By Harvey Byrne
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Leeds’ 2-0 defeat against Newcastle in Sunday afternoon’s Championship encounter at Elland Road.
A safer pair of hands in goal is needed if Leeds want promotion
Goalkeeper Robert Green made a horrendous error for Newcastle’s opening goal for what should have been a simple catch. The experienced shot stopper, 36, is well known for not being assured between the sticks and it isn’t the first time that he has been caught out in goal following his move in the summer. Without his mistake the match would have had a completely different story and Leeds were matching the league’s best across the pitch despite the result. However, Leeds have nothing to show for their display and failed to capitalise on Norwich dropping points on Saturday, leaving Garry Monk’s side in seventh place and point from the play-offs. Monk needs to buy a more reliable goalkeeper in January.
Chris Wood is too static to lead the line on his own
Despite being the club’s top scorer in the league with 11 goals, eight more than Marcus Antonsson in second place, the New Zealand international has not been without his critics. Mainly for his overall play, as he’s the type of player who when it doesn’t come off looks poor because he lacks pace and technique. This was apparent once again against Newcastle as he failed to create anything meaningful in the match and failed to work any openings as he lead the line on his own. The striker would be much more suited to having someone playing off him, such as Antonsson, and Wood will perform better with a player playing further ahead than him, rather than midfielders who are always behind him.
Leeds can match the best team in the division
Although the scoreline doesn’t reflect well on the Yorkshire giants, they can take some joy out of their overall performance. It was only the individual talent of Newcastle’s attack, compounded with mistakes from the Leeds defence which enabled Rafa Benitez’ team to take all three points. Leeds had the majority of the possession with 52%, while they also had two more shots than Newcastle with 12 and four on target. The north east side are by far the best team in England’s second tier as they already sit five points clear of second placed Brighton and Monk will be encouraged by his team’s display as they prepare to face bottom of the league Rotherham next.
In other Leeds news, fans reacted to Sacko being omitted from the starting line-up against Newcastle.