Everything seems to be hunky-dory at the moment at Elland Road as Leeds United have managed to win five games in a row which has given them a firm grip on the direct promotion spots. What would delight the fans and the team management further is the fact that the club has managed to grind out results when they haven’t been at their best. Their win against Reading on the road was a testament to that and United are now combining steely determination with good football.
Their recent win against Middlesbrough was impressive as they produced their best performance of the season and won comfortably by a 4-0 scoreline. The Boro are not performing at their best right now, but some of the football played by the Whites that day was exhilarating.
Bent praises Hernandez’s qualities
Former England striker Darren Bent was particularly impressed with the performance of Pablo Hernandez. The Spaniard, who is still looking to get back to his best after an injury setback, had a decent game and the signs look ominous that he would soon be back to his best.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Tottenham Hotspur striker said, ”He is the one player Leeds need whenever possible as he is capable of that bit of unpredictably that is sometimes required. He can pull the strings and step up to produce a bit of magic from nothing, and sometimes you need that in difficult games. Leeds have a lot of hard-working, talented players, but Hernandez can offer something else at times.”
Even though Hernandez is 34, he was recently given a new contract which showed how highly the Whites rate him. Hernandez might not have the legs to run the defenders ragged with his pace, but he has the guile and ingenuity to open up the opposition defence. He also helps in pressing from the top, and he has been highly influential under Bielsa.
The Argentine boss once lavished massive praise on the wide player and said, ”He is one of the best players in his position I have worked within my career.” The Argentine boss has coached the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Dimitri Payet and Maxi Rodriguez in his managerial career in that role and praise like that is undoubtedly a testament to Hernandez’s abilities.
How can Bielsa utilise Hernandez in the best way?
The Spaniard started the season brightly, but he was troubled with an injury problem. Hernandez can thrive in a central attacking midfield role or as a wide player where he often looks to drift inside into the central areas. With Helder Costa building up some form, we believe that Bielsa should persist with Hernandez as an attacking midfielder and Costa could continue to play in the wide regions.