Andy Couzens has expressed his concern over the current form of Leeds United’s Kiko Casilla, stating that the pressure is on him now to turn his form around before he faces the axe.
Leeds are currently struggling to recapture the form that saw them cruise to an 11-point gap over third place before the festive period, with their performances in both penalty areas being attributed as the main reasons for this dramatic dip.
While Patrick Bamford and co. struggle to find the net as efficiently as their Championship rivals, the problems are even more rife in the Leeds United goal, with Kiko Casilla coming in for strong criticism following a string of high profile errors directly leading to goals and costing Marcelo Bielsa’s side points.
Since the 2-0 victory over Hull City on the 10th December, Leeds have failed to keep a single clean sheet, and have seen their ‘goals conceded’ tally skyrocket from a mere 10 goals up to 30.
Blame has been laid squarely at Casilla’s feet (and hands) with his failure to deal with simple shots and crosses that wouldn’t necessarily warrant concern from the crowd, had it not been for a goalkeeper with a knack of causing major defensive mishaps in the past at Elland Road.
Couzens had this to say when asked whether he would be concerned over the Spaniard’s current form.
“You’d be stupid not to (be concerned),” the ex-Leeds midfielder stated to Football League World’s Chief Editor Sam Rourke this week.
“There’s been mistakes from Christmas time; Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday where he’s beaten at the near post, he was beaten at the near post against Forest.”
Alluding to Casilla’s failure to deal with crosses in Leeds’ dramatic 5-4 win over the Blues along with near-post mishaps, he went on to highlight a glaring low-point in Casilla’s current run of form: “Then, what happened at Brentford, you’ve got to be looking at that side of it and think the young kid (Meslier) must be pushing him now a little bit.”
Despite his poor run, Couzens still thinks that Marcelo Bielsa will keep his faith in the experienced stopper going forward. He continued: “I don’t think he will change him, personally. I think he will keep him in until the end of the season, but I certainly think he’s under a little bit of pressure regarding his position in the team.”
Couzens then outlined how it’s beyond just Casilla’s problem.
He signed off saying: “Up until Christmas time, he was absolutely top-notch, but the whole team was. We are under a bit of pressure now and we’ve got to make the right decisions.
“We all have opinions as fans, and yes, Kiko is under immense pressure now from his No.2.”