Pablo Hernandez is a consummate pro and a much-loved player at Leeds United, so it was a shock when he was dropped by Marcelo Bielsa ahead of the international break.
His crime – although not specifically cited by Bielsa – was seemingly a petulant act after being subbed off against Leicester.
Unfortunately, as well as kicking a water bottle, he ripped off his black armband – worn both to remember Nobby Stiles and the 1918 Armistice – and threw it to the ground.
That obviously didn’t go down well with Bielsa who hasn’t often had to discipline a group of players he’s moulded in his image.
However, when Bielsa does act, he acts decisively, and Leeds fans will still remember what happened to Pontus Jansson.
The cult hero at Leeds, Jansson fell out with Bielsa after returning late for the start of the season and going against him when he ordered his side to let Aston Villa score uncontested in the Championship.
Leeds fans were taken aback when he left to go to Brentford but they would be even more shocked if Hernandez is frozen out.
Bielsa will give a very strong hint as to whether the issue is resolved in his Friday pre-match press conference ahead of the Arsenal game.
We’re not expecting him to start – we think Rodrigo will come straight back in after recovering from his bout of Covid-19 – but if he’s not in the squad then it will suggest that there is an ongoing issue behind the scenes.
Leeds can’t afford that. Hernandez – on a reported £23.5k-a-week – might not be fit enough to play 90 minutes every week for Bielsa, but he’s got so much still to offer.
His creativity can unlock any defence and he can score just when Leeds need it – we’ll never forget that goal against Swansea.
We’re confidently hopeful that the issue will have been resolved over the international break. Hernandez has apologised and it’s definitely time to move on and draw a line under it.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Poor fella… burnt out’, ‘Ridiculous’ – Some fans react to Weds int’l display from Leeds star