Leeds United: 'Awful' Illan Meslier slammed by BT Sport pundit for what he did against Bournemouth
Efan Ekoku blasted Illan Meslier after the Leeds United keeper made another key error at Bournemouth that led directly to a goal.
The Frenchman was under fire after both Fulham strikes in the 2-1 defeat on 22 April came after he palmed crosses into the danger area, and he did the same in arguably worse fashion in the 23rd minute at the Vitality.
His two-handed flap at a corner handed Jefferson Lerma his second of a quick-fire double as the Whites threatened to collapse once again, and Ekoku was not impressed, suggesting that Joel Robles might be a safer option.
Speaking live on the world feed match commentary (30 April, 2.25pm) the BT Sport pundit said: “That just can’t happen. That ball isn’t up super high where Meslier can’t get a bit more purchase on his jump and catch it, but if you’re going to punch… it’s a nothing attempt to clear the ball… a real mountain now to climb for Leeds United.”
He went on: “Clearly that’s Meslier’s fault. Awful error. Cannot afford those at this stage of the campaign. And when he makes a mistake it’s very, very rare for his teammates to bail him out.
“Having said that he remains Leeds United’s number one goalkeeper and has quite a few admirers around the Premier League. But one too many of those and you find yourself out of the firing line. They’ve got a guy on the bench of course with a lot more experience in Joel Robles.”
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The flap in the first half was far worse than the two against Fulham, and while it is possible to stick up for the 23-year-old for not getting any help off his defence most of the time it was a dreadful error at a crucial moment.
It was academic by the time he conceded the fourth in the 4-1 defeat but he should have kept out Antoine Semenyo’s strike as well, but let it go straight through him.
It is difficult to say whether there is mileage in replacing him with Robles for the next games as it seems unlikely that anyone is going to stand much chance in the Whites goal against Manchester City.
Meslier’s confidence has unsurprisingly taken a battering in recent weeks and things are hardly going to improve against the likely champions.
But Robles is a back up for a reason and if he concedes a hatful against Erling Haaland and company where does that leave Javi Gracia?
Improving the defence would probably be a better option, but that has been an unreachable goal for well over a year now, and with Max Wober even looking shaky against Bournemouth there are few options to turn to as things go from bad to worse.
In other Leeds United news, there might be issues behind the scenes at Elland Road according to what one pundit has heard.