Leeds United slumped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Stoke City on Tuesday afternoon.
It was the Whites’ first game of their pre-season, with their Premier League opener against Liverpool less than two weeks away.
International duty has taken a number of players away from Elland Road, and that was highlighted in the team selected – Leif Davis and Oliver Casey starting at the Bet365 Stadium.
Goals from Nathan Collins, Lee Gregory and Tom Ince saw Stoke cruise to victory, less than a couple of months after their 5-0 drubbing at Elland Road.
Stoke shared extended highlights of the game on their official Twitter account late on Tuesday, and it didn’t make for great watching for Leeds fans.
Here are three things learned from the 3-0 defeat…
1. Bielsa in the building
In one of the worst-kept secrets ever, Marcelo Bielsa appears to be remaining in charge of the Whites next season. For whatever reason, Leeds are yet to announce that the South American has yet again signed another contract but we got our biggest hint yet on Tuesday. At the end of the highlights, Bielsa was seen thanking the Stoke bench with his bucket present also – surely that announcement is close.
2. Roberts Wales withdrawal confusing
It was announced on Monday that Tyler Roberts had withdrawn from the Wales national squad for their Nations League games with an injury. BBC journalist Adam Pope reported it was “no major worry” for the Whites, who will continue to monitor the forward before the trip to Liverpool. Yet, only one day later, he was named on the bench against Stoke. Bielsa only named four substitutes and he still brought Roberts on in the second half. If Roberts was fit enough for a cameo in a friendly, it appears strange that he couldn’t feature for Wales – we will wait and see what sort of an impact this game could have had on Roberts.
3. New season, same Bamford?
Patrick Bamford has always had to deal with criticism since arriving at Elland Road. His efficiency in front of goal has always been questioned, although his all-round game was superb last season in Bielsa’s system. Unfortunately for Bamford, he will only ever be judged on his goal-scoring record, and he didn’t help himself against Stoke. With the home side only one goal to the good, he got the perfect chance to equalise. Only eight-yards out, the 26-year-old somehow managed to knee the ball wide – not convincing, to say the least.
With Rodrigo arriving through the door at Elland Road, Bamford will need to find his shooting boots and quickly if he wants to keep his spot in the Premier League.
In other Leeds United news, many Whites fans unhappy with the inclusion of one player in defeat against Stoke
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