Leeds United 0-AS Monaco 2. Pre season workout. Another tough challenge for Leeds United with more players back at Thorp Arch.
Leeds have less than two weeks to go before the start of the new season with only one new signing so far: Amapadu. Many players have left to reduce the wages bill, more are rumoured to follow. So Leeds are expected to sign more – they certainly need to – a left back and a striker. Farke does not expect to have settled on his favoured squad until end of August by which time Leeds will be a few matches into the season.
AS Monaco are a difficult team to beat, attacking in numbers and with pace. Leeds are rough around the edges, passing as badly as last season, and a lack of service to the strikers.
Monaco took control of the second half with Gnonto conceding a penalty, but Leeds forced their way back with Gnonto and Drameh adding pressure, but Monaco’s experience pressured Leeds when they tried to play out and earned them a second goal.
A lot of players were given a run out in front of Farke. Players who are rumoured may leave Leeds: Meslier, Summerville and Struijk. One new player – Ampadu – is there with number 4. There are plenty young players being tried out: Cresswell, Gray, Hjelde, Gyabi, Joseph, Gnonto, Gelhardt and Rutter. Some players have returned from their loan spell: James, Shackleton and Drameh.
And some old hands: Ayling and Bamford.
Farke is beginning to show his style. There is some agressive link play in the opposition half wtih Sinisterra and James. Leeds played out from the back – Meslier is not a natural at this and I imagine there will be a new first choice. The wingers were busy but the strikers lacked enough service. The cross-field passes to the wingers are positive in getting the ball forward, but a lack of balls through the middle. Farke also likes his Left and Right backs playing forward when Leeds attack.
Who played well: Sinisterra was dangerous going forward; Ampadu was strong in centre of defence, a goal line. Gelhardt was busy.
Who struggled: Gray struggled to pass accurately, Mesier’s goal kicks were loose. Gnonto’s 50-50 which led to a penalty and a self-inflicted injury.
Question marks: whether Rutter is ready to be a Championship top striker is unclear; Cresswell, now an England under-21 player, is a strong contender for the Leeds defence but not yet ready, Bamford is back but without the service may not be convicing.
Oddity: Sam Byram given a second half run out.