It has been bothering me since the preseason games and thought i would air it in a discussion.
Is our current midfield formation correct for the players we have? Is it the players not completing their assigned Tasks correctly? Is it the age of the players not allowing them to meet the requirements in terms of fitness after contacting covid?
Take Klich for example. Prior to his 2 bouts of Covid his fitness levels allowed him to constantly move both in attack and in defence causing oppositions to be dragged out of position for a 90 minutes each game. Since he has returned from his 2 bouts of Covid he look a shell of the player fitness wise he once was. Going by the games thus far this season he looks a 55 minute player. Does this put pressure on the remaining central midfield 2? In my eyes yes.
Dallas also seems to be down on his fitness which has seen him start to resort to the much hated fall over at the slightest contact approach (i hate it). Is this also causing our central midfield trio to not function correctly?
Phillips, has playing for England in a less rigid position in that midfield seen him forget that that Leeds united operate at the best when he is screening in front of the centre backs thus allowing the two Fullback to bomb forward with ease of mind instead of holding to cover the central defender who drawn forward into that number 10 position that other teams forwards are dropping into (where Phillips sat over the past 3 seasons). Is this causing our midfield 3 dynamics to fall apart?
My answer is that all of the above is causing the issues. Not to mention the ball movement has been extremely slow this year and each player taking to many touchs before passing. Take Shackleton's play of a example of our previous 3 seasons touch & ball movement speed was and should be again.
Me, i would play Klich 60 minutes a game and have him replaced by one of our under 23's midfielders (Jenkins or Bates - if McCalmont & Boguez were here they fit nicely into the pairing role for 30 minutes a game) or is Ayling is fit then maybe Shackleton starts there and Klich replaces him at the 70 minute mark. I would have Phillips watch his positioning so far this season and have watch his past 3 seasons and ask him to explain the difference. His strongest ability is to read the game when it is infront of him thus allowing him to either spray passes all over or act as a front sweeper...