The saying goes something like: if you are not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space. A meme that hints at, and encourages, an element of risk-taking over safety-first approaches.
Risk is not a bad thing, it doesn’t have to be dangerous; it can actually be a good thing, if managed properly. Conversely it can end up as a disaster if managed incorrectly. Two sides, one coin.
Leeds are drifting towards the tail-end of what is another pretty disappointing season. We will likely see ourselves end up around mid-table with anything 10th or above seen as a resounding success. How bad does that sound, breaking into the top 10 in the Championship seen as a ‘resounding success’? It does, and it should, make any Leeds fan angry.
Mind, it was said at the start of this season that a top 10 placing was an aim. Should Steve Evans return that, he can be said to have made a success of Uwe Rosler’s prediction. It’s achievable – risky, but achievable and something that we should aim towards.
What other risks could we take? There are nine games left, should we be experimenting a little? I’m not urging that caution be hurled to the winds and we start playing like some of the FIFA16-qualified ‘managers’ on social media advocate, but measured risk.
Like when Neil Redfearn introduced Kalvin Phillips towards the end of last season and gave him his chance. That certainly paid off, we found out enough about about Kalvin Phillips.
Three players that should get a look-in before the end of the current season.
1. Casper Sloth
A genuinely forgotten man at Leeds United, an international player for Denmark who we have seemingly cast aside. Played sparsely by Neil Redfearn then not at all by either Uwe Rosler or Steve Evans, Sloth has drifted way out of Leeds’ midfield picture.
He plugs away in the Whites’ Development side, where his efforts have at least been noted by Steve Evans who praises his attitude and work ethos. Praise though is like a promise of food to a hungry man; without the delivery of food, the man will still hunger.
Sloth is a cultured player, you don’t make the Danish national side repeated times just on luck. It’s not as if he’s underperforming in the Leeds United Development side either – five goals to his name is testament to this. Five goals, picture that, five goals from a Leeds midfielder. Surely that alone warrants some sort of look at him before the season’s out.
2. Frank Mulhern
Leeds United head coach Steve Evans has already said that he is keeping tabs on Frank Mulhern and fellow Irish striker Eoghan Stokes saying “both boys are giving themselves every opportunity.”
19-year-old Mulhern is already an established Ireland Under-19 international with seven appearances and two goals to his name. This scoring is also evident for Leeds United’s Under-21s where he has scored seven times this season.
3. Eoghan Stokes
Like Frank Mulhern, 19-year-old Stokes is an Ireland Under-19 international, having played nine games and scored four goals. Again, like his Ireland compatriot, Stokes has been scoring for the Leeds United Under-21s, matching Mulhern’s seven goals for the Development side.
Whilst scoring for the Under-21s is obviously very different to scoring in the first team, being involved in the squad with minutes here and there would at least give us an idea of what both of these young Irish strikers have and what they can bring to the side.
Managed risk, the way forward for Leeds United.