Phil Hay has urged Jesse Marsch to use common sense and hand Maximilian Wober a Leeds United start in the Premier League this weekend.
Wober was the first signing of the month for Leeds as he joined from RB Salzburg – making him the fourth from the Red Bull Group – but despite being available for two games, he was not selected to start either of them.
Indeed, the Austria international has come off the bench in games against Cardiff City and Aston Villa, so hasn’t had the best of times since joining the club, having started in a shock draw against the Championship outfit before the damning defeat away to Villa last Friday.
Leeds have an FA Cup replay this midweek against Cardiff, but the more important game is at the weekend, with Marsch’s side set to welcome Brentford to Elland Road on Sunday as they look to move away from the bottom three.
Hay believes this weekend has to be the time Marsch finally unleashes Wober at left-back.
Speaking on The Phil Hay Show, he said: “I do think there are probably some quite basic things that could help the team. I suspect the time has come to give Wober a go now at left-back.
“I wasn’t sure it was necessarily fair to single Struijk out for the goals on Friday – certainly the first one. He did show [Leon] Bailey inside, so Bailey was able to shoot with his left foot, but if you look at that attack and the process of it, at the point where the ball goes out to Bailey, suddenly, Villa have runners going in all directions towards the box. You can see in Struijk’s mind that he doesn’t really know who to cover because nobody else is there to provide support.
Should Wober start this weekend?
“I think common sense tells you that if Wober has been signed predominantly as a left back and as an option there, given Struijk’s form at the moment, this is maybe the point at which you have to say look, [he was] Salzburg’s captain, he’s 24, he’s a bit older, he’s more experienced – would it make sense to get him in the side? I think it probably would.”
TIF Thoughts on Wober…
Having signed someone early on in the window that was brought in to address an area of weakness in the squad, to only have him sitting on the bench for two games in a row makes very little sense from Marsch.
Leeds have indeed struggled at left-back all season with Pascal Struijk filling in there most of the time despite being a natural centre-back, so it doesn’t show good signs that Wober hasn’t been able to dislodge him yet.
Many may well have expected Wober to walk straight into the side given he was captaining a club playing European football and Leeds were struggling at left-back, but Marsch either hasn’t been impressed with the defender or he’s allowing him to integrate himself into the squad slowly. But with changes surely needed given recent results, now is perhaps the time to give the new mean a try.