Phil Hay shares Bielsa stance on Bamford after Leeds striker blanks in last six
Leeds have a problem scoring goals. They’ve scored 15 in 11 Championship games – only one other team in the top 11 has scored as few.
What’s worse, their xG (expected goals) is over 23, the most in the Championship. [WyScout]
Marcelo Bielsa’s number one striker, Patrick Bamford, has blanked in the last six league games, and while he’s scored four this season, his xG is 6.5. That’s a big difference.
Eddie Nketiah, on loan from Arsenal, is still waiting for his first start in the Championship.
However, according to Athletic journalist Phil Hay, Nketiah is going to have to wait longer as Bielsa is doubling down on Bamford.
“Sources have told The Athletic that if anything, the past few weeks have strengthened Bamford’s standing as first choice centre-forward. Bamford last scored seven matches ago but he has Bielsa’s unwavering faith — now, more than ever. Bielsa paints himself as a worrier, a coach who doubts himself, but Bamford is indicative of the Argentinian’s inner, almost ceiling-less, belief: that this will come good, just as it is.”
Loyalty is good but this looks a little like a punter who keeps betting on red on the roulette table because it’s been black six times in a row.
Each game for Bamford is a different one. That he hasn’t scored in the last six doesn’t make him more likely to score against Birmingham.
Bamford brings more than goals to the side, no doubt, but Leeds need goals and Nketiah is a different sort of striker… A poacher, and his stats are better than Bamford’s.
He’s played 196 minutes in the Championship to date and scored two goals, with an xG of 2.17. Those stats are close to a goal every 90 minutes, which is exactly what the club needs.
In Bielsa we still trust, but on his choice of frontman? It won’t be long before cracks in our resolve appear.
In other Leeds news, ‘What a player’ – These Leeds fans hail ‘class’ player despite 2-1 defeat v Millwall