Journalist Ben Browning has stated his shock over Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch’s decision to play star man Raphinha at right wing-back during their crucial Premier League matchup against Chelsea.
Leeds found themselves closer to relegation after their 3-0 defeat against Chelsea after goals from Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, and Romelu Lukaku put the game to bed and stopped Leeds from helping their survival mission on Wednesday night.
In a game where the Whites needed to get some points from the game, it could be expected for Marsch to set his team up to play at Chelsea despite their evident gulf in form and ability. However, this was not the case as he set up with star man Raphinha at the right-wing back position amid their injury and suspension problems, which did not help the Yorkshire team going forward.
Journalist Browning identified this early in the game and questioned the decision by Marsch, stating on Twitter: “Raphinha at right wing-back for Leeds just feels all kinds of wrong”.
TIF Thoughts on Marsch’s deployment of Raphiniha…
While there is an obvious gap in ability between the two teams, Leeds needed to get some sort of points from this game in order to close the gap between them and fellow relegation candidates Burnley and Everton, with the latter picking up an important point against Watford.
With this in mind, it is mind-boggling why the American manager would choose to handcuff his best player this season by giving him added defensive responsibility instead of letting him focus on the attack and use his energy to get behind the Chelsea defence and potentially cause some problems.
Should Marsch have played Raphinha at right-wing back?
Instead, Marsch opted for Rodrigo, Jack Harrison, and Daniel James to lead the line, who have all had a worse performing season than the Brazilian. So far this season Raphinha has 10 goals and three assists with 2.4 shots, 1.8 key passes, and 1.9 dribbles per game, with all three attackers failing to best the player on any of these stats.