Leeds United’s first game under Sam Allardyce went about as well as fans could have hoped, travelling to face Manchester City in what is arguably one of the toughest fixtures in world football.
However, given the 68-year-old had only enjoyed a limited time in charge before what was his first game, it marked a fine showing against the soon-to-be Premier League champions.
Despite falling two goals down, and seeing a potential third squandered from the penalty spot, the former Bolton Wanderers boss ended the game with a respectable 2-1 scoreline as Rodrigo grabbed a late consolation.
The tactical tweaks at halftime limited the hosts tenfold and showcased the experience on display in the away dugout. However, they will need more than spirited performances to ensure survival is earned, with just three games remaining.
From that encounter, very few players would have stood out to the new boss, though the Etihad rarely breeds any fine away showings at all. However, winger Jack Harrison in particular continued his torrid form by putting in comfortably the worst display out of anyone on the pitch.
If Allardyce values his fine relegation-avoiding record, he must brutally ditch the 26-year-old as he has struggled all campaign.
How has Jack Harrison played this season?
As one of the team’s main creative threat, having made 33 appearances for the Whites this term, the lack of consistency from the versatile wide man has frustrated fans and the media alike.
Just four goals and seven assists in the league have him as the club’s third top scorer, behind Luis Sinisterra, who has endured an injury-hit debut campaign, and the ageing Rodrigo.
After his first goal of the season, the Englishman would then go 20 league games before scoring again. He is currently in the midst of another six-game barren run in front of goal too.
As such, his 6.75 average rating is desperately disappointing considering the impact he had enjoyed during the season prior as they narrowly avoided the drop.
Harrison would score eight times that campaign, including a final-day winner at Brentford that secured the crucial points to send Burnley back to the Championship in their place.
The £50k-per-week speedster saw a culmination of his miserable year in Manchester last weekend, as his 5.9 rating gave way to just 15 touches and one completed pass all game, via Sofascore.
Pundit Jon Newsome put it best after a similarly shocking performance at Everton earlier in 2023, where he told BBC Radio Leeds:
“Nothing came off for him. I thought his touch was poor. His awareness was poor. He didn’t seem at the races.”
Sadly, this could apply to an entire season that has been laced with inconsistency and disappointment, so he must merit being dropped at the hands of Allardyce.