Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has claimed that he would be a ‘nervous wreck’ playing alongside Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
The Spaniard, who joined Leeds from Real Madrid in January, has come under scrutiny for a number of his performances for the Yorkshire club, not least in their play-off semi-final second leg defeat to Derby County in May.
After another mixed performance between the posts in Marcelo Bielsa’s side 3-0 win over Salford City in the first round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, Neville was asked for his thoughts on the ‘keeper during Sky Sports’ coverage of the game, with the former defender saying: “He parries two back in towards his own penalty spot.
“I’d be a nervous wreck playing with him. That’s the first time I’ve seen him live tonight. He made some good saves but…”
Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who made 119 appearances in all competitions for Leeds between 1998 and 2004, also discussed Casilla’s performance during the broadcast, revealing: “Goalkeeping wise his saves were excellent.
“But again he’s struggled with the ball coming into his box. I know it’s something they’ve worked on but I think maybe they’ve worked on it too much because it’s in his head.”
Following the departure of Bailey Peacock-Farrell to Burnley earlier in the summer transfer window, Casilla now looks to be first choice between the posts for Leeds this season, despite the recruitment of 19-year-old Illan Meslier on a season-long loan from French side Lorient on deadline day last week.
I really do have to agree with Neville and Robinson here.
Casilla does look to be a brilliant shot-stopper, but his command of the area and decision making still leave much to be desired.
As a result, it often seems that you have no idea quite what he is going to do next, and you therefore imagine those defenders in front of him have to be on their toes much more with him than they would be with the majority of other ‘keepers.
Given this area of the pitch was a clear issue for Leeds well before the end of last season, I’m quite surprised that it isn’t something they addressed more urgently and decisively during the summer transfer window.Like what the FLW have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!