Date: 2nd October 2019 at 12:30pm
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We won, so I’m not going to be overly critical.

And it means I can afford to cut Kiko Casilla some slack as well, because he actually had one of his better games, particularly with this save in the second half. However, there is one thing that happened last night that left me screaming ‘no that’s not right at all’.

I have spoken before, after Danny Mills touched on it (Talksport’s Sunday Exclusive 22/09, 1:30pm), that Leeds could end up relying on goal difference to save them at the end of the season. Which is why I found it rather bizarre when Marcelo Bielsa decided to bring off Tyler Roberts and replace him with Luke Ayling with fifteen minutes left. Not only was it weird to bring someone off who was only brought on at half-time, but because I feel keeping him on could have helped Leeds put the game to bed later on.

I can understand wanting to hold out for the victory against a team that came into the game as one of the top scoring teams in the Championship, but at the same time they have also conceded quite a lot of goals for far this season, so they were there for the taking. I feel that Leeds should have gone in for the kill last night with a couple of minutes to go.

As Phil Hay noted during the game, with the game opening up as West Brom pushed for an equaliser, there was plenty of opportunity for us to hit them on the counter-attack. That was the perfect time for us to introduce someone like Eddie Nketiah off the bench, some fresh legs to attack against a tiring defence and add another goal, or maybe even two.

As I said, we won the game so I’m not going to make a massive deal out of it and call for Bielsa to be sacked off the back of it (although I’m sure I’ll find a reason for that later in the season), but I just feel that the victory could have been a lot more wholesome and convincing if we’d have gambled for another goal rather than being content with what they had.

What about you? Do you think that Bielsa was right in not going in for the kill with his decision making last night? Or do you think that holding out for a 1-0 was the right call to make?

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14 Replies to “Why Marcelo Bielsa’s substitution was baffling in more ways than one – Opinion”

  • It was a master class substitution. All we wanted was a win and keeping him on would have been a big risk. We got the three points, end of!

    • Roberts can’t score to save his life. Worse than Bamford Ailing great motivator Great sub Great result against a half decent side

      • I agree Phil, Roberts reminds me of Sterling 3 or so years ago, very pacy, but could not finish for toffees, so I hope Roberts progresses over time, to at least half as good?, will be some player if that happens?.

        • So glad ayling got some match time we are going to need him without any recognised centres backs for the next six weeks

  • The result suggests Bielsa got it right!, but 100 people might all have 100 different ideas on that?, (It is why he is the manager, not us ! ). Cassila still a nightmare on crosses of any type! & not in my pub team, but has in the last few games been more stable in his decision making & much better overall. There were lots of positives from last nights game, including Bamfords endless running, ( but more goals per chances that he gets, is a must from him ). Perhaps a slightly slower build up & with more precise passing in our teams game, might create more quality chances for the strikers to take??. A hard & close game between two good sides, but with the right result in the end, on chances created by either side. Marching On Together.

  • People like you are the problem at the moment. Even when we get a great win against one of the best sides in the division, you can’t help putting your negative critique across. I’ve just looked at all the articles you’ve written and every single one is like that. Newsflash, the team is top of a difficult league, yes there are concerns but the language and spin on these articles suggest we’re struggling when it simply isn’t true, get some perspective.

  • My toaster has more understanding of football than Mr. Baldwin. And more of a memory of the ‘wilderness years’ at Elland Road.
    Marcelo Bielsa is one of the world’s elite coaches.
    Who would Mr. Baldwin replace him with ??.
    Insert name here…………………………

    A career in sports journalism does not beckon

    • Make that, 2 toasters!, ( as I have one also! ), plus a hairdryer! & a gold fish!. Last nights game, WAS a GREAT BATTLING PERFORMANCE by ALL OUR TEAMS PLAYERS & ALL STAFF, ( hence some extra bookings received on the bench! ), FULL of commitment & desire, plus skill & ability. W.B.A are no mugs as a team & have every chance to be up there also, by the end. Overall we limited their TOP strikers/players to very little in the game. I to remember the wilderness years, but now we represent DAM GOOD TO WATCH FOOTBALL, STARTED BY BIELSA etc, & we have EVERY CHANCE of getting promotion, IF we get lucky on injuries & put the ball in the opponents net a bit more regularly. I also hope for maybe a signing or two in January perhaps?.

  • Eh ? How absurd is that !

    IF Leeds are gonna go up, it will be by a good few clear points or not at all

    Goal difference – dreary me

    Mind you Tyler Roberts did show a few good touches

    • Three points says he was right midfield was overrun with Shackleton going off remember how many games Arsenal used to win 1 .0 ????

  • Interesting. Wasn’t the gist of your article only six days ago (on Bielsa’s ethics) that the most important thing is to get the three points. A different subject but the same ultimate point. Guess a week’s a long time in politics and football.

    • True and that’s a fair point to make, but in one of my other articles I spoke about the need to get the goal difference up as much as we could. Got to find the happy-medium somewhere I suppose, but in this instance I’d have preferred to put the game to bed with a second rather than be happy with just the one.

  • Our goal difference will automatically go up Matthew, IF? the team starts putting away some more of the chances it naturally creates? & Casilla improves greatly in dealing with crosses etc!.( Or the other goalkeeper given a chance? ). I think it is fair to say, that we would have got automatic promotion/won the championship last season, by perhaps a minimum 9 points clear, or more?, had we took even 50% of the extra chances that were created by the team. So there should be NO big problem/worry with goal difference at all yet, or at the end of season, but should the team require more goals at some point?, then attacking substitutions at 1-0 etc, can still be done.

  • My 14 year old TEENAGE daughter, ( a Spurs fan!, 2-7!!) watches some leeds games with me & SHE suggested.( As Casilla causes panic in defenses at times & Bamford finds it easier keeping the ball out of the goal,) should they try swapping positions for a game?, goal difference may well improve then, she says!!. Teenagers can be tricky at times!, in case you are thinking of having one!!.

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