By George Overhill

15th Nov, 2022 | 7:40am

BBC journalists in stitches at mooted Junior Firpo Leeds United exit interview with Piers Morgan

Simon Rix’s suggestion that Junior Firpo exit Leeds United via a bridge-burning interview with Piers Morgan caused BBC journalists Adam Pope and Jonny Buchan to burst into laughter on Monday.

Cristiano Ronaldo looks to be engineering his way out of Manchester United using exactly that method, and with struggling left-back Firpo symbolic of the issues at the back at Elland Road, the Kaiser Chiefs bassist would like him to follow suit.

After the defence largely undermined the attack in the 4-3 defeat at Tottenham on Saturday (12 November), a week after they almost did the same in the victory by the same score over Bournemouth, it is clear there are issues that need to be addressed.

Speaking on BBC Sounds’ Don’t Go To Bed Just Yet: Leeds United podcast on Monday (14 November) Pope was summing up the defensive mess currently in Jesse Marsch’s side, saying (21min 45sec): “Defensively I just don’t know what he’s expecting of them on a regular basis that isn’t happening.

“Because they’re not stopping shots from the edge of the box, they’re not stopping crosses coming in at times, and they’re looking wide open.

“There’s got to be a radical change somewhere over these next five weeks to stop that from reoccurring.”

Rix then chimed in with: “Was just getting on the phone there to see if I could arrange a Firpo interview with Piers Morgan.”

After Pope and Buchan burst into laughter he added: “Get rid.”

Scapegoat

Firpo’s Leeds United career hasn’t been what he or anybody else would have hoped for after arriving from Barcelona, and despite barely featuring this season he is still catching flack for the failings of his teammates who are playing.

Covid-19 contributed to disruption through a difficult first season for him as he adapted to a new league, so his form suffered just as the Marcelo Bielsa era came crashing down.

Despite that the United board somehow saw fit to leave the left-back position entirely in his hands this summer, with Stuart Dallas out long-term with a broken leg, and didn’t sign anyone to cover.

Firpo then got injured, before struggling in his only Premier League start once he was fit, leaving centre-back Pascal Struijk as the full-time starter on the left instead.

Marsch badly needs a specialist to take over, but has bigger problems in the centre at the moment, with Liam Cooper’s return to the line up barely lifting Robin Koch’s wildly fluctuating form, and Diego Llorente in disarray when he features.

There needs to be a massive improvement at the back over the World Cup break, with the attack recently getting into a groove, and while it wouldn’t be beneficial for anybody to take the Ronaldo way out, it may be that a few defenders do need moving on.

In other Leeds United news, one of the candidates to actually improve the problems might be leaving as well with four big teams after him for January according to Fabrizio Romano.