By Harry Sykes
Kalvin Phillips was given the nod over more experienced campaigners to start Leeds United’s goalless Championship draw against Preston on Saturday – and fans took to Twitter to criticise his display.
Phillips was handed one of the two central midfield roles alongside Eunan O’Kane for the second consecutive league match as manager Thomas Christiansen kept faith with nine of the side who beat Bolton 3-2 last weekend.
But the 21-year-old struggled to make an impact as Leeds limped to a 0-0 draw against 10-man Preston in what was a drab match in which the home side offered little in the way of penetration.
Phillips was part of a double substitution 61 minutes into the match, departing the field along with Kemar Roofe in exchange for Samu Saiz and Ronaldo Vieira.
Leeds supporters took to social media to pan the Elland Road academy product six days after he was lauded for his two-goal salvo in their opening-day triumph over Bolton.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
Some positives to take from yesterday, but Vieira must start on tues and klich/bridcutt must replace Phillips entirely in the squad #lufc
— LUFC (@Adam_Kewley) August 13, 2017
Normal service resumed yesterday from phillips, terrible, too slow of body & mind. All those blinded by a deflection and a tap in #lufc 1/2
— BigGunsGruff (@grizzly_adams85) August 13, 2017
My11 for FFC:Green-Ayling Jansson Cooper CBJ-Aloski Vieira OKane Dallas-Saiz-Wood.Keep Phillips away from that mid, way off the pace! #lufc
— Sean Bugg (@Silver_Bugg) August 13, 2017
Don’t want to knock Phillips and want to see him do well as he is Leeds but in my opinion is a squad player. #LUFC
— Rhys Wyn (@RhysWyn19) August 12, 2017
After last week Phillips should have been brimming with confidence… But instead it was a far to familiar display of mediocrity…#Lufc
— Ayub Patel (@AyubPatel123) August 12, 2017
Thought O’Kane was busy and Phillips had one of his off days, constantly losing possession with bad passes and basically acting slow 3 #lufc
— Wayne Wellwood (@WayneWellwood) August 12, 2017
Not enough bite or urgency in centre midfield today..
O Kane and Phillips no good together!
Viera and Saiz need to start Tuesday #lufc
— Richard Harvey (@dickyyorkshire) August 12, 2017
To the idiots in the Lower West Stand today slagging off Phillips, just do one. #lufc
— Original MG (@MGlufc) August 12, 2017
Phillips had been given the nod to start ahead of 2016-17 sensation Vieira, club captain Liam Bridcutt and summer signing Mateusz Klich, who was omitted from the matchday 18 for tactical reasons.
Phillips has been a mainstay of the Leeds team in recent seasons, clocking up 53 appearances in all competitions.
They have yielded four goals, including two of which came against Bolton.
In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can exclusively reveal that three Premier League clubs have tabled formal bids for Wood.