Having watched his Leeds United side lose 5-1 to Palace and 6-1 to Liverpool, Javi Gracia must make changes at the back and with both Liam Cooper and Max Wober fit – both have to start, and here is how he can combine both.
Danny Murphy has said this week that Pascal Struijk cannot play for Leeds again. He has started the last four games at centre-back – in which Leeds have conceded a whopping 16 goals. He lacks the intensity and experience needed.
Cooper has been on the bench for a number of games now and is fit, and raring to go. Meanwhile, Wober was in the squad on Monday night. Both are available for selection come Saturday lunchtime when we face Fulham in London.
But given both players are the same position, alongside mainstay Robin Koch – how can Gracia maintain a four-man defence, but include both players? A new role for £11m Wober might be the answer to Leeds and Gracia’s woes.
Cooper and Wober have to start and here is how Leeds can combine both
It was obvious that Struijk that needed replacing ahead of Fulham, watching him struggle on Monday night. But it was clear that Leeds were also overrun in the middle of the park. Brenden Aaronson was almost playing as a striker.
If Gracia wants to play a side that are going to sit off the ball – likely to be a similar approach away at Fulham, then why use Aaronson? He is a player that can change games. But, his best attribute is work rate and pressing.
Leeds, if we are going to play more defensively and try to stop Fulham on Saturday, then we are better packing the middle of the park. Gracia should use Wober, but at the base of the midfield in the Tyler Adams role with Marc Roca.
With the experience and leadership of Cooper at centre-back with Robin Koch, and Wober in front of the defence, it would also allow Weston McKennie to get forward. Both Cooper and Wober need to start – and this is the best way.