Darren Bent claims that Leeds United defender Liam Cooper has failed to “take responsibility” when it comes to the Whites’ frailties from set-plays.
The former Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says the club captain at Elland Road has not done enough at the back to deal with their defensive problems.
Leeds have conceded no less than nine goals from set-plays this season, the latest coming through Semi Ajayi in the 1-1 draw with West Brom on New Year’s Day.
Bent says that there are a number of individuals at Elland Road who should be stepping up and combatting the issue and that Cooper, as captain and centre-back, is the biggest culprit.
“When your goalkeeper’s uneasy, it makes the rest of the defence uneasy because you don’t know if he’s coming for a cross or if he’s not,” Bent told Football Insider.
“They’ve got some characters in their team like Liam Cooper, their leaders, who are not stepping up either, they’re not taking responsibility.
“When you’ve got a goalkeeper who is the way that he is, or/and a back four that’s not taking command of what’s going on, I think these problems will arise and they need to sort it out. We don’t want it to be the same old Leeds.”
Cooper has been one of the first names on the teamsheet for Marcelo Bielsa when fit this season, injury problems meaning he has not always been available.
He has played 18 times for the Whites this season, starting the last four games after returning from his latest setback.
In other Leeds United news, Bent believes the club have opened talks over a “great” signing.