Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa explained the strange substitution of Kalvin Phillips against Brighton saying it was a tactical substitution and not due to injury. Bielsa made two substitutions at halftime, withdrawing Phillips and Junior Firpo. The latter was terrorized by Tariq Lamptey on the left flank. Phillips started the game at center back before moving to the center of midfield in the second half.
“It was a change because I thought the characteristics of Pascal [Struijk] were better suited to the game.” Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa said about the Kalvin Phillips substitution. “The game position he had had a lot in common with Tottenham and I thought that forming the back four with Llorente, Phillips, Cooper, and Firpo would help us to neutralize them. We started the game like that, but it wasn’t the correct decision. After Phillips moved into midfield and it’s very likely that the adaptation didn’t help Kalvin as he was playing well as a center-back. But I insist it wasn’t a question of the names, it was a question of the function collectively.”
“I think there’s something not quite right. He was definitely detailed to play in defense, but I saw him drift into midfield,” Jamie Redknapp said. “I listened to the interview he did after the Tottenham game, where he had to hold back a few times. He’s an England midfielder, he doesn’t want to play as a defender. Needs must sometimes, where you have to do whatever is best for the team, but right now Leeds have other defenders that can do the job.”