Max Wober produces shocker in 2-2 Leeds United draw v Newcastle United, Sam Allardyce will be raging
Leeds United missed the chance to move out of the relegation places after an entertaining 2-2 draw against Newcastle at Elland Road on Saturday [13 May].
Sam Allardyce will be delighted by the spirit shown by Leeds as it looked like they would suffer a damaging defeat after taking the lead early on through veteran defender Luke Ayling.
The Whites could have well have raced into a two-goal lead when Patrick Bamford’s penalty on the half-hour was saved by Nick Pope but Callum Wilson equalised just minutes later from the penalty spot.
Wilson put Newcastle, who are looking to confirm a place in the top four, ahead with another penalty after 69 minutes when the video assistant referee ruled Junior Firpo had handled.
Leeds United certainly looked beaten but staged a late rally and when Rasmus Kristensen’s shot deflected in off Kieran Trippier’s head 11 minutes from time to hand them a priceless point in their desperate quest for Premier League safety.
While the former Blackburn Rovers manager will have been delighted with the response of his men, he can certainly be gravely concerned by the performance of one of his key stars in Max Wober who endured a terrible afternoon at the heart of the Leeds United defence.
The Austrian defender has proven a reliable and assured presence at the back for the Whites for much of the campaign but looked a shadow of his former self on Saturday afternoon, giving away a needless penalty after hacking down Alexander Isak in the penalty area which Wilson duly converted.
The defender was heavily criticised by BT Sport Jermaine Jenas and rightly so for his inexplicable “moment of madness” which will have had his manager raging.
However, it was underlying numbers for the match that will certainly leave the Leeds United management greatly concerned.
As per SofaScore, Wober produced the worst average rating of any player to start the game at Elland Road at 6.1/10, but more tellingly it was defensive numbers that showed he had an absolute shocker throughout the afternoon, only winning one of his seven ground duels at a dreadful rate of just 14%.
Wober also lost possession of the ball eight times, successfully completing just 56% of his passes, committed three fouls and accurately completed just one of his seven long balls in an incredibly worrying defensive showing.
With Leeds United now having just two games left to save their disappointing and disastrous Premier League campaign, Allardyce will be calling on his leading stars to stand up and give their all.
And given the treatment handed down to the struggling Illan Meslier, Wober could be in real threat of losing his own place if he doesn’t get his act together quickly.
In other Leeds news, Radrizzani could now stay put at Elland Road after a £4.16bn update elsewhere.