Speaking recently on Match of the Day, Ian Wright took aim at Leeds United centre-back, Liam Cooper, for his performance against West Ham United on Friday evening.
Since arriving at Leeds from Chesterfield in what was a £675k deal back in 2014, Cooper has so far gone on to feature 207 times for the club, chipping in with eight goals and providing five assists along the way.
So far this season, the £6.3 million-rated 29-year-old has impressed for Marcelo Bielsa’s side over his nine Premier League appearances, making an average of 2.6 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and 3.4 clearances per game, culminating in an average WhoScored match rating of 6.94 – ranking him as the club’s joint second-best performer in the top flight.
However, following the Whites’ 2-1 loss to West Ham on Friday night, Wright, who was speaking on Match of the Day, criticised the centre-back for his defending from set-pieces, specifically for Angelo Ogbonna’s 80th-minute winner.
He said (1:05:18): “You look at Cooper, he’s getting himself under the ball, he’s got to be closer to him. For me, he’s got to be closer to Ogbonna, and in the end, he gets under the ball. It’s poor defending, in the end.”
Do you think Cooper was poor against West Ham?
TIF Thoughts on Ian Wright’s comments regarding Liam Cooper…
While it is indeed true that Leeds conceded two goals from set-pieces against West Ham, and that Cooper perhaps could have done slightly better in his handling of Ogbonna for the defender’s winning goal in the fixture, the statistics stated earlier prove that the Scot is a key part of Bielsa’s side, and has highly impressed so far in the Premier League.
As such, if we were a fan of Leeds, we would not be worrying about Cooper’s defensive shortcomings anytime soon.