'I Hate To Say It' - Exclusive: Whelan highlights 'Horrible' Leeds issue
Leeds United may play stunning attacking football but they lack combativeness – and at least one “horrible” player.
That is according to former Leeds player and lifelong fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs after the Whites were dumped out of the FA Cup on Sunday, losing 3-0 to League Two Crawley Town.
Historically, Leeds have been a club associated with the gritty side of the game but the Crawley loss exposed a lack of needle among the current crop.
In the Premier League this season, Marcelo Bielsa’s side are very much average when it comes to discipline – they rank 13th for yellow cards and 12th for fouls committed.
This might be a problem according to Whelan, who says that Leeds are lacking the sorts of characters who can alter the course of a match through their force of will.
“We’ve got too many players out there that can’t change a game at times. They’re too polite, they’re too nice,” he told Football Insider.
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“There’s no Patrick Viera, Roy Keane Paul Ince, people who are willing to fall out with their teammates for the sake of a win and demand from their players
“And I hate to say that because usually at Leeds you’ve got somebody out there that’s horrible, someone that doesn’t mind ruffling a few feathers. But we’ve got none of that at the football club.”
One player who hasn’t been shy of a booking is Kalvin Phillips.
He has accumulated five yellow cards and will therefore miss Saturday’s meeting with Brighton.
In other news, Leeds United have re-entered the race to sign a Liverpool defender after a failed bid last summer.