Phil Hay baffled by Rodrigo against Chelsea, predicts problems for Leeds United board
Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani and the board are in for an uncomfortable time amid the ongoing turmoil at the club says Phil Hay.
United are in the Premier League relegation zone with two games remaining, and with the decision to sack Marcelo Bielsa looking like not being enough to keep the team up it is the decision makers who will take it in the neck for a dreadful season.
A small squad and poor recruitment have contributed to the problems brought on by the injury crisis, and Hay reserved particular bafflement for record-signing Rodrigo after his performance in the defeat to Chelsea in midweek (11 May).
In a roundtable discussion for The Athletic with his Everton and Burnley counterparts Hay said: “My criticism more and more is that the impact of that investment just hasn’t been felt. Not enough of their signings have made a difference.
“Even on Wednesday, watching Rodrigo against Chelsea, I still can’t work out what he is, where he really fits or if this is ever going to work. That’s a £27-million player.
“But in terms of who’s responsible, I honestly think the blame is collective and the factors are numerous.
“Nothing has gone right and given that Bielsa has already been sacked, it’s the board who are going to face the questions.”
Trouble in store
Even if the Whites stay up by the skin of their teeth over the final two games of the season it isn’t going to be a happy time.
There will be relief but the inquisition into a season where one catastrophe has followed another will soon begin, and if the club are Championship bound in the summer it will be even more depressing.
Bielsa of course must shoulder the responsibility for some of the problems that contributed to the current situation, but he has already paid with his job.
Replacement Jesse Marsch is finding it difficult to win over the fanbase as the results take a turn for the worse, but he can hardly be blamed for a mess that he inherited, whatever his foibles since.
That leaves the Leeds executive who have the double problem of presiding over the downfall, and being responsible for the exit of the legendary former boss.
Signings since the return to the top flight have proven to be particularly disappointing, with both the club’s two most expensive signings in history, Rodrigo and Dan James, representing qualified successes at best.
The big-money arrival of the Welsh winger, along with the underperforming Junior Firpo, ahead of the current season helped the team go backwards from last year’s ninth-placed finish.
While the acquisition of Raphinha has clearly been strong, and others have shown potential, the best part of £100million for three players who haven’t lived up to expectations is not a recipe for success.
In other Leeds United news, the leadership skills of the manager have been questioned by a concerned club legend.