There is no need to panic, literally not one bit. Newcastle arrived with a side who are currently the most in-form in Europe, with a Champions League winning manager at the helm. The players full of confidence and a team full of expensive names. We contributed to their win with some poor decisions and sloppy play, leaving us a point outside the play-offs after 17 games, something we would have taken before a ball was kicked this season.
There were two stand-out players for me today. Dwight Gayle showed exactly why Newcastle paid so much money to sign him from Crystal Palace. He just has that instinct of a Premier League striker. The first goal was handed to him on a plate by a woeful Rob Green mistake but not many would have been there to accept the gift in this league. Gayle read it like a book and despite him winding us up with his celebration he deserved his goals today. He was beating Jansson in the air, how that happens I’ll never know. His movement was too good for even his team-mates at times and he was constantly frustrated by the lack of speed from his own players…something we were not aware of.
Jonjo Shelvy was the other. I’ve always liked him as a player and today he controlled the game at walking pace. He was helped by Kalvin Phillips who chose the worst possible day to put in his worst performance of the season. To be fair to Phillips why he was playing in the number 10 role is beyond me, everyone around me, everyone on social media and apparently Massimo Cellino who chatted to a fan during half-time. Monk knows better than us but I think he got that one wrong today and he probably knows that himself. Shelvy vs Phillips was man vs boy and the ex-England midfielder showed some real class on the day. Aaron Mooy of Huddersfield was the best individual performance at Elland Road this season but Shelvy trumped that today.
We were poor today. You can look at the stats all you want and say we had as many or more shots, shots on target, possession and even corners but look at the game as a whole. Newcastle got the goal and sat back, we went at them without ever really looking like getting a goal and then they scored again, a classic away performance. We have set better standards than that but I do think the quality of the Magpies was just too much for us on the day and we were second best from the word go. There is no need to worry about a 0-2 loss to one of the best Championship teams in recent history. We have a free shot at Liverpool next week after a big game at Rotherham, a game we should be winning. Don’t lose sight of what Garry Monk is building at Leeds United, it’s more than enough to stay positive.
Green – 5 – Dreadful for first goal and kicking was poor.
Ayling – 7 – The best player in a Leeds shirt, did what he could going forward.
Jansson – 6 – Gayle gave him a torrid time today.
Bartley – 6 – Struggled to cope with Gayle when he left Jansson.
Taylor – 6 – Got turned inside out a couple of times, decent going forward.
O’Kane – 6 – Not one of his best days, couldn’t get us going.
Vieira – 6 – Shouldn’t have gone off, much better than Phillips.
Phillips – 4 – Really bad day at the office, out of position for starters and depth at times. Been very good since Bridcutt injury and deserves to have this performance written off. Even corners were getting out of his control.
Doukara – 7 – I thought he had a decent game at times, held it well and did try to get us on the front foot.
Roofe – 6 – Looked lively at the start and the end but spent a lot of time going backwards, Matt Ritchie and Gouffran were constantly bombing up and down.
Wood – 6 – Had nothing to feed on, held his own but had no support from central areas.