Dominic Matteo has criticised Leeds United right-back Luke Ayling after the 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last Saturday.
Matteo claims that Ayling was “found out” after not doing the basics defensively against Wilfried Zaha.
Writing in his column in the Yorkshire Evening Post Matteo said, “I’ve been one of Luke Ayling’s biggest supporters and he has been outstanding for Leeds, before promotion and since, but up against a top line player like Wilfried Zaha, he just didn’t look comfortable defensively.
“Maybe he’s still looking to get forward when he should be taking up good defensive positions.
“You know what you’re going to get with Zaha, he has real quality and we struggled with him.
“I don’t care if you’re playing against Liverpool, City or Palace, if you don’t do the basics well you will be found out.”
Ayling far from the worst player v Palace
Ayling has been outstanding for Leeds this season and last, and to be fair to him he’s been played out of position in the past few weeks.
That’s happened because of injuries to Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips and Diego Llorente.
Ayling has done well in a centre-back role and was superb in games against Liverpool, Man City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa.
He didn’t have his best game against Palace but there were other Leeds players on the pitch who were worse – Stuart Dallas, Pascal Struijk and Helder Costa to name three.
And Zaha has the sort of quality that can make any defender look bad when he’s in the zone.
Matteo does make one very good point, though – that we need to improve dramatically against teams like Palace.
The bad news is that Liam Cooper and Robin Koch are away on international duty so Bielsa won’t have his full complement of defenders to work with at Thorp Arch this week.
And Leeds fans will be desperately hoping the pair come back without injuries, with Cooper already struggling for full fitness this season.
In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Leeds fans should be very worried as £18m man moves to long-term injured list