By Beck Pascal

19th Dec, 2021 | 1:10pm

Danny Murphy breaks down Leeds’ ‘chaotic’ approach in defeat versus Arsenal

Danny Murphy has dissected Leeds United’s tactical set-up in yet another disappointing result for the Whites.

Leeds were on the back end of another thrashing as Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal cruised to a 4-1 victory last night (18 December) at Elland Road.

Struggling for players and confidence, Murphy addressed what he believes to be going wrong.

He said on Match of the Day: “They’ve lost their best players which doesn’t help. Confidence is low after the defeat at Man City.

“We weren’t looking at the Leeds result against Chelsea last week and being overly critical, it was a great performance, they lost from a soft penalty in injury time, so we don’t what to be too dramatic.

“But today was chaotic. They tried to play the same system they normally play which is man to man and it just went completely wrong. Mixed with individual errors, you are going to have a problem against a confident Arsenal side.

“You have to adapt to the players you’ve got and the opposition you are coming up against. To ask those players with some of having played hardly any game, to play that way against such good opposition was just too much

“I think if Leeds play their best team, the way they’ve been playing for the past 18 months, they’ll stay in the league.”


More question marks have been raised over Marcelo Bielsa’s tactical decisions after that defeat at home against the Gunners. The decision to continue to man-mark against such good opposition – who now understand how you play in Leeds’ second season in the top flight – is bizarre. With Bielsa seeming reluctant to change his ways.

Yes, every manager has their own identity and all of the best in the world stick to their style of play no matter what but if you take into account Leeds’ injury list as well as the players out due to COVID-19, it seems completely impractical to play this way with a considerably weaker team.

Leeds have conceded 14 goals in their last three matches with only one goal replied, simply not good enough for the Whites. However, there is still a long way to go as we approach the second half of the season.

In other Leeds United news, Leeds want Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie in January.