Matt Kilgallon has hinted that now may be the time to drop Patrick Bamford after his performance for Leeds United in their dramatic draw with Newcastle on Saturday.
Kilgallon was speaking to BBC Radio Leeds after Sam Allardyce’s side played out a 2-2 draw with the Magpies inside a bouncing Elland Road.
It is hard to know what to make of the point. Beforehand, plenty would have taken a point. And at 2-1 down during the second-half, even more would have been delighted to get something from the contest.
But it could have easily been so different. Junior Firpo won a penalty shortly after Luke Ayling had put Leeds 1-0 up. And it was Patrick Bamford who took the ball to step up.
Bamford missed a crucial penalty against Arsenal earlier in the season. Meanwhile, Rodrigo has been prolific this term. And the Spaniard has scored from the spot in the Premier League.
Kilgallon hints time has come for Leeds to drop Patrick Bamford
Plenty of Leeds fans would have, unfortunately, not been expecting the ball to find the back of the net. And that proved to be the case, with Nick Pope saving the effort relatively easily.
Bamford put the ball at a good height and he certainly did not come that close to finding the corner.
The 29-year-old has not looked confident for some time. He did have some bright moments when battling with defenders on Saturday. And he was involved in the opening goal of the game. But he was poor in front of goal himself.
‘For his own good’
And with that, some must be wondering whether Bamford needs to be dropped. Kilgallon certainly did not offer much of a backing when asked if the time has come for a change to be made.
“We spoke about Meslier, didn’t we, is it time to take him out? I said for the Leicester game, I think we should’ve taken him out. And you saw it in the game, he did two kicks out of his hands. He’s never done that before in his life. In training, he’d be able to hit a sign from 60 yards away with no problem,” he told BBC Radio Leeds.
“Just with Bamford now, for his own good, I’m not saying he might be wishing he’s taken out. But maybe, that penalty today, could someone have taken that off him and taken that pressure off him?”
Allardyce backed Bamford to be a key player for him during his first press conference as Leeds boss. But his confidence appears to be on the floor right now.
It would be a massive call to drop Bamford for the final two games of the season. But it really feels as though it is getting to the stage where sticking by him is an even greater gamble.