Sky Sports pundit wowed by Leeds United defender Robin Koch vs Brentford
Robin Koch produced a wonderful piece of defensive work for Leeds United and left Andy Hinchcliffe highly-impressed at Elland Road.
The German defender has often struggled this season alongside either Diego Llorente or Liam Cooper but looked a different player with January signing Max Wober next to him against Brentford.
In the first half of the Premier League clash Koch perfectly cut out a ball from Rico Henry to Ivan Toney in the Whites box when the man who scored a hat-trick in the return fixture on 3 September would have had a simple task to put the Bees ahead, but the Leeds United defender was perfectly positioned to relieve the danger.
Speaking live on the Sky Sports match commentary (22 January, 2.36pm) Hinchcliffe said: “It’s a brilliant piece of defending by Robin Koch.
“He just adjusts his position, he realises Henry’s going to pull that ball back. The only target is Ivan Toney. Koch is there in the way. Brilliant positioning.”
The defence was the Leeds United strength for once on the day as the attack failed to get going in the goalless draw.
Koch has been the ever-present as Jesse Marsch has tried captain Cooper and the disappointing Llorente this season, yet too often with whichever partnership put out there has been a lack of control that has let points go begging.
The German looked much more like the player he is supposed to be against Brentford, proving it wasn’t a one-off piece of quality to cut out the Toney chance when he stepped in to dispossess the striker perfectly again minutes later, and played out a much stronger performance all round.
Even so, it will be another new combination for Nottingham Forest (5 February) as the 26-year-old managed to pick up a booking that means he will miss that match.
If Wober can be the answer to stabilise the Leeds United backline and unlock the potential in Koch on a regular basis then he will be more than worth the £10million paid for him, even if he will have to wait another game to build on the partnership.
The headlines in this window have understandably been captured by the club-record signing of Georginio Rutter, but addressing the defensive frailty is far more important.
Having conceded five back in September when Koch and Llorente self-destructed in the second half it was very encouraging to see a significant improvement at the back on Saturday, even if the overall result was frustrating.
In other Leeds United news, Simon Jordan disagreed with a fan live on talkSPORT as he predicted Jesse Marsch to be sacked.