Worry tends to set in when there’s some noise about a player’s availability the day before a game or that morning, so the questions start on social media.
Any journalist coming into possession of and subsequently distributing solid information regarding a player’s health and fitness ahead of a game would be the toast of Leeds if the news was good. If it was bad news a Fantasy Premier League crowd increasingly invested in player availability updates would welcome it but, from the general Whites populace, there would be a heavy dose of criticism, dished out for handing useful intelligence to the enemy.
Anything that might play into the hands of the opposition is widely regarded as treason, although the sources of the rumours and those disseminating them on social media oddly seem to get off scot-free.
On Sunday, the worry set like concrete because Raphinha was one of the players rumoured to be missing out through illness. The idea of the winger not playing a part is enough to turn concern into panic…