Sunday, February 5, 2023

What Leeds United Could Learn From The Ipswich Disappointment Before Clash With Derby County?

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Things have gone haywire for Leeds United from leading the race for automatic promotion to a disastrous defeat against bottom-placed Ipswich Town in the final gameweek. Three losses and a draw in their last four fixtures must be a wake-up call for Marcelo Bielsa’s men who are now set for an epic playoff battle against an upbeat Derby County side.

These two famous English sides are known for their growing rivalry since the Brian Clough era. But the latest Sypgate row is now set to have a showdown and Frank Lampard must be seeking revenge having been blown away by Bielsa’s tactical masterclass in both the fixtures.

The Rams are arguably in the driver’s seat considering their current run, and the Whites must improve their game drastically to avoid another season of despair, pain and anguish. The defeat against the Tractor Boys pointed out so many loopholes in their game, and the gaffer should fix those shortcomings over the upcoming week to salvage something from Pride Park on next Saturday.

The first goal they conceded was from a set-piece situation – something that has been pretty repetitive and troubled Leeds since the inception of the 2018-19 campaign. This has not been addressed all season, therefore, is proving costly in these decisive weeks. Bielsa, though one of the pioneers of the modern-day football, must take the blame for not working on it or failing to find a solution in the past ten months’ time.

Concentration is the key to success, and the gaffer has a track record of losing it during his previous managerial tenures. Leeds are bottling things up despite having the upper hand only a few weeks back and the goal conceded in the closing seconds epitomises their loss of assiduousness in this crunch period.

A lack of coordination between Luke Ayling and custodian Kiko Casilla allowed Collin Quaner to grab the 90th-minute winner – something that must bother both the Leeds’ veterans while making self-assessment after the match. The shallowness of the squad is haunting the Whites now as they seemed fatigued and worn-out as the season entered the final few weeks.

Their free-flowing football has been hampered due to persistent injury problems, but the players must uplift their display for one last time amid fears of yet another falling apart among the Elland Road faithful. Bielsa must motivate his men who are low in confidence and exhibit his excellence by turning things around defying all the difficulties.

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