Former Leeds United defender Dominic Matteo has blamed the team’s lack of experience, poor game management and players being ‘too nice’ for the club’s play-off failure.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men threw away a two-goal advantage at Elland Road as they were beaten 4-3 by Derby County to miss out on a place in the Wembley final.
It means the Yorkshire club will spend another season in the Championship, after a campaign that showed so much promise and produced so much expectation from their supporters.
Leeds are the first team in over a decade to top the second tier table at Christmas and not be promoted in the same season, while this is also the FIFTH time they have not succeeded in the play-offs – three times in the Championship, twice in League One.
Matteo believes one big reason behind the team’s failure is the team lacks leaders and the players are ‘too nice’ to each other on the pitch.
This is Leeds we’re talking about, right?
Speaking on Thursday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Leeds and Liverpool man said: “Last night Derby got it right and credit to Frank Lampard, he’s very new to management but he’s doing an amazing job and he maybe outwitted Bielsa last night.
“The game management from Leeds sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. What killed Leeds last night was the goal just before half-time and the goal just after.
“There’s no experience in the team. At 2-0 in the tie there’s no one talking on the pitch, no one organising, no leaders, no one putting their foot on the ball and slowing things down. They only play one way.
“If there are a couple of mistakes players don’t get on each other, they don’t have a go at each other, it’s too nice out there at times.
“Sometimes when I made a mistake and you’re playing with Mark Wright or when I played at Liverpool, they’d tell you, ‘come on you need to pull your finger out and do better’.
“Now it’s just a little bit too nice and I think Leeds really struggle with that. I think they’re all nice guys, there are no leaders out there.
“Pontus Jansson should have played last night. I know Berardi started the first-leg, but Jansson has been one of the best centre-halves in the division all season.
“Just little decisions like that cost Leeds.
“I just think we generally lacked the experience, game management and leaders to get us over the line at the crucial time, and we didn’t turn up in the big games towards the end of the season.”