Comeback Kid Bamford Fires Leeds To the Top of The Table

Another clean sheet in Bolton leads to Fifth Successive Win:

Leeds moved up to the top of the league on Saturday evening thanks to Patrick Bamford’s first league goal for the club away at Bolton. Leeds are now averaging 2.05 points per game which is a remarkable statistic when you consider the number of injuries that the team has endured so far this season. The defence produced another clean sheet which saw Bolton fail to have one shot on target. It is now ten clean sheets for the Leeds defence which is the best defence in the Championship this season. The loss of captain Liam Cooper has no ill effect on the defensive solidity of the team in the past few games. Kalvin Phillips has slotted into the defence with ease. The sheer difference in the quality of Kalvin Phillips standard of play compared to last season is difficult to comprehend. Leeds have conceded only 18 goals so far this which has been the pivotal reason why the team are occupying the top spot in the table. Another ten clean sheets will propel Leeds to automatic promotion. I have preached this fact all season. It will not be easy, but when the team averages 60% in every game, it makes the job a lot easier. Keeping individual errors to a minimum will be crucial. Adam Forshaw’s poor pass to Kalvin Phillips could and probably should have earned Bolton a penalty yesterday. Marcelo Bielsa strikes me as the type of coach who will focus on this one specific moment in the game. The Argentine genius and his staff have stressed that the Leeds players must not be overly confident or arrogant to ensure that do gift their opposition easy goals. Nakhi Wells goal for QPR last Saturday was a prime example of the errors which could derail the Leeds assault on promotion. It will be interesting to see if Bielsa will rotate the squad over the Christmas period. Young Finnish centre-back Aapo Halme may start the home games in my view. The away trip to Aston Villa next Sunday will test this Leeds defence. Aston Villa and their plethora of managers has purchased a large number of attackers in the past year, and they will pose a significant threat to the hopes of another clean sheet this season.

Bamford’s return is like getting a new signing:

I for one was delighted to see Patrick Bamford return to action and more importantly score yesterday. I believe it’s impossible not to adore the former Crystal Palace striker, and I must confess that he came across like a very nice guy in his post-game interview on the Quest highlights show. Bamford reminds me of that one attractive and mannerly cousin you had as a youngster who your mother wished you would always copy. Kemar Roofe was non-existent yesterday as the large number of games he has started as a lone striker looked to catch up with him. The return to fitness of Bamford is a massive relief to all Leeds fans. Kemar Roofe has produced some fantastic performances, but he looks like he needs a rest in the coming weeks. Izzy Brown will also be like another new signing when he makes his return to the first team squad in the coming weeks. The instinctive one-touch finish for the winning goal at the Macron was mesmerising to watch. A top quality Championship centre-forward is another weapon for Marcelo Bielsa to utilise during the festive fixture list. Leeds are still only averaging 1.64 goals a game which is more than a slight concern, but as long as the defence can keep the errors to a minimum, it should not be a significant problem in the coming weeks.

Saiz leaves Leeds a cult hero, and we should all wish him well:

The level of sheer idiocy displayed on a daily basis will never surprise me. As usual, there was petulant abuse of the Samu Saiz for wanting to return home to Spain. The reasoning behind his quest to move to Getafe is entirely understandable and all Leeds fan should wish him and his family all the best in the future. The paly-maker has not reached the high levels of performance he showed in the early parts of last season since the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa. It is now apparent that Saiz was kept out of the starting eleven because he was going to be allowed to the transfer he craved. I have loved watching the diminutive Spaniard in a Leeds shirt, and he will be sorely missed. I know that majority of sane and decent Leeds fans will hope that Saiz and his partner come out on top. The rumoured incomings of Ibai Gomez from Alaves and Kieren Westwood on a free transfer will provide the impetus for Leeds to kick on in January. On a separate note, the rumoured financial difficulties for Andrea Radrazzani’s UK sports streaming business will be interesting to keep an eye at for all Leeds fans.

Leeds leave it late to grab deserved draw with Brentford


A late header from Pontus Jansson saved Leeds from suffering an unjust defeat by Brentford at Elland Road on Saturday. Brentford took the lead through a controversial penalty early in the second half. It looked like a penalty in real time. However, once you view the instant replay, you can see the striker is going down before he is hit by Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Stuart Dallas started in place of the injured Barry Douglas in the only change to the starting eleven from the Hull game. Leeds looked tired from the outset. Usually, Leeds pressing and passing is done quickly and forcibly as in the previous two games. It was not until the final 20 minutes when Leeds put sustained pressure on the Brentford goal. A great cross from Gianni Alioski was brilliantly finished by Pontus Jansson with three minutes remaining. The referee Jeremy Simpson was a complete joke, and the sending off of Luke Ayling for two cautions was farcical. Brentford should have ended the game with at least one sending off. The honest reaction of Pontus Jansson on Sky after the match brilliantly summed up the feelings of all Leeds fans who were unhappy with the poor standard of refereeing.

Pontus Jansson:

The Swedish giant was back to his brilliant best and provided a genuinely dominant display. Liam Cooper produced his worst performance of the season, and his poor pass played a crucial role in Brentford taking the lead. Leeds side looked extraordinarily tired in the first hour, and it wasn’t until Brentford scored that Leeds upped the tempo. Pontus Jansson was pivotal in Leeds getting on the front foot. He was first to every ball sent up to the Brentford attackers and helped to start the Leeds counterattacks. His header for the equalizer was brilliantly buried past the Brentford goalkeeper. He was by far the best player on the pitch by a country mile. In my view, he deserved to get the man of the match award. He showed how much he loves the club with his passionate post-match interview with Sky. This portrayal of pure emotion will endear him even more to the Leeds fanbase.


Leeds played three tough games in the last 8 days. The two Yorkshire derbies against Sheffield Wednesday and Hull were controlled entirely by Leeds. Brentford are an excellent side and have an outstanding coach in Dean Smith. I have no doubt that Brentford will be involved in the push for the playoffs come May. The pace of the Leeds play was extremely slow in the first hour of the game. The introduction of young Jack Clarke gave some spark on the right side of the midfield. The young debutant supplied the much-needed impetus for Leeds to grab the share of the spoils. Marcelo Bielsa’s use of his squad going forward will be interesting to view. Lewis Baker and Adam Forshaw will be expecting to get more game time as the cold winter sets in. The overall strength of the Leeds squad has been severely tested over the past two months, and it will be crucial to get the injured players back fit as soon as possible.

Clinical Finishing:

The injuries to Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez have seen Leeds draw recent games where they should have won. Marcelo Bielsa was very critical that his players only scored one goal from 14 attempts at Hull on Tuesday. The figures were must worse in the draw at Hillsborough last Friday where Leeds could have scored at least 5 goals. I made the point to my father who is also a lifelong Leeds fan that if we had a Dwight Gayle figure upfront, we would be 7 or 8 points clear at the top of the table. The loss of Kemar Roofe has been particularly devastating to the Leeds finishing stats. The striker was playing his best ever football in a Leeds shirt and looked brilliantly suited to the Marcelo Bielsa philosophy and gameplan. Tyler Roberts has done tremendously well in the last six games. The young forward’s goals have secured two vital wins over Preston and Hull. The Welsh international would be a significant impact substitute considering his electric pace. Let’s hope that Roofe and Hernandez will be back fir for the Blackburn game in a few weeks.