The first half of the game today saw La Liga side Eibar dominate and show the gulf between the sides despite the recent situation that proved Leeds have deeper pockets. They cruised into a 3-0 half time lead, all of the goals more than deserved and at the break things look grim, but changes were made.
The team that started was strong but it simply didn’t work. Regular consistent performers couldn’t get to grips with the situation and looked like they weren’t familiar with one another. Pre-season is what it is, you can’t judge how a team will perform based on their summer but you need to be able to see progress. On Thursday we certainly saw that but the first half was awful, and changes had to be made. Rob Green’s distribution throughout was very poor and Felix Wiedwald’s ability on the ball became more clear, it seems Green almost knows he won’t be the number one anymore, it’s just a shame it happened after last season.
Ratings (First Half, and those who carried on)
Green – 6 – Distribution poor, should have saved the final goal.
Anita – 7 – Not much came down his side, played some lovely balls down the right, one in particular to set Wood free.
Pennington – 7 – At fault for none of the goals, looked good.
Jansson – 5 – Didn’t play well, mistake for third.
Ayling – 6 – Much better when moved to right-back in second half, looked suspect at left full back.
Bridcutt – 4 – Very poor, far too deep and no protection for back four.
Vieira – 4 – Had an awful game, chasing shadows for the majority.
Sacko – 6 – Needs to get around players and get the ball in quicker, did take the fight at times.
Saiz – 4 – pointed out to me how far behind he is after a late holiday, was non-existent.
Dallas – 4 – Another who didn’t rally turn up. It was a bad half.
Wood – 5 – Got his goal in second but missed a couple of chances, another who was late back from holidays.
The second half was another story altogether. An early break saw Phillips set Roofe off down the right, he whipped it across goal and won a corner and the half carried on like that. Eunan O’Kane was controlling the game and dictating when and where the attacks started, with Phillips providing the engine in front of him. In terms of players catching the eye look no further that Ezgjan Alioski. He was brilliant and got his goal after a lovely move that started with Roofe, and included build up play with O’Kane and Ekuban before he found the bottom corner.
Roofe and Alioski were causing problems out wide and we controlled the middle of the park. Although it seems not all agree I thought Pablo Hernandez was very poor yet again, giving the ball away after taking on to many men most times, his lovely sprayed passes all well and good but don’t paper over the cracks for me. Ekuban didn’t look out of place although didn’t do much to catch the eye, certainly fitting into the lone striker role better than Antonsson does, a player who didn’t even get off the bench.
Ratings (Second Half)
Shaugnessy – 7 – Not in first team plans but actually played very well.
Cooper – 7 – Not good enough for our targets but played well on the day.
O’Kane – 9 – Totally controlled the game when he came on.
Phillips – 8 – Another who may need to leave on loan but complimented O’Kane and got into advanced positions.
Alioski – 9 – Faultess, great goal.
Hernandez – 5 – Gave the ball away trying to take on players too often.
Roofe – 8 – Beat his men and got balls into the box a few times, much improved.
Ekuban – 6 – Did a job on his own up front.