Leeds United man sets surprise example as 'thief of joy' spoils the show - Graham Smyth's Verdict

FLYING DUTCHMAN - Leeds United winger Crysencio Summerville was such a problem for Hull City that three players went into the book for fouling him in the 0-0 draw. Pic: Getty
FLYING DUTCHMAN - Leeds United winger Crysencio Summerville was such a problem for Hull City that three players went into the book for fouling him in the 0-0 draw. Pic: Getty

With a stab of his left boot Georginio Rutter took three Hull City players out of the equation and sent the ball spinning into the path of Crysencio Summerville who was then free to hammer goalward. Rutter's movement to facilitate the move was good, the pass into him, from Summerville, was good, the flick was very good and the shot was excellent. But there to ruin things for everyone involved in the move was Ryan Allsop in the Hull City goal. The thief of joy leapt gleefully to his left and palmed the ball around the post for a corner. Allsop was just doing his job and that's what goalkeepers are there for, to spoil beautiful moments and turn would-be wondergoals into failed attempts and chances. They do of course create beauty of their own with their acrobatic endeavours and were they not there with despairing dives then even the best goals in history would lose so much of their shine, but in that moment in this game Summerville was a creator and Allsop a ruiner.

The Dutch winger was Leeds' most potent attacker on the night, thrice drawing yellow card worthy fouls, twice testing Allsop with fierce drives and once playing Rutter clean through for the visitors' best chance of the game.

Joe Rodon's sending off was harsh on the centre-back and on the game itself because it robbed it of Summerville's contribution in the Hull half of the pitch and turned him from an attacker in full flight to a defender in a dog fight. Though the challenge changed, Summerville rose to it in the necessary way and earned praise from his manager at the end of a 0-0 draw.

Turning in a Man of the Match display in a goalless draw, in which his team ended up under the cosh with a man disadvantage, said much about Summerville's work ethic and willingness to do the dirty work as well as the fancy stuff.

But Summerville, for so many reasons, could so easily not have been on the pitch to produce danger at one end or help snuff it out at the other.

A summer departure was, in the window's early stages, feared if not expected by some at Elland Road. As others jumped ship and top flight sharks circled Leeds looking to pick off any wantaway talent, Summerville's decision to swim against the tide was a welcome surprise. As Hull boss Liam Rosenior said after Wednesday's game, the 21-year-old is a 'Premier League athlete' and a player with ability that could grace the top level in a number of European leagues.

So finding himself on the bench in the Championship, after playing reasonably well in the 3-0 win over Millwall, might have felt a bit like a bucket of cold water.

Farke was being cautious with the youngster and instead brought in Daniel James. Had Willy Gnonto not pulled up early on having taken a knock, Summerville would have likely had to wait until the second half to make his entrance. The beauty of having so many good options, particularly out wide, is that Farke can take care of players or keep them on their toes. Competition is no breeding ground for complacency - none of Leeds' wingers can take their foot off the gas while all of them are fit - but it can allow attitude to creep in and fester.

What we saw at Hull, though, was the kind of reaction Farke will look for each and every time he leaves a player out this season.

"This is exactly what we what we need to think about - don't be annoyed when you're sometimes not in the starting line-up, it's more like when you're on the pitch, give everything for this group," said the manager

"But also his reaction, not just in possession because he is an outstanding creative player, we know this, but also how hard he worked for the team, this is exactly what we need and many compliments to him."

Summerville, once portrayed by Jesse Marsch as a player who could do with following Gnonto's example of professionalism, was setting surprise examples of his own at Hull. And by performing as he did, even without managing to find the net and a victory that looked very possible prior to the red card, Summerville has laid a marker down for anyone who finds themselves sitting down come 3pm on Saturday afternoon.

He has also served up another warning to the Championship that he will be a serious problem this season. The pace and quickness of feet that he possesses takes him first to balls he has no real right to get to. It scares defenders. It takes him into open space in transition, which terrified Rosenior so much that his players took no chances and pulled him back at almost every opportunity.

What the market would dictate as a price tag for such a player, at such a young age, with two and a half years left on his contract, is anyone's guess but it would dwarf the £1.3m Leeds paid for him. There will be, you would think, no holding Summerville back next summer should Leeds not go up but right now they have themselves a priceless potential match winner who can and will tear Championship defences apart.

The goalkeepers union of the second tier will be rubbing their gloves together at the prospect of ruining more beautiful moments, but if Farke continues to get performances like this one from his flying Dutchman then priceless goals will be coming down the track.