Reliable journalist reveals what Pontus Jansson did twice in two years to fall afoul of Bielsa
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa surprised some fans last summer when he decided to sell defender Pontus Jansson to Brentford.
Jansson, 29, had been one of the stand-out centre-backs in the Championship during his spell at Elland Road and the Sweden international was regularly linked with moves to the Premier League.
TalkSPORT reported last year that Jansson’s exit came after a fallout with Bielsa when the defender disobeyed his orders in that match against Aston Villa when the Argentine instructed Leeds to let the Villans score a goal against them as a matter of fair play.
Now, The Athletic journalist Phil Hay has revealed more reasons as to why the ex-Malmo defender fell afoul of Bielsa – and it was to do with his conduct in both of Bielsa’s pre-season training schedules.
“A lot of it came to the preparations of both seasons when Bielsa’s been in charge. If you remember in 2018, Sweden were at the World Cup and so was Jansson,” the journalist said on the Phil Hay podcast on The Athletic website.
“Leeds had essentially said to him, ‘look at the end of the World Cup, you need a break, come back when you’re ready’. And in the end, Jansson took three weeks off, which was his prerogative.
“But I think Bielsa was hoping that he would come back sooner than that and he would throw himself into training and throw himself into the regime at the first opportunity.
“If you remember when that season got going, you had [Gaetano] Berardi and [Liam] Cooper at centre-back and it took the injury to Berardi for Jansson to get a run in the team.
“There was a similar sort of thing over the summer that followed, again, there were the play-offs so there was the late finish to the season and there was international football after that and Bielsa, again, wanted a fairly early start at Thorp Arch and didn’t want players staying away. There was an attempt by Jansson to ensure that the international players got longer to recuperate and recover.
“In the end, it just came to a head where Bielsa wasn’t happy, Bielsa wanted him to move on. Jansson realised that was the case and the deal was done to send him to Brentford.”
Anyone who knows Bielsa’s methods knows that the Argentine heaps a lot of importance one getting a full pre-season worth of training under him.
It is why Leeds’ January signings have not had much impact since their arrival because Bielsa wants players to be completely up to speed with his fitness demands and tactical system before playing them.
Bielsa clearly wanted Jansson to learn from his mistake in 2018 before he repeated it again in 2019.
In other Leeds United news, Patrick Bamford has said how the season should finish.