Billy Sharp is not a Happy Bunny
On any given Saturday over the footballing season, you hear the same cluster of names scoring for other teams in your division. Billy Sharp is one of them. Or, was. Wherever and whenever he played, he always seemed to get on the score sheet, but to do that for Leeds, he has to play. Whether the formation is right for him or not, he is currently 5th choice behind Morison, Cani, Antenucci, and Doukara - something not lost on the player himself, as his Twitter RTs last night showed. We need to either get a player he can play with, or let him get on his way and play football somewhere else.
Byram is the Difference. We Missed Him
There can't be too many right backs who become the creative force in a team, but given the lack of a Snodgrass or a Strachan, Byram is the man who gives us that tiny bit extra. The other young midfielders have energy and hunger, but Byram has a couple of years more experience and a sense of invention that is the nearest we have to a wide threat. We missed him badly.
Antenucci Must Start
Antenucci's brilliant back heel - taking two defenders out of the game when he was running away from goal, setting Doukara up for a clear shot on goal that was saved - is proof he has all the cunning and imagination we lack in attack. From the moment he came on, the bearded Italian was greedy for the ball, determined to make an impact and offering some much-needed spark around the box. Sadly, it was too late in the game to change it. By then Brighton were well drilled to keep Leeds at bay. With Byram out and Sloth ineffective, he should have been played as an attacking midfielder; one of the five Redfearn clearly wants.
Sloth Would Look Great in League One
Like quite a few from the Cellino Bargain Bag, Sloth just doesn't seem up to this standard. He was sloppy whilst also looking stylish for the U21s last week, and there are more experienced players like Sharp and Antennuci to be picked ahead of him. He would probably do a great job a division below, mind.
Not News, but Silvestre is STILL a Fantastic Shot Stopper
If you can get your hands on footage of the game, have a good look at the second half, because Silvestre pulled off four or five amazing saves. He managed to palm one onto the bar as it flashed across him at chest height, and then scrambled down to stop the rebound with his feet. He was probably our Man of the Match, which, given we lost, is saying something. He’s one of the best additions to this club in recent years.
Does Morison Only Do Fitness Work?
I praised him for his hard work against Reading, but I don't think Morison actually wants to be in a position to score for fear of missing, and that has to change. When we attack, he moves out wide, and when he has the ball, it is rarely in the area most goals come from. He works hard and is effective - if the midfield are scoring - but without their goals, he's a toothless Lion. When Cani came on he didn't do too much, but he won a few headers and created the space for a long shot that bumped wide. He was constantly looking to get into the most dangerous area between the penalty spot and the six yard box. Peeling off his defender and darting into the space, he would rightly expect the ball to come into. I don't see the same movement from Morison. He has to step up and start scoring and being a genuine threat in the penalty box.
One of the Answers to our Problems was Playing for Brighton
Craig Mackail-Smith seems to make it his life's work to score or set up goals against us. If we bought him, at least that would give us more chance of 6 points against Brighton every year. Fast, bustling, experienced in this league and dangerous: he is exactly what we need. With a decent, strong, all-round striker to play where Morison does, he could be lethal. If you could mix Antenucci and Morison, you’d have a goal machine. We need a big strong goal scoring centre-forward, and someone nippy to complement the squad.