Despite having played just two games, Leeds United appears to be in a bit of a slump at the moment given the performance of their opponents.
With their 3-2 victory over Birmingham City last night, Leicester City pulled ahead of the Whites by 13 points, but Ipswich Town is still in first place. Southampton has now played 14 games without a loss, bringing them level on points as well.
In the last five games, Daniel Farke has only made one alteration to his starting lineup, and that was to the left of defense, where Djed Spence replaced the injured Sam Byram.
Farke has to use his squad more since several players have recently seen their form collapse due to a lack of rotation, and this is really beginning to catch up with them.
In light of this, the following three players, given their recent performance, should be dropped or rested.
Illan Meslier is one of just two players this season who has participated in every minute of every game, the other being Ethan Ampadu.
But regrettably, he has recently cost Leeds far too many goals. Meslier made a “world class” save against Sunderland, but his hesitation to come off his line lost him the match when Jobe Bellingham headed in the winning goal from about three yards away.
In Coventry’s equalizer on Saturday, he was again caught rooted to his line when he ought to have been going out to punch. Given how frequently he still makes these mistakes in his game, it could be worthwhile to give Karl Darlow a lengthy time within the group.
Since leaving Rangers in the summer, Glen Kamara has given a number of outstanding displays; none more so than the thrilling victory over Leicester City in November.
However, Kamara has not quite performed at the same level in the last two or three games, and that may be due to a lack of rotation at the position that most certainly requires it.
Leeds is worth £5 million. It’s about time Ilia Gruev was given the chance, even if it was simply to give Kamara’s legs a break, as he was sitting on the bench hardly getting a look in.
In matches where he is not on the scoresheet, it is difficult to point out what Joel Piroe does. That has been the story of the last three.
Leeds have several decent attacking options on their bench just not getting a look in and players like Piroe need to recognise that poor performances can lead to being dropped.
With Ipswich Town to come on Saturday, Leeds can’t afford to carry any passengers in or out of possession. Piroe falls under that category at times, and Willy Gnonto should be the man to come in.