I thought I’d move away from the defence, only Bellusci vs Bartley to go there. An interesting one is Botaka vs Sacko is a head to head. The players are individually proving themselves at the moment, on a run that’s better than any we’ve had in over 6 years, something that isn’t an easy task and one that comes so early in Garry Monk’s reign as Leeds boss.
Jordon Botaka arrived from Holland and was described as a “wildcard”. Initially he forced his way into the team and impressed the fans and media in his early outings. As Rosler began to crumble Botaka seemed to be the only bright spark and was just about keeping the crowd on side. Steve Evans arrived and things went downhill for the Congo international. His ability isn’t in question but self-belief and confidence certainly was. I was disappointed he left on loan but at the same time it’s a chance for him to get to grips with the English leagues. He’s out of contract at the end of the season but if he impresses on loan he does fit a “Garry Monk style player”. Time will tell.
Hadi Sacko has burst onto the Leeds United scene and is already a favourite with the fans. When we get the ball and Sacko has room down the right half of the South Stand begins roaring “get it out to Sacko”. The players realise his ability and happily oblige. As the ball touches base with Sacko we all roar again, “go, get at them”. Sacko obliges. He first announced himself against Birmingham, and then ruined Pudil down at Sheffield Wednesday. He causes problems in every game, and he gets us on the front foot. Despite his end ball lacking at times, and certainly yesterday that was the case, the opposition are frightened of him. Ipswich backed off from the word go and that ran through the whole team.
In reality Sacko has already done more than Botaka already. The latter has heart but he needs to believe in himself, something that Sacko is starting to do. I’ve been hugely impressed with what Sacko has brought to the side since his arrival and he will only get better.
Verdict – Hadi Sacko
Video – Sacko goal in Birmingham highlights