Leeds Icon in Hammer Blow While Wonderkid Waits in the Wings – by Rob Atkinson


Pontus

Pontus – wants answers from United

Understandably, attention is switching away from Leeds United‘s slow-motion car crash of a season, as it fizzles out into yet another mid-table mediocrity outcome. But, Leeds being Leeds, there will always be something to talk about – even when the football itself is hardly worthy of mention. The past few days has exemplified this, with two contrasting stories – one rather worrying, the other a beacon of hope for the not too distant future.

On the debit side of the Leeds chat ledger is the perturbing suggestion that defensive colossus Pontus Jansson may be less than contented with the way things are going at Elland Road. It appears that the big Swedish international would like some assurances from the owners and board about plans for next season, with the clear implication that Pontus doesn’t fancy another campaign of under-achievement. And the worry can only increase with rumours that Jansson could be heading for the Elland Road exit door, with West Ham, of all clubs, being a possible destination. The believability of that particular whisper isn’t assisted by the laughable purchase price quoted, somewhere around £5.4 million, which would hardly cover a season’s loan fee and wages. West Ham, it might also be said, would be a strange destination for anybody worried about his current club’s situation; Pontus would probably be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire if a move to the Hammers actually transpired.

A much more positive story is the impressive form of young Jack Clarke in the increasingly dominant Under-23 side, which has now won four on the spin. Clarke gave a breathtaking display in the most recent victory, a 3-0 dismissal of Cardiff City at Thorp Arch. Reports suggested that Clarke was beating his man at will, and – had more clear scoring chances been taken – could have ended up with half a dozen assists. It’s also reported that Jack is a wanted lad, by none other than runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City, no less. But our boy wonder appears to be indifferent to such a move, preferring to stay and learn his trade at Elland Road, which is music to the ears of any United fan feeling starved of good, positive news. It looks as though Jack Clarke could be competing for some first team involvement sooner rather than later, and the feeling is that United have a seriously hot prospect on their hands.

Sadly, the actual football will soon be taking our attention away from these more interesting matters once again, which is a bit of a pain. Leeds do seem set for a bumper crowd against Bolton at the weekend, though, with an attendance of well over 30,000 likely. This is quite extraordinary for a club whose prices aren’t the cheapest, who have been serving up uninspiring dross in their performances since early in the season, and who have been languishing outside the top flight for far too many years now. All of which goes to show that Leeds United are still Number One in terms of their fanatical support, for which much credit is owed to those long-suffering and dedicated Elland Road devotees.

In summary: if Pontus leaves for the Hammers, I shall eat my Leeds United bobble hat; I will also predict here and now a debut and goal for Jack Clarke before the end of this season – and we can still be extremely proud of our club, off the playing field at least.

Marching On Together.

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13 responses to “Leeds Icon in Hammer Blow While Wonderkid Waits in the Wings – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Philip of Spain

    What assurances is Pontus looking for?a definite promotion? an assurance that everything will be done by the board to win promotion?.I thought we had that last summer.Its interesting that his views and assurances were given to a non English journo!! Why couldn’t he have put that out here before his bench seat for Sweden.?Bit of a strategy going on here.Jack Clarke does look the business,Rob,let’s hope he gets a crack,along with a couple more.Big shout for Lewis Cook,future England skipper in my book!!!

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  2. Jack Clarke is not alone. The U23s look to have more promise than O’Leary’s young guns had at the same stage of their development.

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  3. Scally Lad

    I shouldn’t be surprised if Pontus leaves. One can’t fault a young lad of his ability who wants – and can – play for a Premiership side, even if turns out to be Hammers. I worry a bit more about Clarke and any of our youth getting snapped up by Top Four sides. But what’s the solution? Demonstrations of loyalty are fine, but when have they ever prevailed over the enticements of Premiership dosh, professional visibility, Top flight European play, etc? I remember Steven Gerard rejecting big Chelsea money to proudly stay with his native Liverpool, but that kind of loyalty to one’s side is long gone, I’m afraid.

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    • The only realistic way of keeping such young talent is to elevate the club to a station fit for them. Whichever way you slice the pie, a club like Leeds in today’s game just can’t prosper without investment.

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  4. Pontus is not good enough. He has been found wanting far too many times this season, always appearing to be up for it but I think he is making a lot of noise about nothing. Struggles to move the ball forwards out of defence and often puts pressure on his teamates. Sorry

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    • It’s looked that way this season, but he’s still an international and I reckon he’d be ok in a settled team structure and the right players around him.

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  5. Life is LUFC

    My admiration goes to the fans who turn out, shout, sing and plead for their club to win and still they go unrewarded.
    Those young lads in the U23s & 18s should be given a chance to represent the first team before the end of this season. They are showing real fight and determination. There are two or three in the first team who are putting up the fight but it takes more then that to play against a full team of eleven and, at times, the ref.

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  6. Good for Pontus. Who wouldn’t want assurances? Unfortunately we now live in a world where people live and love to be offended. So I would urge any of his detractors to also seek assurances otherwise AR will take the P— again next season.

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  7. Decent players getting attention from Prem clubs and looking to leave is always likely. Saiz may also go. Until we start to mount a serious promotion challenge this has and will always be the case and not just with Leeds. I don,t personally hold grudges with these players even if the manner of their departure sometimes leaves a bad tastes I.e Taylor.
    I Hope the U 23’s continue their renaissance but would not want them thrown in before they are ready and suffer any loss of confidence etc. The support as you state is still incredible. I hope someday a Leeds team will justify it. 30,0000 + for the Bolton game at a peak holiday period is fantastic.
    BTW did you hear about the pride of Devon attempting to improve the atmos at their moribund warehouse of a stadium by handing out song sheets etc. Oh dear oh dear. Should we ‘sing a song for them’? — NO obvs.

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  8. Walk in silence – nice one. Possibly ‘it’s all so quiet’ ,the ‘sound of silence’ ‘for those about to sleep’ (appolgies to AC/DC). Sorrry this could go on and on. Anyhow good wishes to Rob and to all who contribute this excellent blog. MOTD

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