Leeds enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, winning five and drawing two of their first seven games with Felix Wiedwald between the sticks.
Even more impressively, the Whites only conceded two goals in those games and both of those came in the opening 3-2 win against Bolton.
It looked like manager Thomas Christiansen’s decision to replace last season’s goalkeeping hero Rob Green with Felix Wiedwald between the sticks was a shrewd idea.
Leeds fans were sad to see the goalkeeper go – and with good reason.
Despite being 37-year-old, Green played the full 90 minutes across all 46 of Leeds’ Championship fixtures last season, keeping 15 clean sheets.
And one of Leeds fan put it very well in a tweet after the club latest defeat – 3-0 loss to Sheffied Wednesday on Sunday.
However, Christiansen didn’t bring Wiedwald in just for the sake of bringing of a new goalkeeper in. Like Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, the Spaniard wanted a sweeper-keeper who could distribute from the back.
And Wiedwald was the best option for the Leeds – as another fan hilariously pointed out.
Wiedwald is a class footballer but a shite goalkeeper. Get him in centre mid
— Dan (@lufc_dan) October 1, 2017
However, one thing Rob green did brilliantly was dominating his box and making his defence feel secure in front of him.
By contrast, Wiedwald is a continental-style keeper – he’s not commanding from crosses and he doesn’t dominate his box.
And the Leeds defence is starting to get jittery.
In Leeds last three Championship fixtures, they’ve conceded eight goals and after the 3-0 defeat to Yorkshire giants Wednesday, Christiansen admitted he is going to analyses Wiedwald’s performances.
Asked whether his performance were leading to a loss of confidence in the defence, he said: “This is something I will analyse but when we lose, we all lose.”
The Champioship is a very different league to European top flights or the Premier League.
It’s a tough, physical, demanding league and a lot of teams rely on set pieces and cross – especially if they think they’ve spotted a weakness in their opponents.
And if a fan spotted such weakness – as this fan on Twitter – you can bet that the Whites’ opponents have.
— Mikey Mangan (@MikeyMangan1989) October 1, 2017
And that’s going to put even more pressure on Wiedwald. It’s right to say that the goalkeeper deserves time to adapt to playing style of the league, but he shouldn’t be expecting that to be long.
The Whites need to get their promotion season back on tract and that needs to start at the back.