Alex McLeish has instisted Marcelo Bielsa will be “concerned” by the amount of goals conceded by his Leeds United side ahead of Sunday’s clash with Arsenal.
The former Aston Villa and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has suggested the Argentine boss will have had to rely on video analysis, rather than working on the training ground, due to the number of players who were away on international duty.
Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas and Robin Koch – three of Bielsa’s first-choice defence – all left Thorp Arch to play for their respective countries, while Diego Llorente has been recovering from a groin injury.
The Whites lost 4-1 to both Leicester City and Crystal Palace before the international break, while they conceded four against Liverpool and three to Fulham at the start of the season.
McLeish has highlighted how teams have managed to exploit Leeds on the counter-attack and admitted it would have been difficult for Bielsa to address the issue with his star men absent from training.
“They’ve got some injuries but those two games, I suppose, are pretty worrying, losing four goals,” McLeish told Football Insider.
“Again, the coach, Bielsa, said it wasn’t a 4-1, it could easily have been a draw or they could have probably sneaked the result (v Palace) with the Bamford situation if things had gone a different way.
“What do they have to do, Leeds? They were cut open and Bielsa will be a bit concerned about that, that when they go forward, they are sometimes vulnerable when the other team are counter-attacking.
“If the other team are breaking up and they have players like Zaha up there with the speed to go behind and others who come from midfield, then that’s obviously a tactic that Bielsa has to study.
“He’ll have been on training ground with the video screens, etcetera, rather than practical sessions because there’s been an awful lot of them away on international duty.”
Leeds currently have the joint-worst defensive record in the Premier League, alongside West Brom, with 17 goals conceded in eight games.