Pontus Jansson has always played with his heart on his sleeve for Leeds United, putting his body on the line and doing everything for his teammates – and a photo last night highlights just what a mistake Marcelo Bielsa made.
Jansson, 28, missed the first leg against Derby County through injury, as Leeds earned a 1-0 win. But on Wednesday night, he was deemed fit enough to be named on the bench against Frank Lampard’s side.
Gaetano Berardi started ahead of the big Sweden international. Perhaps Jansson was not 100 per cent, or Bielsa just wanted to keep the core of the side that won on Saturday the same.
Unfortunately, it did not work. Berardi was bullied by Mason Bennett throughout, and his poor display was summed up with a silly second yellow card that left referee Anthony Taylor with no choice.
After full-time, Jansson went to the opposite stand to watch Derby fans celebrate with their players. The colossal centre-back looked rather emotional, staring at the supporters in the away end.
Jansson now on his own after game pic.twitter.com/Fz5XDNkgIi
— Leanne Judge 💙⚽️💛 (@LeanneJudgeUK) May 15, 2019
It has struck a chord with Leeds fans on Twitter, and it is easy to see why. It shows just how much Jansson cares about Leeds, and his desperation to have gained promotion with the Yorkshire club to the Premier League.
The photo in itself shows just how big a mistake Bielsa made by starting Berardi, and not swapping Jansson back in the team. The man finished in the PFA Championship Team of the Year, and yet he was left on the bench.
It is an enormous mistake from Bielsa, and Jansson’s passion and sincerity – shown in the photo – prove just that. Leeds fans will be left thinking, what if, had they started the Swedish rock.
Instead, Leeds become the longest-serving club in the Championship, and will now have to wait until 2020 at the earliest to finally return to the Premier League – 16 years after suffering relegation.