Fewer touches than Meslier: £70k-p/w disaster let Bielsa down, he's holding Leeds back – opinion
Leeds suffered their fourth defeat in five Premier League games on Monday night, going down 2-0 to West Ham at the London Stadium.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side looked a dangerous threat in the opening exchanges and saw a goal chalked off. The Hammers would then seize control thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard and Craig Dawson, and the Whites’ inability to convert their chances once again proved to be their downfall – they managed more total shots than the home side (17 to 16) but couldn’t find the back of the net once.
One man who really let Bielsa down with his display was Helder Costa.
The Portuguese flier was once again handed a Premier League start after getting one against Aston Villa, but delivered yet another ineffective performance, just like last time out.
Barring coming up with that ‘assist’ for Tyler Roberts’ disallowed goal, Costa was rather anonymous for Leeds, drifting out of the game after a promising opening.
He managed just nine passes in the time that he was on the pitch, and only had 19 touches in total – significantly lower than goalkeeper Illan Meslier, who made 35 passes and had 51 touches.
He also provided no key passes or crosses whatsoever, and failed to complete any of the three dribbles that he attempted – he just wasn’t a presence in attack at all.
In fact, such was Costa’s ineffectiveness, that Bielsa decided to take him off at half-time and replace him with Jack Harrison.
With just two goals and three assists in the Premier League all season, Costa really hasn’t been hitting the heights that Leeds need, and it’s no surprise that he’s come under a lot of criticism.
Speaking after his dreadful display against Villa, Noel Whelan said: “Costa was given his opportunity and once again he did not take it. We are talking about a £16m player here who did not affect the game in any way shape or form.
“He needs to show consistency. You need to make that position your own when your manager puts his trust in you from the start.”
His latest performance against West Ham just showed once again why the £70k-a-week earning man appears to be holding his side back.
Source: Football – Football Fan Cast