Sam Allardyce has admitted that Leeds United’s recent form speaks volumes of the ability in the squad after their latest loss sent them closer to the Championship.
Relegation is now staring Leeds in the face after they fell to a 3-1 defeat at West Ham. Allardyce’s side need to win their final match against Tottenham to have any hope of avoiding the drop. Even then, it might be out of their hands.
They actually went in front against West Ham when Rodrigo volleyed in a long throw from Weston McKennie. However, the hosts equalised via Declan Rice before the break.
In the second half, goals from Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini took the game away from Leeds, who are stuck on 31 points – two adrift of 17th-placed Everton.
Leeds simply haven’t been good enough this season, under Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia or Allardyce. And the current manager has confessed that their squad has obvious shortfalls when it comes to two critical areas.
Allardyce told Match of the Day: “It tells you everything about the squad as a whole.
“There’s two areas you have to be really good at – defending and the quality in the final third. Unfortunately for us, particularly in the final third, the amount of times we had men in the box, but the final ball was not good enough.
“We had one chance in the second half to get back to 2-2 which would have been a result I would have been happy satisfied with. But we failed to take it and at this level you pay the consequences.
“We threw caution to the wind with four up top at the end and it never happened.
“Based on the first half performance and the first 15-20 minutes I knew one goal would not be enough. We had several opportunities to do better. We were the better team in the first half.
“The second half was not as good but we needed to keep it tight and when chances came, take it, and that’s were you have to be resilient at this level and we weren’t.”
Allardyce repeats his ‘constructive criticism’ of Leeds squad
In a separate interview with Sky Sports, Allardyce doubled down on his criticism of the Leeds squad.
He said: “We have to look at ourselves and say if we do win next week and do miraculously stay in the league, we have a long way to go in terms of quality for the squad.
“The first XI really show up there but when we need that squad these days they haven’t quite shown the impact in the short period of time. I may be being unkind to them but it is only what my very experienced eyes are seeing at the moment.
“We have to keep going. We have to lift the spirits for next week. They have to accept the criticism, it is constructive criticism.”
As stated, Leeds’ last game of the season will be at home to Tottenham next Sunday. It could be their farewell to the Premier League after three seasons back in the top tier.