This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Things aren’t always what they appear.

That was the message that Noel Whelan wanted to get across when talking about Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford.

What’s he said?

Speaking with Football Insider, the former Leeds man spoke about the 26-year-old’s displays this season.

Bamford has gone six games without finding the net after scoring four in five earlier in the term and has hit a bit of a rough patch.

Whilst not providing the number of goals that people might be expecting, Whelan still claims he has still been very impressive:

“Patrick Bamford has done very well this season. His performance against West Brom last week was the best I have seen from him at Leeds. It was as good as you can get without scoring a goal. I spoke to him after the game and he said the manager’s happy with him as he’s doing what he wants him to do – his work rate, running into channels, pulling defenders out of position.

“I know why fans aren’t happy with Bamford as strikers are judged on goals but his overall game is spot-on, he’s doing everything right, apart from putting away the chances.”

Bamford deserves credit

Whelan raises a very good point here when talking about the praise Bamford has got from Bielsa.

There are some things that won’t go down on a stats sheet that he won’t get any credit for despite it being positive for the team, like his efforts to win the penalty against Derby, or his run down the wing against West Bromwich Albion which drew a free-kick.

Sometimes you need to look beyond what is being put in front of you and actually see what is going on around all the statistics to see if there’s anything you’re missing.

Is Klich’s form a worry?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes, Bamford could probably do with a few more goals to help his cause, but so could the rest of the Leeds team, as this graphic from Experimental361 shows.

For instance, if Mateusz Klich had dispatched the penalty against Derby, things wouldn’t look as bad and Bamford would have got more praise for his efforts in winning it.

There’s still a lot to be coaxed out of this team for sure, but it’s not as if Bamford is the sole reason that the team is being held back.

If the rest of the squad can start pulling their weight, then maybe it will give them a bit of a respite from criticism.


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Matthew Baldwin