Noel Whelan has told BBC Radio Leeds (broadcast on 16/9; 21:59) that he was extremely disappointed with Tyler Roberts’s display in Leeds United’s Carabao Cup defeat to Hull City on Wednesday.
Marcelo Bielsa made 11 changes from the side that really stunned Liverpool at the weekend. And it unfortunately showed, as the Whites were eliminated by the League One team at Elland Road.
A late Gjanni Alioski goal temporarily spared Leeds’ blushes and took the tie to penalties. However, Hull came out on top in a dramatic shootout.
It was an incredibly poor performance from the home side, who did not register their first shot on target until after the 80th minute.
There seemed to be very few players who could emerge from the game with any credit. Admittedly, it would be unfair to be too critical of some of the younger players. But a number of the senior members of the squad failed to step up.
And Whelan felt that Roberts was definitely one of those who failed to stake a claim for a chance in the Premier League.
“I look at Tyler Roberts, he was lethargic, he was never involved,” he told BBC Radio Leeds. “He didn’t look like he was hungry for the game. There was no pace about his game. When you’re playing that number 10 role, you’ve got to be the man that’s going to create, get into good areas, work hard to get into areas. Track back as well.
“There wasn’t much going on in my opinion. He huffed and puffed, but there wasn’t any energy or enthusiasm from Tyler this evening.”
It must be noted that Whelan also criticised a number of other first-team players. Roberts was not the only one to endure an off-night.
But it is perhaps most alarming to see the 21-year-old struggle. He is one of the players who has the ability to produce moments of game-changing quality – as he previously proved against Hull.
But there was very little of note from Roberts on Wednesday. And it would be no surprise if the majority of fans agreed with Whelan’s damning assessment.
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