, Leeds United snap shots:  Kalvin Phillips – from maligned to magnificent

Leeds United snap shots: Kalvin Phillips – from maligned to magnificent

Last season, in what many proved to be a mediocre Leeds United side, Kalvin Phillips was, well, mediocre. That’s all changed.

It is true, in an underperforming Leeds United side, Kalvin Phillips sank back into the glowering and brewing mediocrity. He’d managed to hit seven goals in the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign, adding value with three assists.

Yet, still, there were sections of the Whites vociferous fanbase who lambasted him for all manner of things. He’s too slow, his decision making is flawed, he’s too this and too that. yes, it is safe to say that he became one of the maligned at Elland Road.

Yet, under new manager Marcelo Bielsa, Kalvin Phillips has risen like Lazarus. From the maligned cripple, archetypal of a struggling side, to the magnificent multi-purpose player demanded of by Bielsa.

This season, under the guidance and tutelage of the legendary Argentinian coaching maestro, Phillips is reborn. He’s changed positionally, flitting between defensive midfield enforcer and central defender.

Maligned and criticised he may have been, but that was the old Kalvin Phillips model. What Leeds United fans are seeing is the Bielsa upgrade, the new Kalvin Phillips.

Kalvin Phillips – 2017/18 vs 2018/19 – The Bielsa Upgrade
, Leeds United snap shots:  Kalvin Phillips – from maligned to magnificent
Kalvin Phillps 2017/18 (yellow) vs 2018/19 (blue)

The above player radar for Kalvin Phillips displays his output across 2017/18, compared with his output throughout 2018/19 so far. Aside from the stats for passing accuracy (passing%), all the others are ‘per 90 minutes’. This allows a more fair comparison across a full and part campaign.

Even a glance shows that the 2017/18 output (yellow) is swamped by the 2018/19 output (blue). In fact, the only 2017/18 outputs to feature more than what he’s achieved this season are his scoring contribution and key passes; yet, these can be put down to his positional switch.

Phillips has been turned into Leeds United’s version of N’golo Kante, or a version of Claude Makelele. Seeing him snap into tackles, steal the ball from opponents has definitely revised Leeds United fans opinions of him.

Phillips 2017/18 (bold) vs 2018/19 (blue) – the numbers
  • Passing Accuracy: 72.4% vs 83.2%
  • Pass Attempts: 32.5 vs 60.3
  • Key Passes: 0.7 vs 0.5
  • Scoring Contribution: 0.2 vs
  • Successful Dribbles: 0.4 vs 0.5
  • Dispossessed: 1.1 vs 0.6
  • Fouls: 1.8 vs 1.6
  • Dribbled Past: 1.7 vs 1
  • Possession Adjusted Tackles: 2.6 vs 2.9
  • Possession Adjusted Intercepts: 1.3 vs 1.9
  • Possession Adjusted Blocks: 1.4 vs 1.6
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