Whelan makes damning claim about Jansson

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Noel Whelan has claimed on BBC Radio Leeds that Pontus Jansson has a tendency to go missing when the chips are down for Leeds United.

The Swedish defender was a key player as Leeds began the season in outstanding form, helping them to keep six clean sheets in his first six league appearances as Thomas Christiansen’s men established themselves as the early pace-setters in the Championship.

But United have looked less sure at the back of late and Jansson has been part of a defence that has conceded six goals in their last two matches.

Jansson was stretchered off in the second half of Leeds’ 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday with a shoulder injury that has forced him to pull out of the Sweden squad during the international break.

There is a theory that the 26-year-old is outstanding when United are dominant, and is far less effective when the the chips are down.

Asked if Jansson tends to go missing when Leeds most need him, Whelan told BBC Radio Leeds: “I’ve been looking at that and analysing that as well, and yeah I think so.

“He likes to play to the crowd when you’re winning, and that’s great, but you need those characters when things are down to be your talisman as well when the chips are down. You’ve got to stand up, you’ve got to be that leader.

“You can’t always be the focal figure when you’ve won three points, you’ve got to stand there and see the game out and try and change it. That’s mental toughness, we can’t be having too many weak players in this side.”


Jansson urged Leeds players to fight like animals in a stirring pre-match address last Friday. But, United’s players were more like headless chickens as they came unstuck for a second consecutive away match. The talismanic Swede has not escaped criticism despite his hero status on the terraces, and there is a feeling that he lacks the granite-like qualities of 2016-17 centre-back partner Kyle Bartley. Jansson is more susceptible to niggles, injuries and, oddly, bizarre collisions with teammates. It might be going too far to say he must man up, but if you talk the talk, you better walk the walk, too.

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