Familiar question arises for Daniel Farke despite win - Three things learned in Leeds United x v Bristol City
Leeds United headed into the international break with a 2-1 win over Bristol City at Elland Road on Saturday (7 October).
Dan James slotted the Whites into a 37th-minute lead only for Kal Naismith to silence the home supporters on the stroke of half-time.
But Joel Piroe proved the match-winner for Daniel Farke’s side to leave Leeds in fifth place in the table ahead of another pause to allow international football to take centre stage.
Here are three things MOT Leeds News learned from another morale-boosting victory.
Archie Gray is ‘Mr Versatile’
At just 17 years of age, Archie Gray has a maturity well beyond his years and he has been an excellent contributor to the cause early in the season from the centre of midfield.
Here, he showed just how important he can be elsewhere on the pitch too. Farke had to figure out how best to utilise his options in defence with Jamie Shackleton out to join Junior Firpo on the sidelines and Leo Hjelde looking a little out of his depth, and he opted to use Gray at right-back where he has played for England youth teams.
And Gray put in a highly accomplished performance for Leeds, finishing the match with eight tackles, winning 12 of 15 duels and ending with a passing accuracy rate of 81 per cent (stats provided by SofaScore). That versatility might come in extremely handy for Farke moving forward.
Have to stay switched on
Thankfully for Leeds and Farke their lapse of concentration at the end of the first half did not prove costly as they came away with all three points.
But on another day it might have been much costlier. Glen Kamara, a summer signing from Rangers, completely lost Kal Naismith for the equaliser.
On a different day it may have seen the momentum swing in favour of the visitors. As it is, the half-time break may come at just the right time to allow Leeds to regroup and go again but if you want to get promoted then full concentration is needed at all times – heed the warning.
Piroe/Rutter argument won’t go away
Farke gave pretty short shrift when he was once again asked why Joel Piroe was playing as a deeper “10” for Leeds and not as a central number nine, a position Georginio Rutter has been occupying.
But those questions are unlikely go away on the evidence of this performance. Piroe was on target for his fifth goal of the season and finished with three shots on target and one missed ‘big chance’ but he clearly would be more comfortable further forward.
Rutter has begun to show his worth this term but did not have his best performance on this occasion, missing two ‘big chances’ with two efforts off target, three blocked and none on target. Farke has stuck to his guns but at some point Piroe surely must be played in a little more advanced role.
In other Leeds United news, here are our player ratings from the victory over Bristol City.