Leeds United have found themselves falling into a vulnerable position in the Premier League this season and the supporters will be hoping that newly-appointed manager Javi Gracia can save them from relegation over the remaining fixtures.
The Whites are currently 19th in the league table following their defeat to relegation rivals Everton at the weekend and must find a way to take all three points from their clash with bottom-of-the-table Southampton this weekend to improve their chances of survival.
Does Jack Harrison deserve to start?
The new manager will have a challenging task on his hands to improve the confidence within the squad and the performances on the pitch as Leeds have failed to pick up a single victory in the top flight since the beginning of November.
Therefore, the Spaniard must make important decisions regarding his team selection over the coming days before his first game in charge at Elland Road on Saturday
Gracia could become an instant hit with the supporters by finally dropping winger Jack Harrison with the Leeds player becoming more of a hindrance than a help of late.
Should Gracia drop Jack Harrison vs Southampton?
There is little doubt that the inconsistency in the attacking threat at Elland Road has been a cause for concern and, at times, cost the side points over their campaign so far.
Leeds’ inability to kill games confidently against their opponents has been a key contributor to their struggle to compete comfortably – losing to both Everton and Nottingham Forest by one goal in 2023 – with injuries to Luis Sinisterra and Rodrigo also affecting the depth in the forward line.
With zero goals and zero assists in his last four league fixtures, Harrison has struggled to make his presence known and, most recently, against Everton was in the firing line as one of the most disappointing performers in the team during a game that the side desperately needed to win – as the loss left them in the bottom three.
The £50k-per-week Englishman – dubbed “awful” for his set-piece delivery during the clash at Goodison Park by journalist Leon Wobschall – completed just 13 accurate passes, lost seven duels, committed two fouls and lost possession of the ball every 1.75 touches throughout his 86-minute performance – as per Sofascore – with this suggesting that he was a liability out wide.
Following the display from Harrison against the Toffees, Just Joe Football Show presenter Joe Wainman said: “Jack Harrison, oh my god. I will say it now, that is the worst performance Jack Harrison has ever put in for Leeds United.
“He couldn’t hold the ball, he couldn’t trap it. Why he continued to be allowed to take set pieces is beyond me. Why Skubala didn’t take him off is beyond me.”
With that being said, Gracia must finally ditch Harrison when he takes the reins at Elland Road this weekend and if benching the player pays off it will surely put instant faith in the new manager from the fans ahead of the remainder of the campaign, given how disappointing the Englishman has been in recent weeks.