Tuesday nights 2-2 draw with Hull City left a lot of Leeds United fans questioning the logic behind Simon Grayson playing a 4-4-2 formation that has so far this season, proved very ineffective.

The more commonly used 4-5-1 formation is seen by most Leeds United fans as a stronger option both in defence (with a holding midfielder available to sure up our back-line) and in attack where our attacking midfield players have been knocking goals in almost at will this season.

Players lining up (by MAMF)

So it came as somewhat of a surprise when Davide Somma and Luciano Becchio were once again partnered up front, with Neil Kilkenny remaining on the bench. There’s been a nagging voice in the back of everyone’s mind for some time now telling us that Somma needs to be given more minutes on the pitch, or Leeds will run the risk of losing the division’s most consistent striker (a goal every 91 minutes his current average), but Simon Grayson’s call polarised opinion.

The result was quite a bitter-sweet one in many ways. For some reason, our defence seemed less troubled playing 4-4-2 than they so often do with an extra midfielder helping them out. But stability at the back seems to have limited the excitement factor that’s been present in almost every game so far this season.

We did create chances, and had it not been for Becchio missing two absolute sitters, the game would have been put to bed by half-time. Somma also had a dreadful opening 45, showing all the control and precision of a buckled unicycle.

Nothing had changed on the wings where Gradel and Snoddy were having no trouble beating Coventry City’s full-backs as  Leeds looked to get their noses in front, but the overall play seemed somewhat lethargic at times. Even the atmosphere inside Elland Road seemed half-hearted, despite the ever-amusing ‘she said no Marlon, she said no…‘ chant the Leeds faithful indulged in throughout.

A busy shift for Mad Max (by MAMF)

Even after the two missed sitters, Leeds were never in any danger of losing this one. Good work from Max Gradel created an opening for Leeds and when Jonny Howson cut back to Davide Somma 10 minutes into the second half, the outcome was inevitable.

1-0, and that’s how it stayed. A third gear Leeds United were unquestionably the best team throughout and deserved nothing less than three points but the game itself was an instantly forgettable one, that at times reminded me of the Blackwell era.

Players celebrate following Somma goal (by MAMF)

They say to be successful in football, you have to learn to win 1-0 and maybe that’s where Leeds United have been going wrong. The free-scoring thrillers are certainly much more pleasurable to watch than this one was, but with only one win from our last seven before kick-off, it didn’t really matter how we got the job done.

TSS man of the match

No vote this week because there’s only one possible contender in my mind and that’s Max Gradel. Everything positive Leeds United did today seemed to come through him. His shooting was a little hopeful and wayward at times, but he opened the Coventry City defence up effortlessly throughout.

Pictures used in this article are courtesy of MAMF