It's not often that you score four goals at home and still take a hammering but Tuesday saw Leeds on the wrong end of a remarkable second half comeback by Preston.

If you had asked many Leeds fans at the beginning of the season where they thought Leeds may struggle, scoring goals may well have been the answer.

Taking a 30-goal a season striker out of any club is bound to have an impact, but not many would have said that they envisaged us getting hit for 11 between Preston and Barnsley within a fortnight.

As I (and other Leeds fans in the comments) highlighted a couple of weeks ago Leeds have been lucky that Kasper Schmeichel has been almost unbeatable at the beginning of the season, saving us from a drubbing or two along the way.

However in his absence Leeds have taken a pounding by (with respect to Barnsley and Preston) two of the lesser lights in the league.

The problem lies not with the defence as a unit, although there are clearly issues to be found in that department, but in the style of football being played. Two seasons ago Leeds failed to get promoted from League One because they played an expansive game but were muscled off the ball and bullied out of games far to often. 

Last season, promotion was clinched playing the same style of football, and we played a number of teams off the park whilst maintaining a physical and combative edge to their place.

The difference this year is that some of the Championship teams are just as capable of playing the attractive and expansive game as Leeds and all of them are far more clinical in their finishing.

We had games last season that could have gone the same way as Tuesday night but didn't simply because of the quality of finishing encountered in League One.

As Simon Grayson eluded to in his post-match interview, holding on at 4-1 from the 40th until the 90th minute may have been a bore for the fans but who would have argued with a 4-1 victory at the end of the day? 

The crucial moment was the goal to make it 4-2, that gave hope to Preston. It still shouldn't have been enough to inspire such a comeback as a resolute defence for 45 minutes was all that was required, but when you see a corner fly directly into the top corner of your net you know things are about to go quite badly wrong.

We must remember however that this was just one game that goes down as a mark in the defeats column, with the equivalent goal difference of a 2-0 defeat. I suppose perhaps the most worrying point of the night is that Leeds completely capitulated defensively for the second time in four games, a point that needs to be addressed urgently as goal difference can be crucial at the end of the season.

The last month of results has defined Leeds' form since returning to the Championship. Leeds have displayed real inconsistency, however, I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing at this time.

Many Leeds fans still have a belief that the Premier League is our destiny and almost our right as a club with an expectation that every season outside the top flight is a season that we should be getting promoted. 

However taking a hit of two defeats in a fortnight, conceding 11 in the process yet managing to sandwich two clean sheets in between highlights that we are still a club in transition and are the definition of inconsistency. 

It also highlights the same old adage about the Championship in that anybody can beat anybody at any time. With this in mind, I would quite happily settle for a season of 6-4 wins, and 6-4 losses and 0-0 draws if it means we stay up.  

Despite these heavy defeats and a great deal of inconsistency surrounding the Leeds team's performances, Davide Somma has continued to impress as he builds on an electrifying start to his first full season in the Leeds first team.

It was difficult to see how Somma and Luciano Becchio would work as a partnership up front as they are similar in style and stature, with neither possessing great pace or flair. However, where as Becchio is fantastic in the air and has developed into a real workhorse, Somma brings a calmness and seems to have a fantastic footballing brain. 

Somma has proved to be a clinical marksmen and the unlikely top scorer for Leeds so far this season with six goals, making up the lions share of the ten managed between himself and Becchio.

A key to the success of the partnership has been the quality of the wide play with Lloyd Sam, Max Gradel, Bradley Johnson and Sanchez Watt all able to carry the ball, deliver quality crosses and perhaps most importantly move the ball quickly allowing for Becchio and Somma to ghost into the box.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

 

Topics:
Football
Championship
Leeds United