Leeds United put in one of their better performances of the season at Griffin Park last night.
There might have been better halves of football – the first 45s against Cardiff and Arsenal come to mind – but Leeds travelled to play Brentford as the underdogs and in the middle of a dangerous slump.
Kalvin Phillips inspired the side to an absolutely dominant display that saw them tame Brentford and only conceded to a freak mistake from Kiko Casilla.
It proved to the fans that Leeds aren’t falling apart and that they can come out of the slump and stay in the top two come the end of the season.
That was the good news.
However, it was announced by the club this morning that Adam Forshaw will now miss the rest of the season after a hip injury that he’s been unable to shake off.
He will have surgery and return for the 20/21 pre-season.
That’s a devastating blow over a player who was close to a comeback a few weeks back.
It was claimed by Phil Hay at the end of January that Leeds didn’t want Forshaw to have surgery and hadn’t signed anyone to replace him as they didn’t want to knock his confidence with the player seemingly close to a comeback.
We might have done without him for the majority of the season but the absence of Phillips over the previous three games before Brentford showed how much we’ve missed Forshaw, who would have been a natural replacement for the holding midfield role.
Forshaw was probably in the best form of his Leeds career at the start of the season and Bielsa knows how valuable a player he is both in defence and attack.
Talking in the Yorkshire Evening Post he said, “He [Forshaw] has a feature that is very difficult to get.
“He defends similar to Kalvin, he attacks similar to Klich. What he does close to Phillips doesn’t impede, it is not a problem for him when he goes close to Klich to attack.
“You are not going to find a lot of players with this kind of characteristic.”
So it’s a massive blow but we can’t help but think this smacks of really poor man-management at the club who could have moved in January to bring a replacement in.
Deciding less than two weeks after the transfer window has shut that a player who’s been out for the majority of the season needs surgery is very sloppy on Leeds’ part and it’s already come back to haunt us in the three games Phillips was out for.
Now we have to pray that Phillips isn’t suspended again or injured between now and the end of the season.
In other Leeds United news, ‘From what I’ve heard’ – Matt Murray makes surpise claim about Casilla FA charge