Jansson to Leeds for £3.5m is, Quoting Mr. Revie, “Robbery With Violence”   –   by Rob Atkinson


Pontus Jansson, Superstar

It’s difficult to overplay the impact this season of Pontus Jansson on Leeds United. Since a relatively low-key debut at Luton in the EFL Cup, the big Swedish defender has barely put a foot wrong, becoming a talisman for the Whites. He’s been almost equally effective at either end of the field, and his headed clearances have formed the basis of a highly effective central defensive partnership with Kyle Bartley. Those clearances are paid ample tribute in Jansson’s very own song, the United support having waxed creative in a witty ditty featuring magic hats and hurled bricks. It’s a hymn of praise that could hardly be better deserved.

When legendary United manager Don Revie signed John Giles from a smallish club near Manchester in 1963, for a paltry £33,000, he was exultant enough to describe the deal as “robbery with violence”. The selling manager, one Matthew Busby, later described the sale of Giles, who went on to fashion an unparalleled midfield partnership with Billy Bremner, as his “greatest mistake”. This coup of capturing Jansson for maybe 25% of his actual value, puts you in mind of that earlier robbery. I don’t know who mans the central defence for Torino – but they must be bloody good players. 

As long as Jansson doesn’t now go all Lubo Michalik on us, Leeds have pulled of one hell of a capture here. We currently have a defence that looks rock solid, and that sort of thing has proved the foundation for many a promotion charge. And both Bartley and Jansson offer so much more than defensive excellence. Organising and cajoling the back line, motivating and inspiring all over the park and still finding time to create havoc in attacking set pieces, they both influence the game positively more or less the full 95 minutes. That’s invaluable for any team with pretensions to success. 

Robbery with violence sums it up nicely. May we also mug Swansea with a similar deal for Bartley. Both players have what it takes to be United legends for several seasons to come. 

Welcome to the ranks of the greatest club in the world, Pontus, and all the very best as you go on to confirm legend status by helping us back to the top. 

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22 responses to “Jansson to Leeds for £3.5m is, Quoting Mr. Revie, “Robbery With Violence”   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. dave sales

    Over the moon with him signing for us. I just hope he can keep the yellow cards down as we miss him when he is suspended and he is already creeping toward another ban. ” Daylight robbery with a headed brick “

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  2. The first words on my Twitter feed were “Now Bartley”.

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  3. Darren lake

    What a fantastic player but above all what a fantastic person to turn up for a team he knew nothing about fair play to Pontus a star in the making you have certainly made us into a premier side

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  4. Darren lake

    Also I must say wasn’t sure about the yellow and blue kits. home one very nice but yellow shirts blue shorts look very smart pontus must feel like playing for Sweden every other week mot 😎😎😎

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  5. Bornawhite

    Rob – always a good read.
    Whilst Jansson and Bartley have been the twin pillars of resistance I believe Green has provided the bedrock. As a former goal keeper of middling talent I get annoyed that Green generally receives alot of flak ( not in your blog I might add) for the odd poor decision. All keepers make errors – no position on the pitch comes under greater scrutiny. There have been many calls from the fan base on other sites to reinstate Silvestre, who in is own right is a talented keeper. But the one area that Green excels is command of his area and communication. The Sutton goal ( reminiscent of similar defensive frailties last season) demonstrates that Silvestre still has work to do in those areas.
    We are also much more organised this season and defending from front to back by pressing the opposition with greater effect. As a result we are not suffering constant pressure on the back line as was the case last season.
    Undoubtedly, Jansson has been a steal based on what we have seen so far – if we could somehow get Bartley in the summer as well – that would be the dogs nuts.

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  6. Yet another good read rob, I think the same could be said of Luke Aylin, not as flamboyant as the Magic man but quietly brilliant.

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  7. If his compatriot is worth 40 million Jansson must be double. His talent is there for all to see but when you throw in his passion and hes just a sodding Beast of a defender……..”Des Walker with attitude”

    Best thing to happen to Leeds in many years and largely responsible for lighting a fire under the squads ass

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    • Different type of player. Des Walker was very fast and strong in the tackle. PJ on his own admission is not a strong tackler (how could he be with those spindly legs?) and is quick rather than fast. He relies upon his stride to make interceptions and is of course outstanding in the air. In fact, Bartley may well be the better defender. Yet PJ’s evident and reciprocated need to be loved makes him a special player at the present time.

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  8. David Dean

    He has galvanised the club like no other in it’s history. A combination of his own difficult times with injury and frustration and the troubles and downwood spiral at lufc since O’Leary was sacked. We have a priceless diamond and now great momentum but it is all on a wing and a prayer. Pontus cannot play with his style and fervour and escape bookings and before we know it come March/April he will have another 3 match ban. Also a minor injury to him or Kyle could happen. Yes we have Ayling,who needs a song if his own, but another backup central defender was nearly as important as insurance for Wood. Cooper as only cover is not enough. The two wingers look exciting but the promotion hopes are severely dented by this lack of foresight and The Monk deep down will be bitterly disappointed. The Terriers were brilliant last night and could do a ‘Barnsley’ on us if we are not on our game. Regardless of what The Monk says about Pontus being just one of the squad he knows, as we all do, that without him there could be no promotion and we would never sing his song all night. We have an exciting few months ahead and if we do miss the bus there is another coming next season and we will be red hot favourites.

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  9. If ever a man needed a home this is it , all pontus wanted was a bit of love and he’ll run through brick walls for you , in a recent interview with lufc tv he said he met garry monk and garry gave him a big smile and a hug and he knew this would be his new home… the fans picked up on his willingness to give his all for monk and the rest is history… obviously there was very little love in Italy..

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  10. PJ is obviously a top championship player and a big personality and his strength in the air makes him a threat at almost any level. I would however like to know why Torino (who are not a top Serie A side) let him go. Still so long as he can lead us into the Premier League it doesn’t really matter. He does though need to stop getting yellow cards.

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    • It rather sounds as though they lost faith in his ability to recover from an injury. Agree on the yellow cards.

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      • Leaving aside his brick defying abilities, I invite for open debate the inevitable question: is PJ better, or even as good a defender, as Signor Bellusci ? And was Mr Bellusci simply unlucky to be here at the wrong time ? Item 1: last season Bellusci being at the heart of sterling defensive work when playing at home against such top teams as Hull and Middlesborough. This season the top teams appear to have found our central defence quite easy to penetrate.
        Item 2: Last season I have images of a muscular Bellusci emerging from a penalty area melee with ball and proceeding to hit raking 50 year torpedoes to put the opposing team on the back foot. Item 3: Bellusci got fewer yellow cards. And in answer to my question about misfortune I am inclined, even allowing for temperamental factors, to think that he was. Item 4: Bellusci defended with a penalty -area phobic goalkeeper. in my view, and in light of yesterday’s defeat, I’d invite Bellusci back just to add strength to our midfield. He’d have served up the Aussie fellow as kangaroo fritters.

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      • Thoughts, folks?

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  11. I don’ t wish to tempt fate (I really don’t) but this season does have a whiff of our last successful promotion to the top flight. I realise then we were front runners that season but the team spirit and quality where it matters is every bit as evident. That quality was displayed in the opening goal at Ewood Park but also by the emphatic PJ header. The delivery,timed run and connection would be difficult for any team in this division to defend.
    Defeats against Newcastle,Brighton,Barnsley and Sutton have been hard to take but each time the team have responded. Superb blog and quality comments from your followers always make for an enjoyable read. MOT.

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    • Yesterday I was wondering if we were right after all to sign two wingers. What happens to Sacko ? And Roofe ? These are players who got us where are, but now they look likely to benched ( or will Hernandez give way ?). That’s just preliminary to suggesting that Wilko’s team was better balanced, probably more ruthless and more single-mindedly managed. I think we will get into the promotion play offs and am keeping fingers crossed that it will be in fifth place: I don’t fancy meeting Huddersfield again other than at Wembley. I’m sure all the top teams have a good team spirit.

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  12. I don’t share your confidence, Rob. Locally they would be the underdog and rivalries could work in their favour. Wembley is neutral territory; I also think Hernandez would find more space to create. Our flying wingers likewise would benefit too. We miss Charlie Taylor.

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    • All will probably be revealed, one way or another, before May is out. And regular readers of this blog know just how much I want May out…

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      • I can see why a man of your Chestertonian disposition would wish to be rid an uncommon leader, but your erudition betokens a grammar school influence. Though like the Great Gilbert you may (that word again!) consider the school an overrated institution. Whatever else you may (sic !) think of May, you must agree she’s. a snappy dresser and a little bit fragrant. And LAFC could have done with her steadiness thirteen wasted years ago.

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      • She’s more incompetent than uncommon, is Cruella. As Tories go, she’s bog standard. Snappy dresser? Arf. That tartan curtain suit she wore. As for flagrant, I can only agree.

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