it’ to an extent because he’s more or less the only option Leeds United have up front when you consider that Eddie Nketiah wasn’t exactly utilised to his full potential at Elland Road.
Now though, with Jean-Kevin Augustin on the books, it seems as though times have changed, at least according to former Leeds United player Danny Mills. Speaking to Football Insider, Mills believes that Bamford’s time in the team could be short lived, even if it means Marcelo Bielsa has to change a few things up:
“Bamford plays an exceptional role for the team. His work rate and everything else is superb. But there has to be a point where a centre-forward’s job is putting the ball in the back of the net. He is missing more than anybody else. It must be hard for Bielsa because everything is going right and Bamford if doing everything asked of him but it is not going in the back of the net. If he plays Jean Kevin-Augustin and he is not doing what Bamford does, it may affect the dynamic of the team.”
The problem is though, what do you want to sacrifice, and what do you want to keep?
Do you want to sacrifice the style of play that the team has built up under Bielsa in exchange for (hopefully) a few more goals, which I believe he can bring? Or do you keep things as they are, and take the risk that Bamford’s lack of clinical finishing is going to cost us this season?
In my mind, you simply have to take option A. Augustin could be the last piece of the puzzle, and whilst Bamford may be credited for his hold up play and work rate, his job is to put the ball in the net. And if Augustin does that at a better rate than Bamford, then there really is no other option to go with.
Should Augustin start vs Reading on Saturday?
No, from the bench
And as I’ve said before, this season is essentially Premier League or bust for this team, and we can’t afford any more slip ups.