Another absolutely dismal display in League One from Leeds United resulted in an embarrassing 3-0 defeat away to Swindon Town. Whilst none of us expected to go an entire season without some rough patches, this particular run of results would be much easier to accept if it wasn’t for the impressive performances that have come in between them away to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup.

Managers will inevitably make mistakes and Simon Grayson’s run as the untouchable saviour of Leeds United has undoubtedly come to an end after he chose to pick the same team that battled hard at White Hart Lane for a fixture in the league just a couple of days later. Call me fickle, but when things are going well and he makes the right decisions, I’m the first to praise him. Equally, when things are going wrong and he insists on putting so much focus on cup games nobody cares all that much about, he’s going to open himself up to scrutiny and his decisions lately should be the first thing everyone points the finger at.

Last night, the team once again looked jaded and disorganised. Swindon Town, although more than deserving of the result simply aren’t as good as it makes them look. On a better day, I have no doubts that Leeds would have returned home with three points, but we lacked fight and determination throughout. Swindon simply wanted it more and whilst they gave 110% to earn the victory, Leeds gave about 40%.

For a club who allegedly has the most depth in this league, we seem to be having a hard time showing it when it matters. Teams that can afford the kind of cup runs we’re currently on have 23 players they can rotate throughout the weeks to keep the performances up, but Grayson has stuck with the same eleven far too often lately. It beggars belief that David Prutton was sent out on loan to one of our promotion rivals (where he scored) when this team is clearly in desperate need of freshening up with rotation.

I said after our last league game that the FA Cup run had come at too much of a price to our league form and I’m disappointed to be proved right once more. We have a lot of players who could do a decent job in JPT and FA Cup games, like Grella, Tres, White and Robinson, but they’re largely ignored whilst the same names appear on the team sheet time and time again. We’re at that time of the season now where Saturday and Tuesday fixtures will occur almost every week (something that isn’t helped by the amount of rearranged matches for the cups) and we have to start utilising this apparent depth or we’ll be sliding down the table faster than the interest accumulates on Manchester United’s debts.

Whilst I’m putting the brunt of the blame on Simon Grayson shoulders, the players shouldn’t escape scrutiny either. There was some seriously suspect performances last night and no matter how tired they maybe, I expect every player on the park to give 110% week in, week out for the amount of money they earn. They’re professional athletes at the end of the day. If they can’t handle three hours of football a week, there’s something fundamentally wrong with our training regime.

Coming up to the end of January now and Leeds United still haven’t won a game in the league this year. Colchester up next and a must win game now, or things are really going to start getting hairy at the top. Luckily, Charlton lost the other day to offer us some respite, but Norwich continue to perform well and for some reason, their six-fingered fans seem to have a bit of a hard-on for us and have spent the last 12 hours filling their forums and ours with endless dribble about us blowing the lead and them being superior. At this moment in time, it’s hard to argue against them, so let’s hope Simon Grayson can offer us something to fight back with when Saturday comes.