Leeds’ All-Around Player Named Stuart Dallas

Leeds United are the most attractive promoted team in the 2020/21 Premier League. Going on the higher league did not make Marcelo Bielsa’s men appear reactive when facing more established clubs. Bielsa maintains his philosophy, playing attacking and entertaining football. Leeds football hit Premier League clubs and elevated them to the top 10 competition.

Mathematically, Leeds is not safe from the relegation zone. However, their achievements are much better than fellow promotion clubs, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham. These two teams are in the red zone until gameweek 30. In contrast, Leeds are ranked 11th, collecting the same number of points as Arsenal, only losing on goal difference.

Leeds banging power is much better than the other two promoted clubs. The Whites have scored 47 goals (conceded 48), while Fulham have scored just 24 goals (conceded 41) and West Brom have scored 25 goals (conceded 59). Leeds’ cumulative opportunity value (xG) (45.9) is even the fourth best in the Premier League, only losing to Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Bielsa achieved this achievement by relying on a large part of the squad that took part in the Championship last season. The likes of Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford, Mateusz Klich and Stuart Dallas are still irreplaceable in the top 11. Among Leeds’ legacy squad, Dallas is one of the most attractive game profiles in the Premier League. The defender from Northern Ireland is capable of carrying out the various roles that the coach has asked for.

Dallas plays an important and irreplaceable role. This season, he has always played in 30 Leeds Premier League matches. He had the highest playing minutes at Leeds (2,689 minutes). He has always been a starter and has only been replaced twice throughout the English Premier League. Of the two changes, Dallas was pulled out when the game entered the 81st minute and injury time.

Most of the time, Dallas was installed as a left full-back. However, he can also fight as a right-back or central midfielder. According to Transfermarkt data, in the 2020/21 Premier League, Dallas started the match nine times as a left-back, eight times as a right-back, six times as central midfielder, five times as an attacking midfielder, and once each at the right midfielder and defensive midfielder. .

The versatility of the player is not only beneficial as a coating option during hurricane injuries. It also allows Dallas to take on the sophisticated role that Bielsa demands. In the Leeds squad, no matter where he was assigned, Dallas was actively involved and played a crucial role in the three phases of the game, namely in attack, transition and defense.

As a left back, Dallas doesn’t play like a traditional full-back. Dallas didn’t just occupy the flanks and assist in the attack by overlapping. His role is more sophisticated, namely to assist in the construction of attacks in a role like that of a midfielder, moving more in the middle to bridge the game.

In building attacks, Leeds relied on fast interplay on both sides of the field. While playing as full-back, Dallas was effectively involved on the left flank. Usually, Dallas works closely with the left wingers and midfielders to make ball progressions. The interplay between the three players aims to send the ball into the dangerous area as soon as possible.

As well as being able to work together on interplay, Dallas shows brilliant ball retention skills. He is good at breaking the opponent’s pressing. He has recorded the most passes from pressing situations in the Leeds squad (232). Despite being pressed, Dallas was capable of defending the ball then passing it to his partner.

This retention power is the result of physical ability and ball control. Even though his strongest leg is the right leg, Dallas manages to work his left leg well. The ability to use two feet is important for the player’s ball control. Therefore, he can receive the ball from various angles.

The ability to use two legs makes him not have a weak corner in passing. This makes Dallas more free to explore bait options. Given Leeds’ goal is to get the ball forward as quickly as possible, Dallas tends to keep sending progressive passes when it is blocked. When an opposing player pressed, rather than making a back pass, Dallas was able to dodge and send a progressive pass to his free partner.

In the Leeds squad, Dallas is the second most progressive passer (149) after Luke Ayling and has made the third most passes for the final third (113). He is also good at controlling the ball. Dallas recorded only 26 times of miscontrolling out of a total of 1,425 passes. He also lost the ball only 29 times in tackles from an opponent’s 2,122 touches.

