A late Max Gradel penalty spared Leeds United’s blushes at Hillsborough after former Whites midfielder David ‘Jesus’ Prutton scored a superb goal to put the Owls ahead within the first ten minutes.
The game proved to be more of a test for Leeds United than earlier friendlies, but the football on display was just as disappointing. As is always the case with pre-season friendlies, quality football comes second to building fitness and this was no exception.
Ben Parker suffered yet another injury and joins our growing list of players who are likely to miss the start of the season. You have to wonder how many more injuries Parker can take before his life as a professional footballer is prematurely ended?
Hungarian international Boldiszar Bodar started the game as a trialist for the Whites, but on today’s evidence this will probably be the first and last time I have to check Google for the spelling of his name.
Alex Mendy faired a little better than Bodar in his second outing as a Leeds United trialist and could have done enough in the last two games to earn himself a contract. Former Villa youngster Isaiah Osbourne was also given another chance to impress for the last 30 minutes but opinion on him is somewhat divided.
Simon Grayson once again made good use of his squad with six substitutions throughout the course of the fixture. Ramon Nunez was one of the players taken off, which was a little surprising as he impressed more than most and will be desperate to prove he’s ready to take the step up. His removal could however indicate that the Honduran has already done enough to seal his place in the starting line-up for Southampton away.
The real talking point was the lack of danger Leeds United pose upfront with Luciano Becchio and Davide Somma ruled out for the start of the season. Both Billy Paynter and Ross McCormack looked less threatening than our usual forwards, but it’s hard to judge in friendlies when you’re missing several key players who could be providing the chances for these two on opening day – most notably, Robert Snodgrass.
The amount of changes throughout the game and the standard below-par performance expected in friendlies means it’s a distorted view of the first team you get. At no point throughout the game did we have what I would consider to be our best available XI on the pitch, and with trialists thrown into the mix it makes it even more difficult to get an accurate picture of how we stand.