Scott Parker has insisted, in comments reported by Football London, that he was not at all surprised by Leeds United’s performance in their dramatic opening day defeat.
The Whites were beaten 4-3 at the home of the champions. But it was a game which saw Marcelo Bielsa’s side make a fantastic statement upon their return to English football’s top table.
They equalised three times against Liverpool. And it was only a late penalty that decided the contest. Leeds’s performance has prompted many to laud the Championship title-winners.
Many are watching on fascinated to see how Bielsa fares against some of the world’s best managers, with many taking a seat in the opposite dugout to the Argentinian for the first time.
One boss who does know what it is like to come up against Bielsa however, is Parker. Leeds and Fulham were promoted together last season, with both sides claiming one win each.
And the Fulham man insisted that his previous experience of coming up against Bielsa meant that he was not one of those who was taken aback by how the Whites played at Anfield.
“It wasn’t a surprise for me at all,” he said, as reported by Football London, when asked if the performance shocked him. “I watched large parts of Leeds last year. They’re a team we looked at a lot. They’re a physical, well-drilled team.
“I’m not going to be surprised when they carry on doing that throughout the year. The team has been settled for some time under the managment and understand what is expected of them. Is it a concern, no not really, it’s a challenge we’re relishing and looking forward to.”
TBR View: Midweek Hull defeat may help Leeds
On paper, it appears to be a safe bet to back Leeds to beat Fulham. They both lost on the opening day. However, while Leeds stunned many, Fulham were poor against Arsenal and were beaten comfortably.
That is potentially where Leeds’s Carabao Cup defeat to Hull City may prove beneficial to Bielsa’s men.
While the boss made 11 changes, it certainly brought the team back down to earth. It may have just provided the club with a small reminder of what can happen when they are not at their best.
Leeds proved that they have the quality to push any side in the division. But Bielsa will be reminding his squad that they cannot afford to take their next opponents lightly.