“He [Dallas] was involved a lot in the game. He has no problem playing with either foot. “He can play in three positions on the pitch – in the back, midfield and in attack,” Bielsa was quoted as saying by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“Besides, he has best performance, something you don’t see: He is a very good team-mate and a flawless professional, “continued the Argentine coach. When Leeds enter a dangerous area, Dallas can also become a capable attacking player. His offensive quality is reflected in his five goals and two Premier League assistants. In the league, Dallas is the defender with the most goals plus assists (7), as is West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell who has not scored but has assisted seven so far.

Dallas can increase the presence of Leeds players in the opponent’s penalty box. Three of the five goals of the former Brentford player were scored from inside the penalty box. In addition, Dallas did not hesitate to speculate with long-range shots. His goal in the 6-2 defeat to Manchester United was scored from outside the penalty box. Dallas also scores another goal (vs Leicester) from outside the box. At that time, his cross that swung in from the left was a goal. Stuart Dallas’s defensive aspect is also quite prominent. His defensive style tends to be aggressive in dealing with opponents. The 29-year-old is a reliable element of the Leeds counter-press.

In the 2020/21 Premier League, Dallas recorded 70 tackles, 45 interceptions and 47 blocks. 25 of his total tackles were in midfield and four in the final third. His tackling area statistics show that Dallas often tries to grab the ball before breaking into the defensive third. The reason is that Leeds want to grab the ball in an area that is in their favor and enter the attacking phase as soon as possible.

The Dallas gaming profile is very interesting. He was actively involved in every phase of Leeds’ game and did well. Before trying out the Premier League, this player born in Cookstown, Northern Ireland has shown extraordinary versatility. Prior to being handled by Bielsa, he had tried various positions at Brentford, Northampton and Leeds. However, as the player admits, the former Athletic Bilbao coach has managed to forge his game to a new level. “He [Bielsa] sees this game from a different perspective. “He’s set very, very high standards — something I now demand of myself,” Dallas told The Athletic.

“It [versatility] has been part of my game for a long time. The reason is, I am very athletic, I have enormous running power. I can occupy the middle of the field or run back and forth on the field. And at Leeds, Marcelo wants us, not just me, to play in several positions. I understand this game more, ”continued the player with 52 caps for the Northern Ireland national team.

From Carpenter To Sophisticated Full-back

Stuart Dallas did not grow up in a professional football system. He was born in Cookstown, a small town west of Belfast. Young Dallas played football for his school team before joining local amateur club Coagh United. At Coagh, Dallas became a footballer on a part-time contract. He is usually revealed as a winger. By the Chairman of Coagh United, Brian Dallas, he was given a job as a carpenter. (Despite having the same last name, Brian Dallas is not related to Stuart).

As well as needing extra money, Dallas is practicing at work, just in case he fails at football. However, it turns out that Dallas football talent is greater than its woodworking talent. After appearing impressively as a Coagh winger, he was recruited by Crusaders FC who competed at the top level of Northern Ireland, the NIFL Premiership.

“He plays the ball better than his carpentry. Coagh chairman Brian Dallas owns a lumber business and hires Stuart under him to get him a job. “But he also joked that Stuart was a successful footballer because he would definitely fail to become a carpenter,” Stephen Uprichard, Coagh’s former coach, told the BBC.

Playing for the Crusaders was a bright spot for Dallas’s career. After performing well in the NIFL Premiership, he was recruited by Brentford who at that time competed in League One. In 2013/14, he was loaned for half a season to Northampton Town who competed in League Two to earn minutes. A winger and hole striker, Dallas has scored three goals in 12 games for Northampton.

Dallas then became a mainstay of Brentford, helping The Bees win promotion tickets to the Championship Division. In 2015/16, he was recruited by Leeds United, who was then coached by Uwe Roesler, the German coach who had brought him to Brentford. Since setting foot in the Crusaders, Dallas has been on the right career track. However, after spending years in League One and Championship, who would have thought that this young man who grew up in an amateur club could reach the Premier League.

By the time Leeds reached promotion under Bielsa, Dallas was already 29 years old. “It’s [a career journey] crazy to think about where I came from nine or 10 years ago,” he said. At a premier League, Dallas doesn’t just pass by. He became a brilliant player in a team that was also brilliant. Dallas managed to crawl from the bottom, slowly moving from the Northern Irish amateur competition to a historic England team trying to get back on its feet.

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