Whelan slams Ayling defending for Leeds as 'stupid' and 'not good enough'
Noel Whelan has bemoaned Luke Ayling’s defending against West Ham after Leeds United lost 2-0 at the London Stadium.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites and Coventry striker said the penalty which the 29-year-old conceded against Jesse Lingard was “reckless” and “stupid”.
West Ham took the lead against the run of play on Monday night when Ayling tripped Lingard inside the penalty area after 21 minutes.
The error was the only blot on an otherwise fine display from Leeds’ right-back, who completed 94 per cent of his attempted passes. (Wyscout)
Only Ayling, Stuart Dallas and Patrick Bamford have started all 27 Premier League fixtures for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season.
When asked for his assessment of Ayling’s defending in the build up to Lingard’s opener, Whelan told Football Insider:
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“You could always see that West Ham were dangerous on the counter attack and the defending was poor at times.
“Luke Ayling was rash. When Jesse Lingard is driving at you at pace do not stick your leg out. It was reckless. It is a stupid and needless challenge because he is running into other defenders.
“Yes, Lingard deserves credit because of his direct style but the defending was not good enough.”
Incredibly, the 2-0 loss means Leeds have now gone 16 games in London without a win.
They last picked up three points in the capital when they beat Queens Park Rangers 3-1 in December 2017.