Maybe it was a bit ludicrous to suggest it Warnock, especially at such an early juncture, but it was a decent home debut nonetheless. Whilst Warnock’s belief that Steve Morison would go down as a legend at Leeds United over the next few years seems a bit premature, to say the least, Morison’s play on Wednesday night was impressive.
His style is reminiscent not of Luciano Becchio, but of another recent focal point to our attacks, Andy Keogh. Keogh provided movement down the channels along with an ability to win the ball in the air. He was also comfortable with the ball at his feet. This partnership led to McCormack’s best run in a Leeds shirt, on fire in front of goal at the start of last season.
Morison held the ball up exceptionally, but he also brought other people into play, and sought to build moves for others. A couple of times he put dangerous balls into the area. With a fancy back-heel, he provided an opportunity for McCormack in the first-half. It was rare that a defender beat him to the ball in the opening 75 minutes of the game, and given his struggle for match fitness, it was no surprise that an effort-filled display led to him tiring in this last section of the game. His goal, whilst granted to him by a piece of terrible defending, was ultimately deserved with respect to the effort put in. It was also a good finish, and showed a bit of composure.
There are a handful of things that need a touch of work – he found it exceptionally difficult to do anything with the ball on the left-hand side of the pitch, seemingly vastly preferring his right foot and finding it difficult to beat a man on that flank. There were also a couple of occasions the crowd got frustrated when he didn’t go for the ball, but it may have been an effort to conserve energy in preparation for more winnable balls.
The word legend has been bandied about unreasonably in recent years. A certain player or certain players from the League One years could be included in this bracket with minimal debate. A good game does not a legend make. However, do not allow Warnock’s exaggeration post-match to cast doubt on what was a good performance. Morison could, quite easily, be a good asset for Leeds United over the next few seasons. It will be interesting to see if he is buoyed by a display that got the crowd firmly behind him. A good display, much more of the same required.
Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).