BBC pundit shares his observation about Championship defenders while watching Leeds

Leeds United East Stand

Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan follows Championship football closely.

Noel Whelan revealed on The Noel Whelan Show on BBC Radio Leeds on Friday evening (broadcast from 6pm, April 15) what he has noticed about defenders in the Championship while watching Leeds United.

Whelan follows Leeds closely and co-commentates on the Whites’ Championship matches every weekend for BBC Radio Leeds.

The former Leeds striker has claimed that many defenders in the Championship try to play the ball from the back instead of actually clearing it away as they should.

“I watch Leeds every week, and I just see a lot of the centre-halves want to be more like midfield players than actually enjoy the art of defending and keeping the clean sheet,” said Whelan on The Noel Whelan Show on BBC Radio Leeds on Friday evening (broadcast from 6pm, April 15).

“They want to either dribble out with the ball or rake passes and do a little bit too much on the ball these days.”

It is an interesting observation from Whelan, and one that could surprise many.

The Championship is very tough and a fiercely competitive domestic league, but it seems that the defenders want to ‘play football’.

The quality of football actually played in the second tier of English football is not great or pleasing to the eye, but it seems that the defenders are trying to make things different.

Perhaps every team wants to play like Barcelona, which is fine, but the problem is that not everyone can be Gerard Pique or Javier Mascherano.

Defenders need to understand that their main task is to clear the ball as early as they can. Of course, if they are able to play the ball from the back and clear the danger that way, then that is great, but they should not take any unnecessary risk and concede a cheap goal.

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