Leeds United need to heed lessons of a positive night in the FA Cup - and their urgent need for another goal-getter is chief amongst them

Leeds United need to be more ruthless when they dominate teams as they did Arsenal on Monday - and competition for Patrick Bamford will go a long way towards that
Leeds United need to be more ruthless when they dominate teams as they did Arsenal on Monday - and competition for Patrick Bamford will go a long way towards that
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Leeds United are at a stage of their development where they need to learn more from the negatives in their performances than to take heart from the positives, according to coach Marcelo Bielsa.

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There was much to be pleased about from the Whites' FA Cup third round trip to Arsenal, but ultimately they were beaten.

That it was their inability to find the net when on top that was largely to blame shows the importance of replacing Eddie Nketiah in January's transfer window.

Bielsa's brand of attacking, possession-based pressing football is lauded across the world, with some of the planet's top coaches high on his list of admirers, but it has not been sufficiently reflected in silverware.

He led Argentina to a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, and won the Argentinian title with Newell's Old Boys and Velez Sarsfield in the 1990s, but has no major trophies to his name since. Having been out of the Premier League since 2004, this year is all about getting back there for Leeds United. So the coach is keen to see his team learn the lessons of a match where Leeds had 15 first-half shots against Arsenal but left the door open for a second-half Gunners response by failing to score.

“Sometimes it's important to focus on the positive things, but at this stage of our team's development it is more important to play consistently at a good level or better because we have important games coming up,” commented Bielsa.

Leeds hit the crossbar in the first half through Patrick Bamford, but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was able to inspire a much better performance from his new team after the interval and after hitting the woodwork themselves, through an Alexandre Lacazette free-kick, they scored the only goal of the game through Reiss Nelson.

Playing consistently over two halves is important, but the turnaround in the game owed much to Arsenal's improvement. They were given encouragement by Leeds's failure to slam the door shut when on top.

Swansea City are the only team in the Championship top 15 with a worse goals-per-game ratio than Leeds.

Still hoping to push through the investment they spent much of 2019 looking for, and having to be mindful of the Championship's financial fair play rules with the authorities seemingly keen to give them more teeth this year, Leeds do not have the budget to make a big-money signing in the January transfer window.

But now that Arsenal have recalled England Under-21 international Nketiah from his loan spell, the Whites cannot afford to rely on Bamford as their only centre-forward in the second half of the season.

Not only do they need cover for their top scorer, he needs to be pushed.

Never mind the players, it is a lesson the men in charge of Leeds's transfer dealings need to heed.