This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Patrick Bamford bagged his 14th goal of the season for Leeds United on Saturday, but Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to hook the striker at half-time resulted in his side gripping the game by the scruff of the neck and going on to secure a 3-0 win.
Leeds are back in action tomorrow evening against Luton Town, which leads to many wondering whether Bamford will retain his place in the side for the visit of the Hatters.
Tyler Roberts moved into the attack from midfield on Saturday and did well, with the Welsh international certainly an option for Bielsa.
With that in mind, we discuss whether Bamford will continue in the side…
I think he should start.
Bamford didn’t have the greatest of games by his own standards on Saturday, but he still managed to pop up at the right time and grab another goal and add to his tally for the season.
Fulham seemed to nullify his threat really well hence why he was taken off at half-time, but against lower-half teams like Luton you would expect him to be a handful as he was against Middlesbrough and Huddersfield.
I wouldn’t expect Bielsa to make too many drastic changes, as he isn’t that type of manager and he has shown unwavering faith in Bamford.
It’s a tough call for Bielsa to be making. The Leeds boss was clearly frustrated with Bamford’s first-half performance on Saturday and the striker was really struggling to make an impact after his goal.
His hold up play was atrocious and even for his goal, he got lucky with Harry Arter’s interception falling kindly for Helder Costa.
The second-half saw Leeds impose themselves on the game in a much better manner and Roberts combined well with his midfield as Leeds took control of the game.
Whilst that would suggest that Bamford might miss out, it is worth considering that Luton will give Leeds a different test on Tuesday night. It will be an arm wrestle and, in that respect, Bamford is a better option than Roberts.
It might be a case of Bielsa using Bamford to tire Luton’s defence down before turning to Roberts later on, just like he did at Hull City earlier in the season.
That’s the way I’d go.
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To be honest I can’t really see him getting dropped.
The whole season we have seen calls for Bamford to be dropped from various areas and Bielsa has always stood by the forward.
Again, we’re seeing a few onlookers suggesting that it’s time to make a change but I don’t think the Argentine will follow such a path.
For me, I’d have considered dropping him when Eddie Nketiah was at the club but now, with Jean-Kevin Augustin injured and Tyler Roberts probably not an out and out goal-scorer himself, I don’t see it changing massively at the moment.
Phil Hay has played down the idea of Ryan Edmondson featuring much this season, too, so I think it’s going to be as you were with Bamford for now.