Jesse Marsch doesn’t trust Patrick Bamford at Leeds United after leaving him on the bench for so long against Brentford, according to Kieron Dyer.
The Whites had the better of the game at Elland Road on Sunday (22 January) but couldn’t find a way through a stubborn Bees team, with the game ultimately ending goalless when the win appeared to be there for the home side.
Bamford had scored three times in his previous two games after finally breaking his duck for the season against Aston Villa (13 January) and the fact that Marsch only gave him a late cameo in a winnable Premier League clash suggests the manager isn’t sold claims Dyer.
Speaking live on Sky Sports News after the game (22 January, 4.29pm) Dyer said: “Bamford looked really sharp when he came on… and you don’t bring him on until the 78th minute?
“For me, I don’t think he’s having Bamford.”
He went on: “You’re trying to win the match. You’ve got someone who’s full of confidence. When Leeds were doing well in the Premier League under [Marcelo] Bielsa Bamford was the main man, and I’ve never got the vibe that he really trusts Bamford.
“It’s a home game, you need to win your home games. Okay, a draw has been a good result for both teams but the game was there for the taking in the second half and you’ve got Bamford who’s on the bench and comes on with only 10 minutes to go.
“I thought it was very strange because he did look very sharp and he’s very good at linking up the play and bringing other people into the game.”
Given the firepower that Marsch has to work with now it was certainly surprising that he left his primary striker on the bench for so long, regardless of his injury issues.
He didn’t bring on record-signing Georginio Rutter or loan exit-bound Joe Gelhardt on at all despite new star boy Willy Gnonto having a quiet game and top-scorer Rodrigo a frustrating afternoon.
So there are certainly questions to answer for the American when his defence was finally looking strong as to why he didn’t switch it up in attack, since one goal would have taken three massive points.
Yet it seems a stretch to suggest Marsch doesn’t trust Bamford when there have been times when it appears he, and the club in general, are relying on him too much.
The 29-year-old has had a miserable couple of seasons with injury, leading fans to anticipate a back-up number nine arriving in window after window, but despite the presence of Rodrigo and Gelhardt it was another second striker in Rutter who was signed at great expense.
Bamford recreating that form he showed under Bielsa is forever the objective and Marsch has made clear he believes it will happen despite the many absences, but it did look like a mistake not to give him more of a chance in the Brentford draw.