Many Leeds fans are coming around to the fact that the 4-0, 20 minute surrender to Brighton might not have been that bad a thing.
Since the ‘Amex Debacle’, Leeds United have turned a corner in terms of both performances and results, now being the proud owners of a three-game win streak. First Bolton, then Cardiff and now Blackburn have fallen to defeat at the hands of the Whites.
As well as collective improvements for the team, although there are still hints of worry, individual performance has also developed with players putting in the graft and upping their game. One such player is defensive midfielder Liam Bridcutt.
The diminutive, yet powerful Bridcutt has been something of a revelation at Leeds United since his arrival on loan from Premier League strugglers Sunderland. His displays since his arrival at Elland Road have caught the eye of not only Leeds fans but also those of Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, earning him a recall to the Scotland squad to face Denmark later this month.
Yesterday, against Blackburn, Bridcutt was back to his bustling self and turned in a display that showcased not only his prowess but also the importance that he has within the Leeds United set-up. Both in defence and and in possession, Liam Bridcutt showed just what he can do in a Leeds United shirt.
Bridcutt puts the numbers up for the Whites
- 68 touches
- 42 accurate passes – 79% accuracy
- 3 key passes
- 15 defensive actions
Defensively speaking, midfielder Bridcutt gave Leeds that assurance at the back as he performed the ‘number 6’ role with aplomb against Blackburn, as testified by his 15 defensive actions, a figure that represents 22% of his total touches for the game. These actions, when broken down, give some indication as to how important Liam Bridcutt was patrolling that area in front of the Leeds United defence, something he does well in tandem with fellow defensive midfielder Toumani Diagouraga. During his performance at Blackburn, Bridcutt performaed the following defensive actions as he helped to keep Rovers at bay: five defensive headers, four tackles, three blocks, three interceptions and three clearances. Leeds put in a sterling effort in defence yesterday at Ewood Park and Liam Bridcutt was a part of that effort.
Liam Briductt was also effective at the other end of the pitch, as testified by his input into the Leeds United passing display. Of his 68 touches in the game, 42 of these (61.8%) were accurate passes and, of these 42 accurate passes, three were classed as ‘key passes’ (passes that lead to a teammate shot at goal). To put that into further perspective, the three key passes represent just over 7% of his total accurate passes for the game – a more than respectable return.
Leeds will hopefully draw on this versatility from Liam Bridcutt when local rivals Huddersfield Town visit Elland Road on Saturday in a game where the visitors will be hoping to avenge a 3-0 home defeat from earlier this season.
featured and in-text image credit: Haeidi Haigh ‘Follow Me and Leeds United’ (Facebook)