The Brian Under Duress (BUD) List is back for Gameweek 25 of Premier League fixtures. Every week players, teams and managers will be assessed and narrowed down to a list of 5 who I believe are under the most pressure heading into the upcoming Premier League game week. Starting off in 5th place is:
5th: Leeds United Defence
Leeds and Defending seem like a match made in hell. The Yorkshire side have the 3rd worst defence in the league shipping 43 goals so far this season. They will now come up against an Everton who are in all sorts of disarray from top to bottom and against Newcastle looked like they couldn’t hit a barn door in attack! It’s about time the Leeds defence stood up and defended like a team! As impressive as Leeds look offensively, they are so so so open at the back. In transition, Leeds give away so many chances to the opposition. Now, this may be due to Kalvin Philipps missing in front of the defence but even with the England international, they still looked vulnerable. As they head to Goodison Park for what is a huge game away to Everton who are just one place below them in the fight for survival. Although I think a draw would be a fantastic point for Leeds, they just don’t play that way and given how poor Everton are playing, they have no reason to be afraid. But, if Leeds defend as badly as they did against Aston Villa, then even the likes of Everton will punish them.
Next Game: Everton (A)
4th: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)
The Villa captain finds himself on the BUD List after a nightmare performance against Leeds in midweek. There is a very valid argument to say that Mings was culpable for all three of Leeds’ goals. In the build-up to Leeds’ opener, he failed to clear his lines and got dispossessed in the lead up to the first goal. The second goal saw 5ft6 Dan James out jump 6ft4 Mings and the costly third goal was caused by Mings failing to clear the ball properly allowing Llorente to fire home the equaliser. Additionally, his usual CB partner Ezri Konsa will miss the next game through suspension meaning that it’s highly likely that Mings will keep his place and partner with new signing Calum Chambers. It’s time for the Villa captain to lead from the back and cut out his costly errors, especially if he wants to make another appearance at an international tournament for England. He’ll have a tough assignment this weekend as Villa play away to a much rejuvenated Newcastle and it’ll be on Mings mark Chris Wood out of the game.
Next Game: Newcastle (A)
3rd: Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
Well, well, well… what can we say? There is no doubt that the Manchester United captain is feeling the heat this week after his performance against Burnley. Firstly, he committed the foul on Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez culminating in Varane’s early header being disallowed. Then he got turned inside out by Wout Weghorst in the lead up to Burnley’s equaliser. Maguire’s lack of pace has been a serious problem that restricts him from recovering when he makes inevitable errors. He’ll need to put up a much-improved performance to atone for his mistakes against Burnley and it will not be easy as he comes up against a potent Southampton attack with the likes of Armando Broja and Che Adams who have the pace and ability to cause the United captain all sorts of problems.
Next Game: Southampton (H)
2nd: Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City)
He was on the last BUD List but Brendan Rodgers will remain on it for at least another week. Losing 2-0 to Liverpool is nothing to be ashamed of, but it could have been 4s and 5s if Liverpool had their shooting boots on. Liverpool had 22 attempts with 11 on target whereas the Foxes could only muster 1 shot on target throughout the whole 90, an abject performance to say the least. This would not have been the response that Rodgers would have been looking for from his players after he questioned his their desire after the embarrassing 4-1 defeat to rivals Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. As the Foxes continue to linger around mid-table, the pressure mounts on Rodgers future and it doesn’t get any easier for his side as they host high flying West Ham at the King Power.
Next Game: West Ham (H)
1st: Everton First Team
Without a shadow of a doubt, the team under the most pressure this weekend is Everton. To put it nicely, they have had an absolutely abysmal season. Everton have only accumulated 1 win in their last 15 Premier League games, that run has included a humiliating 4-1 defeat to their Kopite neighbours and an embarrassing 5-2 home defeat to struggling Watford. Although they have now brought in Frank Lampard as their new manager alongside exciting signings such as Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli, the cracks are clear to see highlighted by their shocking performance in the 3-1 defeat to strugglers Newcastle, who are now only a point behind them. Of course, Lampard will need time to implement his style but Everton are now in a position where it’s win at all costs or they will find themselves in the relegation zone sooner rather than later. In fact, if Everton were to lose against Leeds this weekend with Norwich and Newcastle winning then they will be in the relegation zone. A loss to Leeds would be a disaster. They simply have to win.
Next Game: Leeds United (H)