Leeds United vs Bristol City: The worst possible result?
Obviously, no, it’s not. It’s not the worst possible result. Leeds are literally top of the league. But around this time last year I wrote a piece arguing that a 2-1 defeat to Preston in the League Cup was the best result Leeds could have got. It saved Bielsa from himself, and exposed the deficiencies in Leeds’ squad at time when there was (*was*) still time to do something about them. So in the tradition of always seeing the worst in things, and as an unequivocally and indisputably Leeds way to start the season - which will feature weekly match reviews – here’s why an opening day win, against this team, with this team, might just be the worst result for Leeds in the long-term.
BRISTOL CITY AREN’T THAT GREAT, MATE.
Bristol City finished eighth last season. So by the immutable laws of football, having beaten them, Leeds United are better and will finish *at least* seventh this season.
Two things on that one.
One. That wouldn’t be that great.
Two. Bristol City spent their summer selling thirty-three million quid’s worth of their best players. So…
He got away with it today, but with Kiko in goal (or more accurately, thirty yards out of his goal with alarming regularity) Leeds will need to score goals this year. They did that today. But can we count on this side to do that week in, week out? Which brings us to…
KEMAR ROOFE’S OFF TO BELGIUM
It looks like Kemar Roofe will be wending his merry way to Anderlecht. Last season’s top goalscorer and the player whose absence undoubtedly was a major blow to last season’s promotion chances.
The fact he wasn’t playing today and Leeds won will add weight to the idea that Leeds can cope without him. But can they…?
PABLO “SCORER OF GOOD GOALS” HERNANDEZ
Pablo scored a good goal. It’s what he does. If Lamrani had anything about him he’d go with Pablo “scorer of good goals” Hernandez.
Goals change games. Good goals change the mood. Like that Pablo goal against West Brom, back in March. They arrived having lost the reverse fixture in November 4-1. But when Pablo smashed a very similar effort in, having given Bielsa barely time to even perch on his bucket, it set the tone for the entire night. Leeds won the game 4-0.
Pablo can create magical moments which change games. His hit yesterday gave Leeds confidence, and more importantly forced Bristol to commit more men forward, opening up the game and affording Leeds the chances they eventually took. Before his goal, Leeds had only had a couple of off-target shots, one blocked from Forshaw, and a half-chance fired wide from Bamford. Pablo will not do it every week.
I MEAN THIS REALLY ISN’T THE WORST POSSIBLE RESULT, OBVIOUSLY.
White was really good, and that’s good. Bamford was good-ish (held it up well, scored a goal, still lacks the raw movement of Roofe), and that’s good. Leeds are top of the league, and that’s really good. But where will they finish it?
ASHTON GATE-WAY TO…
Playing the opening game at Ashton Gate, offers up a host of potential puns-as-omens for the forthcoming season. Will Leeds rise from the ash-es of last season and taste glory? Will this finally be the season Leeds step through the pearly gates to the Kingdom of Heaven (or at least the Premier League)? Or, will this be the season Leeds pull a Kutcher? An ASHTON Kutcher. A man who, at the peak of his fame, opted to take over from Charlie Sheen in a sitcom about a playboy, successful and relatively rich but not famous, who acts out, chasing a seemingly infinite line of women to sate the insatiable void at his core. No parallels should be drawn here. If Leeds waste the Bielsa era in the same way we will regret it for a long time to come. The next three days are crucial.