Sam Byram mocked by Sky Sports as Leeds United ace suffers stinker in 3-1 defeat v Southampton
Sam Bryam will have Leeds United fans thinking Junior Firpo is Roberto Carlos after his shocker of a performance in the 3-1 defeat at Southampton on Saturday.
Byram, 30, was making his ninth appearance of the season for Leeds after returning to Elland Road on a free transfer in August but despite impressing last time out in a goalscoring display against Watford, the Thurrock-born full-back was off the pace massively on the south coast.
Southampton blazed into a three-goal lead in the first 35 minutes.
Bryam clearly struggled with the pace at which the home side started the Championship clash at St Mary’s with Adam Armstrong’s second-minute goal finding the Leeds full-back out of position before the Saints striker made mincemeat of him for his second goal just after half an hour.
For the first goal, Byram seemed as though he wasn’t tuned into the game at all.
As you can see in the image above, the left-back is well-positioned and has maintained what is a decent-looking Leeds backline.
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However, it soon starts to fall apart.
Liam Cooper inexcusably steps forward to play Armstrong onside and allow the Southampton striker to run in behind him diagonally towards Byram.
But instead of tracking the run, the former Norwich full-back also steps forward to try and intercept the through-ball even though he’s been caught flat-footed and has no chance.
Before Byram knows it, Armstrong is in behind, one-on-one against goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
Armstrong’s second goal saw him toy with the hapless left-back as he wrong-footed him so badly he fell over.
Cue a tweet mocking him by Sky Sports Football.
Stats by Who Scored further highlight Byram’s poor performance.
He was dispossessed four times, more than any other player in the whole game. He did win two of the three tackles he attempted and made three interceptions but was also dribbled past once, didn’t complete any dribbles and ended up having three shots that were all off target. Weirdly, Byram had more shots than any other player for Leeds.
It was a grim performance by Leeds as a whole but serious questions are bound to be asked about Farke’s decision to sign Byram on a free if he continues to play the way he did at St Mary’s.
Leeds’ left-back position has been an issue for a very long time, arguably since Charlie Taylor left the club in 2017.
Players have been forced to play out of position there, have been big-money failures or have been signed without simply being good enough.