There was much talk about why Leeds signed Felix Wiedwald from Werder Bremen this summer. The most obvious reason was that Green, Silvestri and Peacock-Farrell are all out of contract next June and Wieldwald was the long-term option, one that would be here to take on the number one spot for a few years, but yesterday we saw what he offers, and it’s very different to what we are used to.
In my time supporting the club we haven’t really had a sweeper keeper that was built up during his career. We have had spells where a keeper has been encouraged to do it but we’ve never signed one for that reason, and it seems like that is exactly what we have done. German keepers seems to be coming through like this now and Wiedwald is of that exact mould. Although he didn’t have a save to make during the game his traits with his feet were obvious. He rarely put a ball into anyone other than the back four or central midfielders. Short passes were fed into Bridcutt, Dave and Cooper throughout and lofted balls were accurately fed to the full-backs who were in plenty of space.
It was how far he was willing to come out of his box and how comfortable he was in doing this which was so obvious. He was coming out between centre backs to receive passes and make sure if the ball did come back it was going all the way back to the six yard box. What this did was make sure that when we did start again it was higher up the park and we were soon turned around and going forward again. His confidence was clear to see and he wasn’t phased by pressure from the Guiseley strikers when they did apply it. Another thing that stood out was his communication.
His English isn’t a problem in the slightest, he could often be heard roaring to Cooper to “take them up” and “drop in” when he felt both needed doing. Rob Green is very good and speaking to his defence but Wiedwald was louder than any other keeper I’ve heard at Leeds for a while. The departed Ross Turnbull was very loud but he rarely played while he was here. Wiedwald may be one of the key signings for Christiansen as many foreign coaches like their style to start at the very back, Pep Guardiola a prime example. Rob Green has more than a strong case to be starting this season as the number one and captained the side in the first half yesterday, and interesting battle lies ahead.