Newcastle United, Leeds fans baffled by one Team of the Year pick

Monk Benitez

Jamaal Lascelles over Pontus Jansson? Even Newcastle United and Leeds fans appear to be agreeing on this one.

Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles at the end of the game

Trying to get football fans to agree on the Team of the Year would have made Paul Warne’s chances of keeping Rotherham United up look quite reasonable.

Yet, the PFA really haven’t helped themselves with their 2017 picks. While it’s difficult to argue against the inclusion of Dwight Gayle and Chris Wood up top, Jonjo Shelvey, Aaron Mooy and co in a star-studded midfield, their choice of centre-backs has certainly raised a few questions.

No one can deny that Brighton’s granite carved Lewis Dunk deserves a place. But Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles over Leeds’ cult hero Pontus Jansson? The PFA have some explaining to do.

Yes, Lascelles is odds on to lead The Magpies back to the top flight after one season away but his jittery post-Christmas form, capped by a series of high-profile mistakes, means many supporters would argue that he’s not even the best defender at St James’ Park. Ciaran Clark anyone?

The omission of Jansson, however, borders on the baffling. The Swede’s headline grabbing displays, his penchant for last-ditch, body-on-the-line blocks, have been just as essential in Leeds’ promotion quest as the rapid-fire finishing of Chris Wood.

Leeds' Pontus Jansson celebrates scoring their first goal

In fact, even Newcastle fans have the good grace to admit that the PFA may have dropped the ball on this one.

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