Leeds 2-1 loss to Fulham on Saturday may have ended their 11-game unbeaten run, but it was a concerning performance in more ways than one.
Indeed, it wasn’t so worrying due to the fact that Leeds played poorly, but it has to concern some United supporters when they watch their nearest challengers for a top-two spot put on a performance such as Fulham’s over the weekend.
After being relegated, the London club were one of the promotion contenders at the beginning of the season, simply due to the strength of their squad. They have a former Championship Player of the Year winner, a £22m striker, a defender who was once called up to the England squad as well as a plethora of other talented stars.
The only real point of weakness at Craven Cottage was the fact that the Whites have a rather unproven manager in Scott Parker. While he’s guided them to fourth place, they haven’t always been too convincing, losing on seven occasions, most notably because the manager’s plan A hasn’t worked out.
However, against Leeds, Parker showed a managerial maturity that we hadn’t seen from him before this term as he adjusted his team’s style in order to counteract the challenges that playing a Marcelo Bielsa managed team pose.
Parker set up his team to sit much deeper than usual in order to soak up pressure while frustrating Leeds’ attack.
The Fulham boss played a blinder by setting his team up so defensively, and if the former Tottenham midfielder can continue to show this type of managerial acumen from now on it could spell trouble for Leeds’ spot in the top two from this point onwards.