Illan Meslier concern outlined as Leeds United gear up to face Watford

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Leeds United have a defensive issue that is not helping Illan Meslier’s confidence, according to Gabby Agbonlahor.

Six games in and Leeds are still looking for their first win of the season after a gutting defeat to West Ham last time out.

It’s the longest winless run of Marcelo Bielsa’s time at Elland Road and pressure is mounting on the side to get out of this current rut.

Up next for the Whites is another home clash, this time facing newly-promoted Watford.

It’s not a case of it being a season-defining match for either team, but both will know that a win could go a long way to restoring confidence of beating the drop.

One issue Leeds need to solve is their defensive shape and conceding goals, with Michail Antonio’s winner the 14th they’ve conceded – only Norwich have shipped more at 16.

In goals, Bielsa has a dependable youngster in Illan Meslier, but even he will struggle to keep clean sheets this season if his goal continues to be peppered.

That’s the view of Gabby Agbonlahor, who had this to say to Football Insider:

Leeds are in a situation where they’ve got defenders are out, West Ham had 20 shots against them, that’s worrying.

“Every week teams are having lots of shots against them. Their goalkeeper is a good goalkeeper but he’s not going to be able to save them all.

“That’s the problem with Leeds. It’s a big, big problem. For me, if they don’t fix that problem teams will figure them out. Teams have worked out that if you work as hard as Leeds and you have better attacking players than them you will win the game and that’s what happened.

“Will they beat the likes of Wolves? A Burnley? I think they will in the games they’ve got left.

“But they need to work on their defending because that’s the issue. They’re just really open and I don’t like it.

“Sometimes you can hold your position, double up on players like Benrahma and Antonio. That’s what cost them and it was very naive.”

What is good to see this year is that our defensive injuries are actually being acknowledged.

We haven’t named the same back four twice in a row once this season, and it shows in how we’re conceding and allowing shots at goal.

Agbonlahor is right to share his thoughts on Meslier too because even though he’s a superb goalkeeper, he’s not going to save everything thrown his way, he needs some cover at least.

I still hold a lot of faith that we will come good though, given how we did last season and which players we’ve still got to return.