York City 1 Leeds United 1
Trialist 23, Dalby 57
I thought I had it all sussed for the trip to York City; we’d been told that the players we’d see at Bootham Crescent would be a completely different group to those we saw at Forest Green on Tuesday night and that seemed sensible since the XI down there played the full 90 minutes.
Right, I thought to myself, we’ll get to see Jamal Blackman, Tyler Roberts and Lewis Baker, three certainties I thought… well, one outta three ain’t bad I suppose!
Quite why Jamal Blackman wasn’t in goal or even on the bench, I’m at a complete loss to understand and with the dearth of information coming out of the club at the minute, no one seemed willing to explain. It was the same with Tyler Roberts, even Phil Hay seems at a loss to know what is going on with him, merely able to report that the club hoped to have him available at some point during the pre-season games. There is a similar lack of information about the likes of Eunan O’Kane, Hadi Sacko, Caleb Ekuban, Vurnon Anita and Luke Murphy, but the fact that we didn’t see any of them last night, and haven’t heard anything about them all summer, suggests they have all been discarded and that sooner or later they will be announced as ex-Leeds.
So, what about the players we did see at York? Well, Lewis Baker looks to have some promise, busy in midfield all night and, once he’d settled into a clearly “experimental” side put together for no other reason than to give all the “wanted” players a run out, looking a very likely candidate to at least make the bench when we set out on the new Championship campaign. We got to see Mateusz Klich again too and as usual he split the fans opinions between those who fail to see why he doesn’t get more game time and those who continue to be frustrated that he constantly “nearly” looks good. His passes would be truly incisive if they just got through to their intended targets. I have to say though that playing him at centre back alongside Ronnie Vieira suggests both of them were being given game time but maybe are not currently being considered for the 1st XI. Yosuke Ideguchi had spells when he looked good enough to feature in a competitive game too, albeit he also had long spells when it was too easy to forget he was even on the pitch.
As for the rest, well they all looked exactly what they are; young lads getting their first tastes of senior football. It is way too early to expect any of them to play more than a walk on role in this season’s drama. That applies to keeper Will Huffer, (although in the first half our other keeper, Miazek, did look to have something about him), Jordan Stevens, Jamie Shackleton, Jack Clarke, Hugo Diaz, Ryan Edmundson, Sam Dalby, and the unlucky Oriol Rey who was left on a lonely bench all night. Laurens De Bock put in a decent enough showing in his normal left back role but the fact that Bielsa preferred Dallas there on Tuesday and also had Berra playing with the big boys at Forest Green suggests De Bock is still way down the pecking order. As I say, it’s all guesswork though as we are getting so little direct information from the club generally and Bielsa in particular.
All we can really say is we had a lot of players playing out of position last night, presumably just to get them all playing some footbll, and therefore we struggled with a more experienced and organised York side for twenty five minutes or so. But then the better quality, if maybe still at the development level, of our young players gradually came through and that at least proved we have some quick learners in our second level group.
What will we see at Southend on Sunday? I have absolutely no idea!!!!