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Leeds: Robin Koch disappoints in defeat to Arsenal

Leeds United were subjected to another heavy defeat on Saturday evening as they lost 4-1 at home to Arsenal, just four days after being thrashed 7-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

The Whites are in the midst of an injury crisis, particularly with key players Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper all sidelined, which hasn’t helped their fortunes of late.

However, that doesn’t excuse some of the defending on display against the Gunners, with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville labelling it as “like an under-9s team defending.”

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All four of Marcelo Bielsa’s side’s defenders could be subject to criticism, with Luke Ayling being told by 90min‘s Tom Gott that he needs to make sure he “knows the offside rule.” However, centre-back Robin Koch was particularly woeful, with the German being handed a 5.9/10 rating by SofaScore for his display, the lowest of anyone on the night.

Despite being a defender, the 25-year-old only made one tackle and three clearances throughout the 90 minutes, as well as winning just 43% of his duels. He also lost the ball 11 times whilst making 52 touches, which amounts to a loss of possession once every 4.7 touches.

The £15.3m-rated centre-back hadn’t played in the Premier League since the opening day of the season, in what was also a humbling defeat as Leeds lost 5-1 to Manchester United.

Should Bielsa drop Koch?

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Yes

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According to Transfermarkt, illness and a pubis bone contusion have kept the German out of action for three months, which may partly explain why Koch struggled against Arsenal.

Gary Neville highlighted the centre-back and Bielsa’s management of him after the match, stating: “That’s what happens when your centre-back is not there. Koch is out of position on this side.

“I just don’t see the benefit of Koch going, leaving his space and chasing Lacazette all over the pitch. Then leaving so much for the defenders to do.

“It’s not for me to talk about how Marcelo Bielsa plays the game but I am not having that, not against Lacazette. If that was a great player up front, who maybe could turn, get on the ball and run at you. Messi or someone like that. then you would want to go in and man-mark. But Lacazette is pulling the Leeds centre-backs, who are leaving enormous gaps and they aren’t good enough to fill them.”

On a night to forget for Leeds, and in particular their defence, it was Koch who was perhaps the biggest villain.

In other news – Forget Raphinha: Leeds’ £3.6m gem with 3 key passes was Bielsa’s shining light v Arsenal

Article title: Leeds: Robin Koch disappoints in defeat to Arsenal

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