After a superb run of results against the big Premier League players, Leeds were brought down with a timid 2-0 loss at Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side went undefeated in clashes against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, even claiming a victory over league leaders Pep Guardiola.
But against the Seagulls this weekend, the Whites looked nothing like their usual dynamism, having far fewer shots on goal than the home side, and just watching the pace.
One man that Bielsa would certainly have been mad at is Patrick Bamford.
Should we abandon Bamford?
The striker has been one of the shining lights of the Premier League season for the Yorkshire club, shooting 14 goals and providing eight more assists in the top flight alone.
But lately he’s just come out of the boil completely, and his latest void against Graham Potter’s side now means he’s gone five scoreless matches.
It wasn’t just his shooting shoes that were missing on Saturday, however, with his full play also virtually non-existent against a formidable Brighton full-back that completely overwhelmed him.
According to Sofascore, his 15 hits and 11 successful passes were both far below what goalie Illan Meslier even managed, and a damning statement about his anonymity – the forward has just been smothered by the Seagulls’ three fullbacks.
He also failed to register a single shot on goal, which even defenders Diego Llorente and Luke Ayling did, despite winning only one of the two miserable duels he played. .
Bamford just couldn’t get involved in the game, and it wasn’t even that surprising that Bielsa decided to take him off before Rodrigo’s time.
And, writing in his post-match player notes for Leeds Live, Beren Cross gave him a 4/10, adding: “Barely got a kick. As he was in the first game, he was overwhelmed by the three center-backs. The latest in a long string of frustrating matches for the striker with long Golden Boot hopes.
These thoughts were echoed by Graham Smyth of the Yorkshire Evening Post who said: “No touch close to Brighton’s goal, no impact in the game. Much of it was due to a lack of service, but it didn’t come through at all.
Bielsa has reportedly been furious at his center-forward’s lack of involvement in the game and arguably expected a lot more from a player who has led the charge for Leeds this season.
Meanwhile, Leeds are eyeing a record move for this star …