Over the weekend, Jesse Marsch and his team played host to Brentford in the Premier League. It was a feisty affair that lacked any true moments of attacking quality with both teams having to settle for a point following the goalless draw.
No doubt the Whites would have been glad not to lose on the day but their wait to win a league game now stretches to six consecutive matches.
Perhaps they could have turned a draw into a victory had they just been able to lift the level of performance a little higher in the second half but it seems as though not everyone was at their best in that period.
Indeed, while speaking on a LeedsLive Facebook stream after the match, Cross was happy to criticise the efforts of a “leggy and tired” Roca.
He said: “Roca, I felt faded. I thought he had a pretty good first half, Marc Roca. Certainly not as refined in his tackling as [Tyler] Adams. But he got about the pitch well, put his foot in, was a disrupter to Brentford when they were trying to build attacks.
“But in the second half, he started to look quite leggy and tired and made some quite tired challenges which left Leeds in the lurch at times.”
Roca is still in his first season with Leeds after arriving from Bayern Munich in the summer for a transfer fee reported to be in the region of £10m.
Since that move, he has fast-established himself as a regular under Marsch and has played in every Premier League game so far this term, starting in but one.
Against Brentford, however, it seems he wasn’t at his best. Indeed, on top of the issue pointed out by Cross, he didn’t fare well statistically either.
For instance, he lost the ball 16 times during the game. Only Jack Harrison and Luke Ayling gave it away more for the Whites. He also won just 2/5 ground duels while midfielder partner Adams was more impressive in his tackling with 7/11 won. Roca also gave away two fouls (via SofaScore).
With all that in mind, it’s no wonder the Spaniard was subbed before the final whistle. He’ll no doubt hope to have a better day at the office next time out.