Patrick Bamford vs Newcastle 'confounding everyone' amid Sam Allardyce explanation of Leeds United situation - Phil Hay
Patrick Bamford taking the penalty he missed against Newcastle when Leeds United teammate Rodrigo is in such confident form is “confounding anyone”, according to Phil Hay.
The English striker had his kick saved by Nick Pope to pass up a 2-0 lead just moments before Callum Wilson equalised with a penalty of his own in a dramatic game that finished 2-2, but why he was in that position in the first place has bewildered many despite the manager’s subsequent comments.
Sam Allardyce said afterwards, as per The Athletic: “I left (the penalty-taker hierarchy) how it was before I got here. I haven’t seen them take that many penalties. It is what it is. I would have thought that if Rodrigo really wanted it he’d have gone and snatched it off Patrick and said ‘I’m taking this’. We see that quite a bit. But it can happen to anybody and it happened to us at the worst possible time.”
But Hay wrote in his story for The Athletic: “Why Bamford has taken the penalty is confounding everyone. Rodrigo has been the finisher this season, the closest thing Leeds have to a prolific forward. Rodrigo is well ahead of his numbers in expected goals calculations.
“Bamford is lagging behind his and has been chasing the tail of his old form for two years. Bamford has already missed a penalty this season, another important one in a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, and his body language is unconvincing.”
Bamford has had a difficult time of late on the pitch in key moments, but the fact that he and his family are receiving abuse off it to prompt an official statement denouncing the situation on Sunday (14 May) is disgraceful.
It was a sliding doors moment personally and collectively when Junior Firpo was brought down by Joelinton at Elland Road at the weekend.
Had the number nine stepped up and converted, though luck or design, it could have been the boost he needed when under huge pressure.
At 2-0 there would have been reason to believe that Leeds United might have gone on to record a massive surprise win against the Magpies.
He would have been hailed for putting himself forward in that position, and there is obviously no guarantee that Rodrigo would have scored anyway.
As it was things turned around in double-quick time, and while Bamford is far from the first player to miss a pressure penalty Allardyce’s comments after seem to suggest it wasn’t a situation that he had really considered beforehand.
Players squabbling over taking a penalty only increases the pressure on the eventual taker so it should have been on the manager to make the decision rather than leave it up to a squad that was reportedly lacking leadership when he arrived [Daily Mail, 2 May] to sort out themselves.
In other Leeds United news, a big-money flop has finally scored his first goal in Whites colours at long, long last.