By David Woods

1st Jan, 2020 | 7:33pm

Bielsa must drop 27y/o v Arsenal – 4 things we learned from Leeds draw v West Brom

Leeds United and West Brom shared the points in an entertaining game at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies bossed the first half and went ahead after just over a minute.

Leeds, for the most part, bossed the second after Patrick Bamford came on for Eddie Nketiah.

It means Leeds stay top and the gap to third is nine points. It’s another game closer to the Premier League.

Here are the three MOT talking points from the game… 

1. Odd decision to start Nketiah
Perhaps Marcelo Bielsa felt he owed it to the youngster to give him his first start in the league while Patrick Bamford was fit, but the experiment didn’t work. Nketiah put in a performance that said his head was somewhere else and he was hooked at half-time. We wouldn’t be surprised if that was his last game for Leeds. Nketiah will be a success elsewhere, but he just doesn’t work in the Leeds system. As an impact sub? Sure, but that’s not how Arsenal see him, and to be fair he’ll be better than that somewhere else. We just hope that he doesn’t come back to haunt Leeds in the second half of the season.

UPDATE: Marcelo Bielsa has just confirmed that Nketiah is heading back to Arsenal. 

2. Casilla is infuriating

One minute flapping at a cross, the next pulling off a world-class one-on-one save. Leeds fans will have gone through all the emotions with Kiko Casilla tonight and while he was slightly to blame for the West Brom goal, he was definitely responsible for keeping us in the game. If he could eliminate the errors – and to be fair there haven’t been many this season – he would be one of the best keepers in the country in any division.

3. Alioski must make way for Douglas
We’ve had issues at left-back recently and the game changed when Barry Douglas came on for Gjanni Alioski today. We love Alioski but Leeds are way more solid when the 27-year-old isn’t bombing forward all the time. Marcelo Bielsa doesn’t like making changes but he must drop Alioski and start Douglas in the game against Arsenal. If he doesn’t Arsenal could tear us apart.

4. Simply the best

Some Leeds fans might hate us for saying this, but the two teams on the pitch today are by far the best in the division. A point was probably a fair result and it was definitely a game of two halves. A win would have been massive for Leeds but a point was vital. It keeps us above West Brom and keeps the gap going back to third. We might not care whether we go up as champions or not, but being top of the league means that two teams need to catch up to stop us going up. Today was a big day for Leeds and the point was a very big point.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Must sign’, ‘Bite both your hands off’ – Leeds Super Fans excited by Phil Hay transfer update