We’re absolutely dreading Leeds United playing at home at the moment.
The Elland Road pitch is going from bad to worse and it’s really starting to cost us in the Premier League.
Leeds need a carpet to play Bielsa-ball on and one friend asked us on Saturday, “Why are Leeds playing on Hackney Marshes?”
The pitch is heavy, it cuts up and it looks more like the surface you’d expect at a non-league club rather than a Premier League outfit.
Leeds were scuppered because of COVID last season and are planning to completely replace the pitch over the summer.
As Phil Hay said after the game, “It’s not just a case of relaying it. They relay the surface most (or every year). The entire pitch needs replaced, right down to the drainage. It would have happened last summer but Covid meant that they couldn’t get it done in time for the start of the season.”
It means Elland Road will be back to prime condition next season but that’s not going to help us for the rest of this campaign, and it’s starting to be a huge problem that Marcelo Bielsa can’t do anything about.
The Leeds players laboured to a 1-0 defeat on the pitch on Saturday, with Graham Potter making mention of the pitch afterwards.
Potter says it was a heavy pitch with long grass but they were used to it having played at Newport. “It wasn’t an easy surface to play on.” #lufc
— Adam Pope (@apopey) January 16, 2021
Potter is right – it’s not an easy surface to play on and Leeds kept resorting to uncharacteristic long balls at Elland Road on Saturday.
Talking after the game, Bielsa refused to blame the pitch directly, saying, “I don’t want to link the performance to the state of the pitch.”
And that’s an admirable stance but this isn’t an issue with our groundsman. This is an unfortunate club issue that’s been exacerbated by COVID.
There’s no one to blame and Leeds will have to make the most of it but we don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that we’re expecting more points away from home than we are from Elland Road for the rest of this season.
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