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07 Jan 2020 22:04:12
I note in previous threads about last night's game the depressive amongst us have suggested we only played well first half because Arsenal couldn't be bothered or at most had underestimated our threat, and that they bossed us second half when they actually tried. Might there be another explanation to the the turnaround in the second half?
Did Bielsa actually want to win the game or risk being saddled with a replay? Perhaps he sent the team to play to the maximum first half to show the watching fans, media and the players themselves just how well they could play, then playbthe second half in a manner which would achieve the desired result of being able to concentrate on the league.
Bielsa himself described the fixture as an obligation - suggesting that, given the choice he would have opted out. Beckford commented that the second half performance was the worst he had seen from Leeds - almost inexplicably poor.
Just saying.

Agree2 Disagree0

07 Jan 2020 22:48:29
Wild and far fetched theory. Bielsa actually tried to lose? I think not.

08 Jan 2020 00:06:36
Alf - do you honestly think Bielsa wanted an FA Cup run?

08 Jan 2020 07:20:20
I don’t think he wanted fa cup run but not in his blood to try and lose.

{Ed047's Note - I agree because if you’d scored 3 or 4 in that first half what would Bielsa have done then 🤷‍♂️

08 Jan 2020 08:19:55
Yes, agree with Alf. Even tho my post said I was happy that we lost (a post that was berated by Ed047 and yet my reply to his accusations has gone conveniently missing) I don't believe it was a cunning plan by Biesla. Like Alf says, Biesla doesn't coach to lose or draw, and neither would any of us want that.

{Ed047's Note - it was certainly of no inconvenience to me to simply delete it.

If you weren’t bitter about it you wouldn’t have made the bitter remarks in the first place or sent in your childish reply.

08 Jan 2020 08:46:27
Yes, but we didn't actually score, though I accept we were trying to score a goal at the time - and not even Bielsa could have believed that Arsenal could be so comprehensively dominated in that first half.
Alternatively, perhaps we were going all out for the win first half, but as we failed to score he suggested at halftime that if Arsenal did happen to score first, we shouldn't go all out to earn a replay. Why risk an additional game before the punishing February fixtures - particularly when losing the game would provide a two week break ahead of those fixtures. Yes it isn't in Bielsa's nature to lose, but it is widely accepted that he has only given himself two shots at promotion with Leeds - and that is the victory he is focused on - so why would he put it at risk?

08 Jan 2020 09:11:11
Alternatively, it could have been the players themselves who, even sub-consciously could have thought 'why should be bust a gut to earn a replay', knowing the ultimate prize (on which they are also totally focused) could be put at further risk by doing so. They would have known Bielsa would take that defeat philosophically, in the context of the overall project.

08 Jan 2020 10:42:28
not sure about this at all

truth is for me very simple. we outplayed them first half. partly because we played well. partly because they played badly. they then upped there game and we couldn't live with them

i don't think any sportsman at any time every doesn't try their best to win

we was outclassed when they went up a gear. that's fair enough they should out class us but to suggest anything else to me seems a bit of a push.

08 Jan 2020 11:08:50
Clueless. I’m with you, and suggested as much immediately after the game. I thought the reduced urgency in pressing, the deeper sitting defence, less pressuring on their back line was apparent. So far fetched theory or not, I believe it was intentional.

{Ed047's Note - you’ve not convinced me, we did to you exactly what you did to us in that first, we over ran you but we scored.

But you don’t have an extra fixture so alls good. 👍

08 Jan 2020 11:33:41
Berm they didn't really outclass us in terms of skill, their intensity and focus went up significantly - they had clearly been well and truly wound up by Arteta at halftime (Lacazette or Nelson commented in interview after the match "he shouted alot") - and ours dropped off a cliff in comparison with the first half. Their goal was a scruffy one, rather than the result of any particular skill.
Our players could have fought fire with fire in terms of intensity and aggression but had they done so they would have risked escalated aggression from Arsenal and risk of injury/ suspension which would undermined our promotion push. It was clear from the handling of Xhaka first half that we were not going to get anything from the officials - further illustrated by failure to deal with Lacazette's petulant kicking of Bera. And if we'd got a draw - we'd have faced at least 90 more minutes of the same - with the same risk. So perhaps subconsciously our players backed off a little. Winning promotion is worth far more in all senses to the players (and they know it is to the club and fans too) than a draw at the Emirates.

08 Jan 2020 12:36:36
Ed you tried pressing us at the start of the first half, but we went through you, or over you (with accurate distribution by Meslier) and so you backed off. This was noted by commentators on both BBC and Talksport. It was the increased aggression in your pressing that was different at the beginning of the second half - more Birmingham City than Man City. The officials saw nothing of course but bought every dive of yours and of course booked Klich for a tackle on Xhaka that was no worse than four he himself had committed with no sanction by the ref. Plus the Lacazette incident. Face it, you should have been down to nine men, but it would have been Leeds players given their marching orders if they had met fire with fire.
Had we won a replay it would have been TWO extra fixtures overall and TWO fixtures more than we now have ahead of a very tough schedule of fixtures in February which in large part will dictate whether we are promoted on not. Put yourself in the the boots of a Leeds player in that second half - what would you have done.

{Ed047's Note - I didn’t see us doing any pressing the the first half, we were abject.

Stepped it up in the 2nd half which we needed to, closed you down all over the pitch and won the game.

I’m taking nothing away from your team nor trying to big up mine, we won a game of two halves, it’s that simple.

I’m just not believing you let it go, like a said, what if you had banged 2,3 or 4 goals in first half which your football deserved.

2nd your boys would have stood around watching us bang 4, 5 or 6 in.

If your a big team or want to be one you have to battle on multiple fronts mate and winning breeds winning mate.

08 Jan 2020 15:26:50
Ed - if you read my posts again you will see that I suggested three SEPARATE alternative scenarios - the third of which is most plausible. Having NOT scored in the first half and then gone behind, the Leeds players (perhaps subconsciously) , when faced with battling against a highly motivated Arsenal team and extremely poor officiating just to get a draw, concluded is was not worth going all out to do so at the risk of jeopardising the main aim of promotion. Your point ready what if we had banged in some goals first half is not relevant to this scenario.
On your last point, we have a big and passionate fan base and a notable history and yes we do want to get back to the big time. However we are not there yet, and we currently have a paper thin squad which has already been blighted by injury, so pragmatic choices need to be made, whether subconsciously or otherwise.

{Ed047's Note - mate it’s no problem, it’s differing opinions and I have no problem with yours was just giving one from my perspective.

There is no right or wrong and as I said you now don’t have the extra game so alls good.

08 Jan 2020 16:11:39
Ed - any chance of posting my previous reply to your comment.


{Ed047's Note - it hasn’t gone anywhere, it should still be on this thread unless you’re talking about a reply I don’t know about.



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