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Leeds United fans rightly wonder what ‘set-piece specialist’ does at club

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Championship

Leeds United fans rightly wonder what ‘set-piece specialist’ does at club

The Italian has hardly improved matters for Leeds. In fact, they appear to have got worse.

Leeds United lost in the Championship last night, going down 2-0 at high-flying Fulham.

The result at Craven Cottage was more than fair as Fulham dominated much of the game with the Yorkshire outfit struggling to contain their attacking philosophy.

But once again Leeds fans were left astounded by the team’s inability to defend set-pieces. It has been a concern for the club all season and again the problem reared its head last night.

Before Fulham’s first goal Aleksandar Mitrovic had a free run at a header from a corner. On that occasion, Bailey Peacock-Farrell kept him at bay. Not long after it happened again. This time the Serbian’s effort deflected off Kevin McDonald and into the Leeds net.

As reported by LUFC Data on Twitter, the set-piece statistics for Leeds are simply damning:

However, if any team in the Championship should not have this issue, it is Leeds. In November they actually appointed a set-piece specialist.    

Former Fiorentina, AC Milan and Brentford man Gianni Vio arrived in October. Whilst better regarded as an attacking set-piece specialist he has also been working with the club defensively – as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Well, Leeds are still not exactly thriving from attacking set-pieces whilst defensively they have been woeful.

Much of it is down to their rather deep zonal marking system, which twice allowed Mitrovic to have a free run and jump at a header for Fulham. Personnel does not help either. For instance, with Kyle Bartley organising at the back Leeds always looked solid defensively last season. The same cannot be said about the current campaign.

Leeds’ inability to cause damage from set-pieces is only made worse by their woeful defending against them. Fans on Twitter are asking one thing, what exactly is Vio doing at Thorp Arch on a daily basis…

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Mathew Nash

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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