Pontus Jansson is already being hailed as the long-awaited saviour of the all-too-often dismal Leeds United defence, and with good reason too. His value to the club goes way beyond a few crunching tackles and a head that seems magnetised towards the ball, for the combination of his ‘out there’ personality, the improved results his performances have spearheaded and an uncharacteristic quiet spell from the man above (that’s Cellino, not whatever spiritual being you believe to be hovering above the clouds…) has allowed some focus to shift towards a team who have often been overshadowed by the chaotic ownership of past and present.

In light of recent results, it might seem silly that Garry Monk’s position as Leeds United manager appeared to be under genuine threat at the beginning of last month, but Leeds were struggling to find any kind of form and looked like a sure-bet for a bottom six finish. The media reports should have been laughable since Garry Monk clearly needed – and deserved – time to shape his squad, but when your hair-triggered owner has bet big on promotion (literally, betting fans money he can achieve it) you had to fear for a manager who was considered among England’s best only a few months previous to his Swansea exit.

Luckily, Monk found a formidable central defensive pairing in Jansson and Kyle Bartley before Cellino’s trigger-finger got too itchy, relying on the age-old football philosophy that if you get the defence right, you give yourself half a chance.

And it’s half a chance Leeds have taken. Our form heading into the international break reads 5 wins from the last 6, which includes 4 clean sheets and only 2 goals conceded. That the defence have been a factor goes way beyond understatement, but the rest of the team have played their part too, their own performances improving amid the sense of confidence a bit of momentum can bring. Hernandez, Wood, Taylor… everyone really. They’ve all had some big moments recently which shouldn’t be completely overlooked amid our hero-worship for one man.

That said, everything good happening to Leeds at the minute circles back to the raging lunatic destroying anyone who dares enter his domain. Some of Jansson’s tackles have been cheered like 30-yard screamers from the Leeds support and that raw emotion feeds everyone else, especially Jansson’s team mates. Not only that, the rest of the team are bound to feel a bit more confident in taking a risk when they’re so well protected should possession be lost. Meanwhile, and outside the 90 minutes of football, you’re more likely to find Leeds United fans on social media discussing their new hero than all the other stuff we usually argue about. Jansson has united a fanbase and lifted the spirits of everyone.

Momentum and a feel-good factor have been rare occurrences in recent years and for both to stand any chance of becoming more regular, a couple of things need to happen. Firstly, Jansson has a buy-out clause Leeds can activate after 20 games which is said to be in the region of £3.5m. That’s not an insignificant lump of change, but it’s a fee Leeds United must be ready to pay. Secondly, I’ll never be a fan, but I can live with a quiet Cellino who keeps himself out of the limelight and leaves the manager to take care of the football. Whatever your thoughts on Cellino, Garry Monk is infinitely more qualified to make football decisions and needs time, backing and – most importantly – freedom in which he can continue to shape his Leeds United team.

It’s easy to forget when you’ve found a bit of form, but Leeds United’s current incarnation is only a little bit of Garry Monk’s doing. We’re like Frankenstein’s monster, with random pieces (not all of them bad) from all Cellino’s previous managers botched together to create a whole. It’s that constant instability and lack of a singular vision that led to our horrendous start. We’d benefit from another couple of transfer windows (and the right backing), not only for the stability a long-term manager brings but the cohesive plan he’ll have had sufficient time to assemble.

For now though, let’s just celebrate the rise of Pontus Jansson, a man who’s provided us a long overdue period of happiness.

On and on…

  • RoystonLufc

    You know what, I’m longing for the moment that Magic Hat scores a winner in injury time – with a header. Nothing will surpass such a moment. At this rate he will (dare I say it?) outshine Radebe, and he’s only been here a few weeks.

    Obviously this says more about the parlous state of previous Leeds’ defences than it does about Jansson. But right now I’m not complaining: any port in a storm. And this is more a storm in a port!

    Head that brick, PJ.

    • TSS

      No one will ever outshine Radebe, though I have found myself drawing the comparison too. Early days, but he’s the kind of player who could well join the likes of Radebe, Strachan and Batty amid the upper echelons of Leeds United’s “modern” greats.

      • RoystonLufc

        I agree and I was taking liberties with the Radebe comparison. But here’s hoping….

  • Rob Norris

    the guy is an absolute monster, reads the game really well, snuffs out danger, he attacks the ball with so much aggression at 6ft.5″ that makes him a scary opponent for Championship strikers……
    throw in his f-word tweets, obvious joy at being at Leeds United, and the way he conducts & whips up the crowd – and you can see why he’s already loved by the fans

  • Michael Lynn

    No doubt Norwich will sign him for nothing! Aasagghhhh – stop it – football is looking upwards at Leeds United – enjoy it whilst you can you old disenchanted Leeds fan!

  • Matthew

    Losing Jansson would be one of the biggest mistakes of the Cellino era, and would show that the man has absolutely no ambition. It’s a no brainer, sign him up ASAP on a perm deal.

  • Russell Crowes

    Whatever is argued about our upturn in form it surely can’t stem from anywhere else but the inclusion of Jansson. I agree that the rest of the team have started to perform like they should as well, but this has really only happened since our Swedish man mountain has entered the fray. I agree that the partnership between Jansson and Bartley looks as if they will never let another goal in before the end of the season, but signing them BOTH up will be imperative! On a side note it’s nice to think we can now perm any two from Phillips Bridcutt or O’Kane and have a really good hard central midfield pairing. It’s looking good folks, it’s looking good!!