After Monk's comments, 4 potential reasons Leeds axed Jansson

Pontus Jansson of Leeds United celebrates after the game

Why did Leeds United leave Pontus Jansson out of the starting line up at the weekend?

Pontus Jansson of Leeds United celebrates at the end of the gamePontus Jansson of Leeds United 

Pontus Jansson was omitted from Leeds United's starting line up against Brighton at the weekend.

It was a brave decision from head coach Garry Monk in such a big fixture, and fortunately it paid off with the Whites recording a 2-0 home win.

After the game Monk gave little away, with a cryptic comment that Jansson's absence was for the greater good.

He told BBC Radio Leeds: "I will always put the group first, and I try and make my selections on the team based on the setup and principles that we adhere to.

"You've seen in the past, many times, that I'll make changes if I feel it's best for the group, and I've done it throughout the season - whether that be tactically, through suspension, through injuries or whether it's just that I feel that that's what that game needs. I will always make decisions on what is best for the group, and tonight, that happened to be one of the decisions."

His comments offered little clarity, just the way he intended it.

Leeds United manager Garry Monk before the matchLeeds United manager Garry Monk 

In an interview in his homeland with Fotball Skolanen, Jansson said the reason will stay between him and his manager.

Here are therefore four potential reasons the centre-back found himself on the bench...


Monk's comments could be construed to suggest that Jansson was not fully fit, and Monk wanted two centre-backs who were at 100 per cent.

Jansson though was named on the bench, and has headed off on international duty with Sweden, where he will go up against Cristiano Ronaldo when they play Portugal. Good luck with that if not at full fitness...

Suspension fear

Jansson's no nonsense approach means he has a tendency to rack up bookings, and this has already seen him pick up one suspension this season.

Monk could be choosing to limit the number of games Jansson is exposed to, to reduce the likelihood of him landing a nightmare play-off suspension.

The timing of Monk choosing to do this though would make his choice a little odd, in such a big game.

Ill discipline

Monk's veiled comments hinted somewhat that Jansson was being punished for a situation behind the scenes.

Had the club talisman got too big for his boots and caused offence somewhere?

If so, this may have been a way for Monk to teach him a lesson.

Squad challenge

Perhaps the smartest way of looking at Monk's decision is that he was laying down a challenge to his squad, and asking them to prove they can win without Jansson.

Previously they have struggled without him, the home loss to Cardiff last month a recent example.

If injury or suspension meant Leeds would be without Jansson for a play-off game, it would be a big psychological blow.

Now they have proved they can win such a big game without him, the team will have shown themselves they will be ready for such an event.

If this was the reason Monk axed Jansson, then it was a stroke of genius.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch