17 is a number that doesn’t reverberate well around Elland Road, thought of as ‘unlucky’ by current owner and club President Massimo Cellino.
Sniggers are passed in many circles over the supposed bad luck that it brings to Cellino – so much so that programme 17 was renamed 16b. However, for one Leeds player yesterday it was a sign of excellence in a solid performance.
That player was Leeds United club captain Sol Bamba who, alongside Liam Cooper and making the step up from the bench, put in a rock-like display that reminded Leeds fans of the Bamba of old, the Bamba that arrived on loan from Palermo and turned the sides fortunes in January 2015.
Recalled against Burnley, Bamba put in one of those ‘typical’ Bamba solid performances and one that helped provide a sense of solidity in the centre of what has been at times a creaking Leeds United backline.
Bamba’s defensive performance drew praise from Leeds boss Evans and, looking at the numbers that he produced in the game, you can see just why this praise was deserved.
Sol Bamba vs Burnley
- 6 successful tackles from 6 attempts
- 5 interceptions of Burnley passes
- 4 defensive clearances
- 2 blocks in the defensive third of the field
- 5 headed balls won
Defensively, alongside Liam Cooper, Sol Bamba gave that assured performance that Leeds United fans know he is capable of but what they have only seen it fits and starts this season.
Whites fans will be hoping that this consistency bodes wel lfor the remaining six games of the season, starting with the visit to Birmingham on Tuesday night when Leeds will look to no doubt carry over the positives from the Burnley game.