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Why Thomas Christiansen Should Be Wise To Make This Key Decision For Leeds United Going Forward

Andy Lonergan

Why It Is Not Fair To Blame Wiedwald For Leeds’ Failures

Despite some comments of encouragement publicly for his German stopper, Thomas Christiansen caved to fan pressure last weekend by replacing Felix Wiedwald in the Leeds United goal with Ander Lonergan.

Fans of course, praised this decision on social media when the team was announced for the Reading match, some former players also commenting that they could understand why Wiedwald was dropped.

Before the game against the Royals, Wiedwald had started all 11 of Leeds’ Championship matches this term and had been part of a very solid defence, one that managed to go over 600 minutes without conceding a single goal at one stage.

That said, Wiedwald was questioned by fans on more than one occasion for being at fault, not commanding his area and such which reached a peak after a 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, a defeat which simply exaggerates the feeling regarding certain players and it seems Wiedwald has paid for that.

Having only been at the club for a matter of weeks and having played just 11 times, it seems extraordinary that Wiedwald has taken so much of flak from Leeds fans for his performances despite the whole team failing in recent games.

Felix Wiedwald

Also, one has to bear in mind the unconditional support handed out to former No.1 Rob Green who was definitely partial to a mistake, with one particular mishap sticking in the mind.

After much bullish banter in the lead up to Leeds v Newcastle last November regarding how Jansson and Bartley would eat up the Newcastle forwards, Green inexplicably dropped an easy catch right on his line for Dwight Gayle to tap in the opener. Green was not dropped, nor was he vilified too much for such errors.

Lonergan returned to Elland Road in the summer from Wolves after Green was allowed to leave, though not all of the fan comments regarding the decision to play him against Reading were positive. Some remarked about Lonergan coming off his line without cause and the bottom line of course is that Leeds lost the game again, 1-0.

Whatever your opinion on which current goalkeeper is better; it wasn’t necessarily a brave decision by Thomas Christiansen to replace Wiedwald with Lonergan. The braver decision would be to stick by his choice of No.1 and back him, though whether that is right or wrong cannot be decided after one game.

Personally, I would put Wiedwald back in and comment publicly that he is part of a defence which had started the season well but as a unit has failed in recent games. They must improve together and we should not single out one person.