Noel Whelan has ripped into Kiko Casilla for being “like a rabbit caught in the headlights” during Leeds United’s play-off defeat to Derby County.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker was horrified by the goalkeeper’s performance as the team surrendered a two-goal aggregate advantage three-quarters of the way through the tie to lose 4-3.
Casilla was at fault for Derby’s opener following a horrendous mix-up with Liam Cooper that allowed substitute Jack Marriott to score with his first touch.
Whelan claims it was symptomatic of a wild display from the 32-year-old, who was signed from Real Madrid in the January window.
“Casilla had a terrible game and was all at sea all night,” the pundit told Football Insider. “He didn’t come for balls he should have and, at other times, came rushing out of his box when he should have stayed where he was.
“Considering he is a player from Real Madrid who would have played in bigger games in his career, I was stunned. He looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights.
“The first goal was the keeper’s mistake. He has to clear it and get Liam Cooper out of the way. Cooper was a bit indecisive and it was an absolute mess, to gift the equaliser [on the night] that way. That is a gamechanger.”
Casilla joined Leeds after they bought out the remainder of his contract at Real, where he was the third-choice keeper.
He instantly replaced Bailey Peacock-Farrell as the Elland Road number one and has made 19 appearances for the Championship giants, conceding 22 goals.