Pontus Jansson publicly undermined his manager’s instructions as he tried to defend against Aston Villa after Marcelo Bielsa had ordered his team to allow them to score following Leeds’ controversial opener.
Mateusz Klich netted the first goal for the home side despite many of Villa’s players stopping play as their teammate Jonathan Kodjia was injured.
This isn’t the first time we have seen this type of behaviour in English football this season.
Kepa Arrizabalaga famously went against Maurizio Sarri’s orders in this year’s Carabao Cup final when he refused to be substituted ahead of a penalty shootout.
The Spaniard was subsequently dropped for Chelsea’s next match and Sarri making an example of the keeper showed who was in charge at Stamford Bridge – albeit just for one game.
Bielsa needs to do the same here where Jansson is involved due to a multitude of reasons.
The defender didn’t only undermine his manager on Sunday he went against the will of his teammates. The 10 other players wearing white allowed Albert Adomah to go through on goal unchallenged whilst Jansson scrambled to defend.
The 28-year-old displayed not only an inability to follow instructions, but he also showed an unsporting side which isn’t welcome in the game.
There has to be a question asked about how much Bielsa can trust his defender now, especially heading into the playoffs.
Leeds have been relying on their whole squad pulling together this season. The Argentine needs a cohesive unit if he is going to make it into the Premier League through the playoffs and the presence of the centre-back jeopardises that.
With the pressure of the post-season, you have to feel that the centre-back can’t be trusted in the backline as he is prone to making rash decisions and going against what the manager has instructed.
If the Sweden international continues to step out of line then it could be costly for United, especially in the playoffs where there is no room for error. For this reason, Bielsa has no choice but to drop him.