'Simply not up to the task' – Dean Ashton rips into one Leeds player & 'pathetic' Fulham star
Dean Ashton was taking absolutely no prisoners on talkSPORT on Friday night, laying into both Leeds United and Fulham players.
The two sides meet at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon with Leeds looking to go three points clear at the top.
Talking on Drive (talkSPORT, Friday, 6pm) Adrian Durham asked if it was too harsh to put all the blame for Leeds’ troubles on Patrick Bamford.
“I’ve been quite critical in terms of his strike rate, certainly,” Ashton said. “Look at the top strikers in the league and his shot conversion rate is below par there’s no doubt about that.
“But what he brings to the side, he’s willing to sacrifice certain parts of the game because of what Bielsa wants from him. Bielsa wants this all-encompassing centre-forward that does everything, and I mean everything. Come short, lead the play, run the channels… You can’t do everything as a forward, not many can.
“Patrick Bamford can do everything except be that clinical goal-scorer. I feel for him in a sense but ultimately if you want to be a striker you’ll be judged on goals and he simply is not up to the task. But Bielsa is stubborn so he’ll stick with him.”
Ashton saved his worst criticism for a Fulham player, though.
After saying Bielsa would probably turn down Aleksandar Mitrovic if he was offered him, Ashton said of Anthony Knockaert, “Big name, going to Fulham, he should have walked it in the Championship, but he’s got three goals, four assists, that’s pathetic. He’s played most of the games as well.”
Bamford has to take the criticism thrown at him at and carry on regardless. He’s always going to be judged on his strike rate and the criticism comes from Leeds fans as well as pundits like Ashton.
It does seem like every pundit is just latching onto his scoring record, while pointing out that he adds more to the team than just goals, though.
Hopefully, Bamford can switch the narrative at the best possible time today at Elland Road.
A goal would be priceless and would get the fans back on side if it brings about three points.
We’re not sure about Ashton’s comment about Mitrovic, though. We think Bielsa would jump at the chance to have a goal-scorer like that in his side, although he’s certainly not the archetypal Bielsa forward.
As for Knockaert, he’s actually got one more assist than Ashton claimed and we think that’s a bit harsh, too.
However, it’s true that Fulham are really a one-threat side and if Ben White and Liam Cooper can keep Mitrovic quiet today, we think we win this one easily.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Tense and tight’ – Jeff Stelling & Matt Le Tissier predict score in huge Leeds v Fulham clash