When the team news dropped, Leeds fans only had one thought: why is Joffy not starting?
Supporters have been crying out to see more of Joe ‘Joffy’ Gelhardt, who scored with his first touch in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Chelsea and also earned a match-saving penalty in his previous substitute appearance against Wolves.
With last season’s top scorer Patrick Bamford still out injured, Marcelo Bielsa surely had nothing to lose by giving Gelhardt a go from the off at Manchester City.
Joe Gelhardt came on at half-time but Leeds were already 3-0 down at Manchester City
And yet the 19-year-old striker was frustratingly left warming the bench once more, with winger Dan James again playing out of position as a centre forward and failing to seize his chance.
It was an admission of a mistake from Bielsa that he brought Gelhardt on for James at half-time. But by then the game had already gone, with Leeds managing just six final-third passes in a pitiful first half.
Of course, it is unlikely Gelhardt alone would have altered the course of a one-sided match, which was Leeds’ heaviest ever defeat in the Premier League. But the spark he has shown in his limited game time is the sort the Whites need to reignite their stuttering season — and Bielsa would do well to start him on Saturday against Arsenal to give Elland Road a lift.
Lesds fans have been crying out to see more of the teenager after his impressive cameos
Not that Bielsa ever makes decisions just to please his public. The Leeds boss is stubbornly loyal to his first-choice players. You only need see how he stuck by the misfiring Bamford in Leeds’