16th December, 2023, EFL Championship.
For crying out loud Leeds! Why do you do this to us? It is becoming uncanny how often we go into a game that we all know we are quite capable of winning, only to catastrophically fail to do so! Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke City, Rotherham, and now add Coventry City to the list – all games that we managed to mess up one way or another! This one was particularly annoying as we knew Ipswich had already dropped a couple of points earlier in the day and, with them coming to Elland Road next week, it looked like exactly the chink of light we had been seeking all season. At 1 – 0 up we seemed to have one foot in that particular door too; well done Leeds, you messed up again!
I was confident we’d win this one, just as I was confident we’d beat the other four teams I just mentioned, but yet again we’ve squandered points in a season when the form of the top two suggests we just can’t afford to do that. Once again, the main problem we had today was that we can hardly hit a cows arse with a banjo! 20 attempts and just 6 hit the target and most of those hardly caused any palpitations for the Sky Blues’ keeper.
Once again Georginio was the worst culprit! I love him to bits and he always looks likely to create chances – as he did today with a slide rule pass for Crysencio to score from – but goodness me he needs to learn to shoot straight, he’s supposed to be a striker for goodness sake yet umpteen times today, after great work to get his yard of space, he then struck his shots wide! He’s not the only one guilty of that of course but we’re playing him at number ‘9’ – we really should be getting better accuracy from him. There were also misses from Piroe, a couple of headers from Joe Rodon that missed the target and two or three wayward efforts from Dan James too, all from decent positions. The Dan James miss right at the end takes some believing, even considering he was under pressure.
The chances we are missing week in week out are threatening to ruin this otherwise sparkling season and who knows what the scenario will be if we find ourselves in the play-offs. God only knows what will happen if we fail in the play-offs too!
Defensively we didn’t cover ourselves in glory either. It was not lost on Daniel Farke that we allowed only one cross to get into our box all afternoon… yet Coventry scored from it! We had Pascal Struijk and Archie Gray marking Thomas yet he was able to leap above both to head the equaliser. It’s not good enough for a team with promotion credentials as good as ours! We shoot ourselves in the foot too often.
That’s my rant over! We battered Coventry today as we all expected we would but if we can’t begin to put more of our chances away, this season may still turn into a nightmare and not the dream we are capable of fulfilling. I am starting to wonder if Danial Farke ought to begin changing things around. Good as our starting XI is usually, these failures to beat patently poor teams are starting to mount up and there have to be question marks. Is Joel Piroe giving us enough for example? Is Glen Kamara as good as we first thought he was? Does Ethan Ampadu need a break? And if the answer to any of those questions is ‘yes’ who are the players to try out instead? I’m sure many fans are as concerned as I am that actually, once we get past our regular starting XI, is the quality we need really there? Willy Gnonto yes, I believe he is, but the rest? I’m not sure, but if they don’t get more game time how we will we find out?
The game against the Tractor Boys next week now looks like must-win territory to me, certainly must not lose territory. This season we’ve generally been more successful against the better teams – Ipswich have shown they are one of those. Come on Leeds, let’s start putting these chances away!
Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United 1 (Summerville 58’)
Coventry City 1 (Thomas 67’)
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ampadu, Piroe (Gelhardt 85’), Kamara (Bamford 78’), Summerville, Rodon, James, Struijk (C), Gray, Rutter, Spence (Gnonto 78’). Subs not used: Darlow (GK), Ayling, Cooper, Anthony, Gruev, Joseph.
Coventry: Collins (GK), Dasilva, Thomas, Sakamoto (O’Hare 67’), Simms (Palmer 79’), Sheaf (C), Kitching, Bidwell (Wright 68’), Latibeaudiere, van Ewijk (Allen 79’), Eccles. Subs not used: Wilson (GK), Binks, McFadzean, Godden, Ayari.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Booked: Summerville, Meslier, Ampadu (Leeds) Simms, Collins, Eccles, Sheaf (Coventry)
Venue: Elland Road