By George Overhill

13th May, 2022 | 8:40pm

Leeds United legend John Giles shocked by what he has seen in Arsenal and Chelsea defeats

Leeds United legend Johnny Giles was shocked by Luke Ayling and Daniel James’ red cards and fears pressure has got to the team in the relegation battle.

The Whites pair were sent off in the first halves of consecutive losses to Arsenal and Chelsea respectively, and are no longer available for the final matches of the season through suspension.

Giles, who made over 500 appearances in the United midfield between 1963 and 1975, agrees they were both certain red cards, and questioned the reaction from manager Jesse Marsch.

The United and Ireland legend told Off The Ball: “The one against Arsenal was outrageous. Ayling’s a very, very good player as we know, one of the best players for Leeds, and I’ve never seen him do anything like that before.

“So maybe the pressure is getting to them, and we saw the other night too a very bad tackle by James.

“James is inclined to do bad tackles now and again, but this was a really bad one.

“It was the response as well from the touchline… Jesse Marsch was looking to see why they were sent off. Now, there was no doubt they were going to be sent off because they were two bad tackles.

“So it’s just what they didn’t need in the important matches that they’ve got at the moment.”


Both of the sendings off look like textbook examples of pressure prevailing in highly difficult circumstances.

As Giles says, Welsh forward James is hardly known for his tackling prowess, and actually was perhaps lucky to not be sent off in the draw at Crystal Palace (25 April).

But Ayling is a veteran defender who does know how to tackle, and definitely knows that his challenge was going to get him in trouble.

While it is understandable that keeping a level head in the current predicament is difficult, it is an absolute must if they are going to have any chance of getting out of it.

The speed at which the danger has engulfed the squad that was only recently enjoying a five-match unbeaten run and looking safe has perhaps added to the panic.

But one win could make all the difference considering how tight things are at the bottom of the Premier League, so whatever nightmares have been endured in the previous two games, they have to put it out of their minds and focus everything on getting a result against Brighton on Sunday (15 May).

In other Leeds United news, the club appear to be preparing for life in the Championship with the Spanish striker they are chasing.