During Leeds United’s match against Preston North End in the first half, Andy Hinchcliffe was left perplexed by Illan Meslier, pointing out that at one point the fans were booing the goalie.
Illan Meslier’s first half was uneventful. In just seventy seconds, Leeds was behind. Furthermore, when the visitors had set pieces, the Whites did not appear credible.
Meslier did pull off a great stop at his near post to deny Liam Millar. Just after the half-hour mark, though, the Frenchman managed to irritate the supporters.
Illan Meslier irritates Leeds supporters during the Preston match’s first half.
Preston had a chance to enter the penalty area after a free kick went wide. On this windy afternoon in West Yorkshire, the attempt was overhit, though, and the ball appeared to be making its way towards Meslier very safely.
The Leeds goalie, however, chose to punt the ball clear rather than attempt to catch it, so the home team still needed to fight to eliminate the threat.
I could hear moans beneath the surface. Speaking on Sky Sports (aired on January 21 at 12:33), Andy Hinchcliffe also implied that the fans’ annoyance was understandable.
“The response from the fans reveals everything. You’re punching that, but why? Simply grasp it,” he uttered.
There is zero pressure on him. Why in the world are you punching that clear and sort of holding the ball in play? It is not necessary.
There is still uncertainty around Whites’ goalie.
You can see why fans might be apprehensive about the 23-year-old. He is without a doubt capable of some amazing stops. This season, Meslier made incredible saves against Sunderland and Leicester City.
He hasn’t been able to silence his detractors, though.
It feels a bit like the early success Leeds enjoyed under Thomas Christiansen, and Felix Wiedwald’s ability to keep several clean sheets with little effort.
When Wiedwald was put to the test, the issues began. And it was soon evident that the German was not capable of handling the situation.
In goal, Meslier is far superior to Wiedwald. There isn’t a single doubt. However, Meslier should still be examined closely when he is tested, despite Leeds’ strong performance this season.
There are moments when his possession seems dubious. It’s also evident that he’s still developing his decision-making skills.
That could be a problem as the campaign’s commercial phase approaches.