Saturday 25

Leeds United

Why Leeds aren’t missing Jansson

20th August 2019, 20:57

Leeds United fans were furious when Pontus Jansson was sold to Brentford – but that anger was perhaps premature.

When the news broke that Leeds were set to sell Pontus Jansson to Brentford, the reaction from fans was one of deja vu – the team failed in its primary objective, the star player garnered interest, and the move was done.

Yet, from the off, something didn’t sit right about the Jansson deal – for the first time since Simon Grayson’s tenure at the beginning of the decade, Leeds fans attended games in an expectant mood, and genuinely enjoyed watching their team play.

With that in mind, it is safe to assume Marcelo Bielsa cultivated a healthy dressing room atmosphere, so why would players want to leave?

The destination was also odd. No disrespect, but a player of Jansson’s standing and stature would surely only be moving to the Premier League or one of the top European leagues.


Fans were puzzled. Selling to a club higher up the pyramid would have been begrudgingly accepted, but selling to a potential promotion rival seemed very peculiar. And that puzzlement transformed to sheer bewilderment when the fee was announced.


When you consider that James Justin – a full-back, who had never played higher than League One – left Luton to join Premier League side Leicester for £8million, it put things into perspective.

Leeds saw their talismanic defender, who boasted World Cup experience with Sweden, and had been a regular star performer for three seasons, depart the club in the bluntest, most unceremonious manner. Explanations had to be made.

Bielsa, the god-like figurehead of the club according to its passionate fan base, decided that Jansson’s personality did not fit into his ethos of collectivism.

The two did not see eye to eye and, despite the Argentine’s claims that Jansson was the best player, he decided for the greater good, it was time to wave him goodbye.

It was a move shrouded in risk – Leeds operated with a tiny squad last season, so any departures were likely to be felt.

Jansson was one of the older heads in the squad. Confident, bordering on cocky, he played the game in the way his 6ft 4in was designed for – domineering, brash, and powerful. His loss was supposed to be felt big, ahead of his quick return to Elland Road on Wednesday evening.

His replacement didn’t inspire great confidence – a scrawny, fresh-faced 21-year-old Brighton loanee by the name of Ben White came in to replace Jansson, despite only ever having played as high as League One.

Yet, if you look at Leeds so far this season, you would not have thought there was any lingering anguish surrounding the loss of the Swede.

White has coasted through his four games so far, with his elegance on the ball, positional sense and cool head drawing many plaudits despite his tender age.

Jansson had many attributes, but a cool head, it could be argued, was not one of them.

He drew the ire of Bielsa after initially disobeying his instruction to award Aston Villa a free goal after Leeds scored while a Villa player was down injured in April – perhaps the harbinger of the pair’s fallout.

Ultimately, that would be Bielsa’s biggest piece of evidence against Jansson – he ignored his boss’ instruction in favour of his own interests. He chose the individual over the collective.

In truth, he has been a ticking time bomb throughout his time at Leeds – Garry Monk dropped him after a training ground row in April 2017, he picked up a ban for swearing live on television during a post match interview, and, instead of joining his team mates in the dressing room after their disastrous play off semi-final loss to Derby, he stayed out on his own, in an act of heartbreaking dismay or indulgent self-pitying, depending on your outlook.

Time will tell how successful the move will be in the long run for Leeds, an injury to either White or captain Liam Cooper leaves them without a recognised senior replacement, and neither defender possesses the physical attributes Jansson brought.

But so far, it has gone swimmingly, and there is no longer the nagging doubt any more that one player could suddenly explode and land themselves in hot water.

Fans were incredulous at the time but, so far, it has gone on to prove the given narrative at Leeds – that Marcelo Bielsa knows exactly what he is doing.

The post Why Leeds aren’t missing Jansson appeared first on ClubCall.com.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

More Leeds United

Leeds United

Ayling in a “good place” to aid Leeds’ promotion push

24th January 2020, 10:00

Leeds defender Luke Ayling believes he is primed to play a prominent role as his side push for promotion from the Championship.

Leeds United

Leeds announce signing of Under-19 Italy star

21st January 2020, 19:44

Chievo Verona goalkeeper Elia Caprile has joined Leeds United on a permanent three-and-a-half-year deal.

Leeds United

Leeds offered chance to sign forgotten Everton forward

20th January 2020, 14:41

The agent of Everton forward Oumar Niasse has reportedly offered Leeds United the opportunity to sign his client on loan for the rest of the season.

Leeds United

Leeds legend “hopeful” Whites can seal PL place

17th January 2020, 12:54

Former Leeds goalkeeper Nigel Martyn believes the pieces are in place for the club to win promotion from the Championship this season.

Leeds United

New Hoops recruit Clarke impressed by Warburton

16th January 2020, 14:37

Jack Clarke says manager Mark Warburton was one of the main reasons he has signed for Queens Park Rangers on loan until the end of the season.

Leeds United

Hasenhuttl tells Leeds top striker target is going nowhere

15th January 2020, 18:37

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has said striker Che Adams will not be loaned out in the January transfer window.

Recent Sport Headlines

Horse Racing

2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup: Delta Work the ante post value

24th January 2020, 22:15

This year's Cheltenham Gold Cup renewal has a wide-open look to it and, at the current odds, Delta Work looks the ante post value.

Horse Racing

Can the Cheltenham Festival Expand to Five Days?

24th January 2020, 22:15

A debate has been raging within racing of late after Cheltenham Racecourse supremo Martin St Quinton refused to rule out the Festival extending to five days.

Real Sociedad

Roma set sights on Sociedad schemer Januzaj

24th January 2020, 19:39

Roma are reportedly planning a January move for Real Sociedad winger Adnan Januzaj.

Leicester City

Centre-back candidates as Rodgers eyes Leicester addition

24th January 2020, 19:25

With Brendan Rodgers confirming Leicester City are looking into signing a new centre-back, which players could be in the Northern Irishman's sights?

Rugby League

Saints coach sets sights on title defence

24th January 2020, 18:55

New coach Kristian Woolf hopes his St Helens side can defend their Grand Final title ahead of the new Super League season.


Osaka keen to discover 'champion mentality' after Melbourne exit

24th January 2020, 18:30

Naomi Osaka says she needs to develop a "champion mentality" after her Australian Open defence was ended by Coco Gauff.

Rugby Union

Nienaber is Springboks' new head coach

24th January 2020, 17:36

Jacques Nienaber says it's "business as usual" after he was confirmed as world champions South Africa's new head coach.


FA Cup offers these fringe men a chance to impress

24th January 2020, 17:33

The FA Cup takes centre stage this weekend and there will be a few players looking to impress for various Premier League clubs.