By George Overhill

18th Oct, 2022 | 9:10am

Adam Pope highlights 'major concern' at Leeds United after Arsenal loss

Leeds United are not “potent enough” after they missed a series of guilt-edged chances in the loss to Arsenal according to Adam Pope.

Since the 29-day break following the heavy defeat at Brentford on 3 September, the Whites have scored once in three games and picked up one point in that time, despite what was evidently a much stronger overall performance against the league-leaders on Sunday (16 October).

Patrick Bamford missed the target from the spot and Crysencio Summerville skied a late chance, neither of whom have one yet this year, while the two leading Premier League scorers, Rodrigo and Luis Sinisterra, are on three each and that latter’s strike in that Brentford defeat is the last from either of them, which Pope feels is becoming a growing issue.

Speaking on the BBC Radio Leeds podcast Don’t Go To Bed Just Yet (16 October, 16mins) Pope said to the question of whether there’s a problem with goals in the team after the Arsenal game: “I think there is. Look, Sinisterra was scoring goals before he went away, and while he was with Colombia too, he had a great chance…

“But the one that sticks out a mile, other than the penalty of course, is Summerville’s chance. I think at that point everybody should be able to hit the target, I get that, when they’re a professional footballer playing at this level.

“Maybe [Joe] Gelhardt coming on earlier, if that chance falls to him he’s got the composure maybe to put that one away.

“So in the front four… there is a lack of goals, and it’s a major concern. It shouldn’t all fall on Rodrigo and Bamford, but there’s a missing of their fair share from that duo as well at times, but elsewhere they just don’t look potent enough.”

Firing blanks

Goals didn’t seem to be much of a problem early in the season, but an inability to take chances has been the difference between one point and arguably six from the Gunners game and the frustrating goalless draw with Aston Villa on 2 October.

It is difficult to tell currently whether it is an issue with the players not currently being on form or whether Jesse Marsch is managing his resources correctly.

In the under-21s Leeds United seem like they couldn’t stop scoring if they tried, whether that’s via Sonny Perkins and Mateo Joseph, or even Willy Gnonto and Gelhardt.

The latter’s demotion down the pecking order this season is a continuing source of frustration, despite the injuries and lack of form ahead of him.

Marsch clearly likes Bamford above all if he can get the minutes out of him, but whether it is injury complaints or baffling misses it is starting to become farcical how he can continue to not find the net.

Rodrigo picked up the slack in a major way early in the year but, perhaps understandably, a dislocated shoulder has disrupted his rhythm and his confidence.

The suspension to Sinisterra might have done the same, while regular starters James Harrison and Brenden Aaronson are not chipping in, so it is strange that Gelhardt continues to be such an afterthought.

If either of Bamford or Rodrigo end their drought it could spark a run, but the longer it goes on the more worrying it gets, and the confidence of youngsters like Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood is likely deteriorating while they sit on the bench all the same.

In other Leeds United news, one of those names has to leave if Marsch’s actions don’t start backing up his words soon.