By George Overhill

3rd Oct, 2023 | 4:40pm

Leeds United expectations too high as Joel Piroe struggles at Southampton and Georginio Rutter can't match Watford win - journalist

There may be “too much” expected of Leeds United at this stage of the season after the surprise failure against Southampton just as the Whites seemed “invincible”, according to Dean Jones.

The former Eurosport journalist spoke to GIVEMESPORT (2 October) to highlight the inconsistent nature of some of the stars in Daniel Farke’s squad, with big-money summer signing Joel Piroe struggling against one of the rivals for his signature when he left Swansea.

Similarly he suggested that after a breakout performance from club-record signing Georginio Rutter in the 3-0 win over Watford the “expectation” on him for the following game was something “he just couldn’t live up to”.

Jones said: “I just wonder if we’re expecting too much of them in terms of consistency so early on in this season. They built up such a head of steam Leeds that it seemed like they were invincible almost going into this game, and that they would go in and make the most of the fact that Southampton were in poor form.

“It really didn’t work out that way though. Piroe obviously playing against a team that were looking to sign him, we thought he would look to make the most of that opportunity, but he absolutely didn’t.

“Then Rutter wasn’t the worst player on the pitch but because he’d been so promising in the games leading up to this, there was a bit more expectation on him that he just couldn’t live up to.”

Running before they can walk

For a club that is only weeks removed from a huge summer of turnover and a highly destabilising transfer window it is probably true that it is too much to expect the side to turn into a consistent machine already.

But the matches where they have secured hugely encouraging results recently, such as the 3-0 wins over Millwall and Watford or the 4-3 victory at Ipswich, have shown what potential there is in this squad.

Piroe and Rutter have both shown enough to suggest they will be the answers to a lot of questions this season, but one is still new to the club and Farke arguably hasn’t worked out the best way to use him, and Rutter is only just coming out from under a cloud of struggle following his January arrival.

It was almost inevitable that after two years in the Premier League filled with little but hardship the first sign of flourishing might get everyone ahead of themselves.

Farke himself seemed to see it coming when he warned in his press conference prior to the Southampton game that it might be the “worst time” to visit the struggling Saints.

As long as he is able to prevent that result leading to a series of other bad ones then the positivity should remain, and the likes of Piroe and Rutter can continue to find their role.

There is no denying the loss on the south coast was poor, and that this side does need to iron out the inconsistency that is currently an obvious characteristic, but in light of the situation the club found themselves in around their previous defeat at Birmingham City on 12 August things have improved markedly.

In other Leeds United news, Farke has made clear he has no space in his squad for a player who is training on their own.