We got to see the new style of play that Thomas Christiansen is looking to implement at Leeds United yesterday, in patches though, not from start to finish. It is fair to say that against Oxford we didn’t see it, and yesterday the team ramped up their performance and showed various new ways of playing for the first time.
The second and third goals for me were something that I could watch over and over again. Flowing moves from back to front that pulled Bolton apart and were finished well. It wasn’t goals like we scored much last season. The first was straight from the training ground. I’ll be honest I totally missed it, I turned to see it hit the back of the net and had to watch it back on my phone on the way home. It was straight off the training ground and it shouldn’t be overlooked. Alioski made the run to pull both defenders away and Phillips ran into the space, a deflection yes but a lovely strike all the same. The players and Christiansen were delighted it had paid off and we carried on trying new moves from corners throughout the game.
The second goal came from the middle. Phillips took the ball down and O’Kane fed it to Pennington. The defender found Roofe out wide, the winger went past the Bolton players and swung a deep ball in. Alioski hung and headed back in for Wood who finished like we know he can. Not long after the Bolton goal we fed the ball out wide right, Roofe found O’Kane who had the freedom of the park to find Hernandez in the centre of the park. Hernandez cleverly slipped in Wood who controlled, and squared for Phillips to score, a move that completely opened Bolton up and left them feeling the strain of Championship football. It isn’t easy to implement a new style of play, I think Monk tried it but it didn’t work so he just gave up, he had taken over a Swansea side who already had a style which took years.
We were a miles off the finished article yesterday but we saw signs of what is to come and I think during the spells we were rewarded and that will make it much easier for the players and fans to see the benefit of what Christiansen is trying to do. It will take time and mistakes will come, difficult spells but we have to be patient and enjoy watching the progression of this side, bearing in mind you could argue that six or seven first-team players didn’t actually play yesterday.