Jansson

Leeds United: all we wanted was someone who cared – we got Jansson

This is not about hero-worship. This is not about wanting a player to step up to the mark and show their mettle. It is about something really simple.

All Leeds United fans ever wanted was for someone to show they cared.

Not in the boardroom, not at that level. No, out on the field – out there on the pitch in front of 25,000 baying supporters. All we wanted was a player to show that they cared.

Pontus Jansson is that someone.

https://twitter.com/AlexMearns7/status/827135911292973056

Yes we all go on about his magic hat and the ability that it grants him to deal with hurled masonry and brickwork. We laud his defensive strength and praise his  attacking prowess. But deep down there’s one thing, above all others, that we go on about.

He cares.

Simple as that, Pontus Jansson cares. He also likes to show that he cares. That connection and rapport with the crowd. The in-match bellowing and roars of defiance to get the crowd going. The after-match, crowd-orchestrated roaring at the end of a game.

It’s all appreciated. It’s all part of who Pontus Jansson is. It’s all we’ve ever wanted.

Such is the impact of the 6ft 5in Swede who is seeing out a season-long loan deal from Torino, fans have been clamouring for him to be signed on a permanent after 20, then 22 games had elapsed. These numbers of games were the cut-off points given for when an option to convert from loan to purchase kicked in.

Since Jansson suffered a 1-0 defeat in his first, and Leeds’ sixth game, of the season, the big Swedish international has been part of a Whites side that has moved from four to 54 points in the space of 23 games, conceding just 19 times in that space of games.

What does Pontus Jansson bring to Leeds United?

One thing Leeds fans will eulogize about is his defending. Over the past two previous seasons, Leeds’ central defence was creaking to the points of almost constant breaking. Any attempt to even begin to go about fixing it was akin to sticking an Elastoplast over a crack in the Hoover Dam and thinking, ‘That’ll be reet!’ It rarely was.

One thing that began to be seen was a distinct way in which Leeds United changed their defensive play. Things at the back began to stiffen up, and there was no longer that rumbling bowel moment when the opposition had a corner. Jansson was given a free role in the area when defending corners, his brief to simply track and attack the ball.

It’s something that he does in the opposition box too, where he is more deadly than defensive. Testament to his aerial ability is that he now has three Leeds United goals, the last being an 89th minute winner last night against Blackburn.

Here’s what Leeds fans can expect from a typical Pontus Jansson 90 minutes

  • Tackles: 1.9 successful from 2 attempts (95% success)
  • Interceptions: 2
  • Blocks: 2
  • Clearances: 9
  • Aerial Duels: 3.5
  • Passes Completed/Attempted: 37.1 attempted/31.8 completed (85.7%)
  • Possession Losses: 0.6 (0.3 bad touches/0.3 dispossessed)

In honesty, alongside the burgeoning team spirit and togetherness ethos that Garry Monk has instilled in the Leeds United side, Pontus Jansson is a vital part of what is happening at Leeds United. Not since Alan Smith has one Leeds United player really personified just what it means to be Leeds United, that vital essence of being ‘All Leeds Are We’.

We weren’t asking for much. We were only asking for someone who cared.

We got Pontus Jansson.

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