Illan Meslier looked like a petulant child walking off the field after Leeds United’s loss to Bournemouth on Sunday – despite playing a key role in the Whites’ capitulation on the south coast.
That is the view of BBC Radio Leeds pundit Jon Newsome, who suggested that the Leeds goalkeeper needs to look in the mirror after what happened at the Vitality Stadium.
It was less than a month since we beat Nottingham Forest at Elland Road. That result, and the performance which went with it, suggested that Leeds had put one giant step towards safety. But that is no longer the case.
Newsome slams Illan Meslier after Leeds defeat
Leeds have been a shambles since, taking one point from their last five games. And the worst performance yet came this weekend as Bournemouth dismantled Javi Gracia’s side.
It was an awful display. But what did not help was Illan Meslier producing another calamitous showing between the sticks. The 23-year-old has been struggling for some time, making some terrible mistakes along the way.
There were better signs against Leicester in midweek. But he was back making mistakes on Sunday, flapping at the cross for Bournemouth’s second goal. And the fourth seemed to go straight through him.
Many fans have been calling for a change for some time. But Newsome suggested that he got the sense that Meslier felt that others had actually let him down.
“You know the worrying part for me is that the way that he walked off, he looked a bit like a petulant child,” he told BBC Radio Leeds. “He looked a bit mardy, he looked a bit like it’s everybody else’s fault, and shaking his head. And I think you’ve had a real big hand in the defeat today with your performance. And I think sometimes you’ve got to look in the mirror.”
At this point, it is probably naive to assume that Javi Gracia will definitely be in charge against Manchester City next weekend.
But if he is, he is asking for trouble if a number of players feature against the league leaders. And Meslier is certainly one of them.
Joel Robles was signed to be an understudy. But it is now hard to see how he could be any worse – especially when he has a point to prove if he gets a chance.
Meslier is talented and has a bright future. But he has been nowhere near good enough for some time.
Sticking by him is doing him no favours.