During the short tenure of former Leeds United boss Uwe Rosler at the start of this season, Alex Mowatt slowly dropped out of the German’s favour as the season progressed as a result of Mowatt’s inability to emulate his heroics from the previous season which saw him finish as one of the clubs leading scorers with nine goals.
Alex Mowatt was seen as a regular first team player after his match winning goals earned him many plaudits last season and Rosler obviously saw the talent the Doncaster born midfielder possessed as he gave him a start in the Whites first game of the season against Burnley at Elland Road. However, Mowatt’s fortunes soon changed with him being dropped to the bench for United’s second home game of the season against Sheffield Wednesday with Rosler favouring the inexperienced Kalvin Phillips in the midfield. This raised questions about the philosophy of ‘heavy metal football’ which the German tried to install into Leeds’ play which didn’t suit Alex Mowatt at all.
Although Rosler’s favoured four-three-three formation allows Alex Mowatt to utilise an attacking role in a three-man midfield, he didn’t prefer the defensive side which was expected of him which often led to other teams excelling on the counter, which is what Mowatt usually excels at. Mowatt’s absence from the first team was short lived and Rosler, game by game, tried to influence the midfielders defensive game which severely hampered his performances which evidently showed with his lack of involvement in games which have been won in previous seasons. Middlesbrough is a prime example of a difficult game which Leeds have dominated and won with ease with Mowatt being the match winner in the fixture last season away from home however with Rosler’s influence, Mowatt was ineffective in the attacking side of his game as well as the defensive which consequently resulted in a calmative three nil defeat.
After Mowatt’s departure from the first team at Sheffield Wednesday, he only missed one of Rosler’s last seven games in charge before he was sacked by the club’s hysterical Italian owner Massimo Cellino and replaced by former Rotherham boss Steve Evans. Evans was quoted stating that Rosler’s reign in charge had left the starlet at “rock bottom.” However, the Glaswegian’s more conventional style of play has meant a dramatic change in form for the attacking midfielder. Evans’s preference to a traditional four-four-two formation meant Mowatt was drifted out to the left flank which he isn’t unfamiliar to, having featured there in abundance under previous boss Neil Redfearn. Even though this isn’t his natural position, Mowatt has put in a string of established, professional performances which has seen him score two early goal of the season contenders which has resulted in back to back wins for the first time this season for the Whites against Cardiff and bitter rivals Huddersfield Town respectively.
With the arrival of Steve Evans, Alex Mowatt has shown the ability of a Premier League player scoring two astonishing goals and as a result, is playing with new sense of entitlement and is fast becoming one of the most talented prospects outside of the Premier League.