By Editor Wayne Veysey
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Leeds’ 1-0 Championship win against Brentford on Saturday afternoon.
Writing on the wall for Grimes
If the writing wasn’t already on the wall for Matt Grimes, it is now. The midfielder had made just one league appearance this season ahead of the clash and his chances of another one any time soon appear to be remote. Garry Monk doesn’t appear to rate the on-loan Swansea player as a central midfielder or in a No10 role. In a week in which Leeds were unable to call on a number of midfielders due to injury or suspension, it was telling that Grimes got just one 10-minute substitute outing. Grimes, whose loan runs until next summer, might be well advised to bang on his manager’s door and ask for the deal to be cut short in January and allow him to find a new club.
A new striker is the A1 priority
As if we didn’t already know, Leeds are a striker short and overly reliant on Chris Wood, who was absent due to a hamstring injury and sorely missed on Saturday. Souleymane Doukara was press-ganged into leading the line but the Senegalese lacks the physical presence to dominate centre-backs and his finishing is far from clinical. Doukara wasted a golden chance to break the deadlock in a turgid game when he shot wide after being sent through on goal midway through the second half. It was the kind of chance any striker can miss, but the 25-year-old never looked convincing as he beared down on the keeper. With goals hard to come by across the squad, it almost goes without saying that 14-goal top scorer Wood is irreplaceable. Leeds need to find better cover for their main man in the January window, or risk losing their grip on the play-off places.
Leeds punch above their weight
This was a Christmas turkey of a performance but Leeds’ promotion charge is gathering even more momentum as a result of their second home win in a week and seventh in nine league matches. Monk’s side make up for what they lack in fluency and individual star quality with their resilience and ability to withstand pressure before breaking down the opposition. Monk has assembled a team to be reckoned with, and a playing style that works in the battleground of the Championship. His greatest achievement is that Leeds are consistently punching above their weight.