Five things we learned from Leeds' defeat against Ipswich

Elland Road Revie Stand

Uwe Rosler's side fell to their first league defeat of the season against the Tractor Boys.

Leeds United's unbeaten start to the campaign screeched to a halt last night following the visit of Ipswich, who didn't have to be at their best to secure the three points at Elland Road.

Mick McCarthy's side won the game through a first half Tommy Smith header, although the blame rather unanimously lies with some suspect defending on Leeds' part.

From there, the hosts never really looked worth a point; stumbling towards the finish line despite a bold penalty shout in the final ten minutes.

Here are five things we learned from the Whites' 1-0 defeat:

1. The search for Uwe Rosler's optimal system goes on

After scoring again from the bench at the weekend, Mirco Antenucci was restored to the line-up to partner Chris Wood in a 4-4-2 setup. And though there were some early promising signs as far as the duo's relationship went, it didn't take long for the team as a unit to suffer. The overriding sense was that it felt forced and restrictive. Not to mention, self-defeating in its aim of providing solidity.


Opponents Ipswich, meanwhile, persisted to set the barometer for how a 4-4-2 should function. Their two banks of four were rarely ever displaced, their natural wingers knew their roles soundly, and most of all, McCarthy's side played with a physicality and attentiveness that Leeds couldn't negate. Unlike the hosts, it was all natural.

Ipswich weren't outstanding by any means, but their organisation didn't wane. And as is often the case, it doesn't always require much more than that to pick up points in this division.

2. Tom Adeyemi's effectiveness in a two-man midfield

The system change brought about different roles for Rosler's men, and most that were forced into adapting didn't fare so well. Tom Adeyemi has been promising when operating in a lone defensive midfield position, but particularly on home soil, his potency playing alongside a teammate in a flat midfield four is questionable.

Leeds struggled to move the ball in the more congested areas of the field, and Adeyemi is at the head of that. His main contributions don't revolve around distribution of the ball; it hinges upon work rate, energy and disruption of the opposition. At home, when intent needs to be shown, a flat midfield four doesn't seem to be very optimal for the 23-year-old.

3. An over-usage of Chris Wood as a focal point

For the second home game in a row, Leeds' new striker was gobbled up by an imposing centre back duo. On Saturday against Brentford, it was James Tarkowski and Harlee Dean, while last night, it was Tommy Smith and Christophe Berra who carried out a near-identical job on Wood.

Ipswich have one of the most physical defensive cores in the division, yet that didn't stop Leeds from persisting with long-range hits forward into their battered and bruised striker. In some ways, however, the option was just about the only one the home team had on. As mentioned in the previous point, the link between midfield and attack was a struggle throughout.

4. Patience is running thin for Marco Silvestri

Leeds were on top until conceding half an hour into the game, while the method of Ipswich's goal when it did arrive provided even more of a sting. Marco Silvestri flapped at a corner at his back post, before being left all at sea by the time found its way to the head of Tommy Smith just yards out at the front post.

It was a rough night for the Italian, who struggled in seemingly ever facet of the game. His decisions when it came to distribution put Leeds in danger on a number of occasions as the contest went on, while the sight of Rosler screaming at his goalkeeper to hurry up while dawdling to retrieve a free-kick rather summed up the night.

5. Rosler's lack of confidence in the outer edges of his squad

The German has made his feelings on his squad known, and it's not big enough for his liking. At present, Rosler is relying on 12 or 13 players to take on the workload of Championship football, and to no surprise, Leeds have picked up just a point from two underwhelming games on a short turnaround.

Jordan Botaka's impending addition to the first team will help to alleviate that somewhat, but the options at hand from the bench are quite evidently not taking Rosler's fancy at present. Movement in terms of incoming loan additions likely won't be too far away.

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