By George Overhill

23rd May, 2023 | 12:10pm

Rodrigo and Patrick Bamford injury verdict for Tottenham clash amid 'shambolic' Leeds United end - Phil Hay

Phil Hay believes Patrick Bamford “surely” misses the crucial Leeds United clash with Tottenham but Rodrigo could yet feature, with relegation looming.

The 3-1 defeat against West Ham on Sunday (21 May) left the Whites needing a win against Spurs coupled with an Everton loss to snatch safety, but the task was made all the harder by injuries to both the two main forwards at the London Stadium.

Hay feels the predicament of going into such a vital game without a senior striker – notwithstanding the bemusing situation around club-record signing Georginio Rutter – sums up the “shambolic” nature of life at Elland Road across back-to-back relegation battles.

The Athletic journalist said on the Square Ball’s Phil Hay Monday Club podcast (22 May, 8m 10s): “Bamford, surely, will not be ready for Spurs. I think there’s a possible chance that Rodrigo will be with his foot injury, but they’ll be nursing him through that.

“Allardyce said that you’re going into this fixture that is 100% do or die, might be die regardless, and you don’t have an establishes centre-forward to choose from.

“In many ways it’s the most suitable, fitting end to what have been two fairly shambolic years.”

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Asking for trouble

Such is the scale of the missteps at the club since the heady days when Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites burst back into the Premier League and took most by surprise to finish ninth, it is hard to put a finger on one, or even five, primary causes for the current danger.

Transfers not paying off and seemingly endless injuries at crucial times would certainly both be in the conversation, which are both of primary relevance to the fact that in the face of mounting evidence that Bamford’s body was refusing to deal with the strain Leeds United have continued to expect him to be the main man throughout.

Spending a record sum on a player who is apparently not yet developed enough to provide anything to the first team when it comes to the crunch has proven to be a wild misjudgment, especially after having neglected to buy a Bamford substitute for successive windows.

Rodrigo’s emergence from struggles of his own previously is a major part of why the club haven’t already been condemned to the Championship, and his goal at West Ham was another reminder.

That he was considered a major Elland Road flop as a previous record signing perhaps suggests that there was some method to the madness at the club, but that the overall chaos has just not allowed it to flourish.

In the same way everything clicked for what now feels like a fleeting point in the club’s history under Bielsa, since it stopped working for him it appears that the different elements have never worked in tandem.

While developing a reputation for chaos on the pitch the club have followed suit off it, and the pace of faces coming and going has only increased to add to that.

If Rodrigo can recover sufficiently to be the difference against Spurs it would be huge, but it would be distinctly against the direction of travel in the recent Whites history.

In other Leeds United news, a contract clause that would make the club liable to pay a fee has emerged amid a snub mystery.