Pontus Jansson starts for Sweden today in their opening game of Russia 2018 and in doing so becomes the first Leeds player to start at a World Cup in 12 years. The last was Eddie Lewis for the USA in 2006.
Jansson has had a controversial summer so far in that quotes from the Swedish press have been filtering back to Leeds and they have (yet again) looked bad to the fans. He claims he’s being mis-quoted but much of what he has said is true anyway, it’s just not great to read in the papers and see on the news for fans of the club and the player, a favourite of many.
Jansson didn’t have his best season last year by any stretch of the imagination but there is little doubt he’ll be a big part of Marcelo Bielsa’s plans going forward. The big Swede is easily the best defender in the side and one of the best in the league on his day. Partners such as Liam Cooper and Matthew Pennington were a far cry from Kyle Bartley and it showed.
Jansson has always been in the Swedish plans and has been getting starts for the national side in recent times. He even captained the side in a recent friendly although it is a slight surprise he has got the nod with such big competition at that position for the side. It’s a big game for Sweden as they have a tough group.