The introduction of Jay-Roy Grot on Saturday came with a muted reception, rather than the “jeering” that Thomas Christiansen described it as. The volume certainly began to rise when he began to lose the ball and stopped running when he did lose it. Some have said he’s used as a scapegoat, but in reality we just need to see more of the basics.
By basics I mean running for starters. He has been brought on to help us defend a lead in a few games, and he isn’t helping take the pressure off. One thing is clear, he isn’t fit enough to be doing what is asked of him currently. I watched him after the first few minutes on Saturday and he was struggling to breath, lumbering around and hardly running. The problem there is easy to resolve, play him in the under 23’s until he is fitter and stop putting him in a position, come a Saturday where he has only played five minutes the week before and not any actual game-time during the week. His ability is certainly effected by his fitness, as is everyone’s.
Maybe it’s time that Thomas Christiansen gave him a break from the first-team and took him out of a situation that simply isn’t working. Grot is struggling to adapt to the physical and mental side, players often do when arriving in the English game but to keep throwing them in doesn’t help. Pawel Cibicki is probably a good example. He hasn’t had a kick all season hardly, and now he’s in the side and is reaping the rewards, as are the team. Grot never had that, whether it’s because of his build that the club think he’s ready to play I don’t know, what’s obvious is that he is struggling massively. It’s a good time for Grot to have a break from first-team action, with Lasogga on the way back and Kemar Roofe in form, there is no reason he can’t build himself up in the development squad in the weeks to come.
I wouldn’t boo a Leeds United player, I didn’t boo Wood or Bellusci and I wouldn’t boo or jeer Grot, some will and it won’t help the lad. However he needs to be putting in the effort when he comes on the pitch, because when he does get ready to come on I turn to the others around me and they have the same expression as me. On Saturday he was doing ridiculous things. He tried to dribble the ball out of defence and lost it, one was passed into him and he ran away and left the ball and the most disappointing was a ball sent up to him, he rose and thumped the header out of play, something that I was shocked to see. Fans get frustrated with players when they lack quality, but not putting in 100% doesn’t go down well at all, and it’s not hard to see why fans are thinking Grot isn’t doing this.