The Lowdown: Leeds suffer Forest defeat
The Latest: Wainman slams Struijk
Speaking on the JustJoe Football Show, Wainman tore into Struijk’s performance – particularly his role in Forest’s goal – and questioned if he still rated him as a player.
He stated: “I’m not sure on Struijk anymore.
“He was shocking today. Terrible going forward. We’re going to have to start playing Firpo. But you don’t need to bring Brennan Johnson down.
“The yellow’s stupid, I was fuming with the yellow.
“You don’t need to bring him down because Jack Harrison’s on the cover. When the ball comes in, his clearance is terrible. Ayling’s left Brennan Johnson, and Brennan Johnson hits it first-time, he’s in hot form, bang, 1-0.”
The Verdict: A rough patch
We believe that Struijk has hit a bit of a rough patch, but he is one of the best options that Leeds have in the left-back area, as Junior Firpo has hardly featured in the league this season, forcing the Dutchman to fill in there throughout the campaign.
His performances in his last four Premier League games have arguably been underwhelming – his 6.9/10 performance against Forest was his highest-rated display on Sofascore since the turn of the year – but he’s proven he can be a strong asset for Leeds this season.
Presenter Conor McGilligan raved about the defender earlier in the season, claiming he has ‘ridiculous talent’ when talking about the player on Twitter.
Our view is that a new manager could help spark a revival in form for Struijk. It’s clear that Leeds needed a change in the dugout after their recent sluggish form.
Carlos Corberan is reportedly one of the candidates on the club’s list. The West Bromwich Albion boss has lifted the Baggies up the Championship table from relegation battlers to pushing for a spot in the play-offs.
In our view, someone like Struijk could really benefit from an appointment like Corberan.
He used to manage the Whites’ Under-21s, so should have an idea on how manage those still in the early stages of their careers, and it’s clear from his time with the Baggies that he can improve a team with the resources at his disposal.
But it remains to be seen if he can do that at Premier League level and keep Leeds up should he be appointed.
Though as far as Struijk is concerned, his focus should remain on staying in the side as the team go through this transition.