Liam Cooper signed a new long-term deal at Leeds United during the international break and then led them to three points against rivals Barnsley on Sunday.
Danny Mills has praised the ‘fabulous’ captaincy of Liam Cooper after he stopped his fellow teammates from arguing over who should take the penalty during their 2-0 win over Barnsley on Sunday.
With Leeds winning the contest 1-0, Eddie Nketiah, who had just scored, was awarded a penalty, with Pablo Hernandez and the Arsenal loanee keen to take the spot-kick even though Mateusz Klich is the main taker.
Cooper then ran from the defensive half to ensure that it was Klich who was going to take the penalty, which he did, as he converted and ensured the points were heading to Elland Road.
Speaking to Sunday Exclusive on TalkSport (15/09/2019 at 2:20 pm), Mills praised Cooper from stopping a Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford like moment during an important stage of the game.
“This could be great captaincy,” Mills told TalkSport. “Cooper has run 60 yards Taken the ball off him [Hernandez] and said ‘no’. Klich is our penalty-taker and he’s given him the ball.
After the penalty was scored: “Fair play to Liam Cooper. Hernandez wanted the penalty because he wants to get his goal tally up. Nketiah wanted the penalty. But Cooper did the captain’s thing. He ran from a distance and he went ‘no, we are going to do this right, Klich is our penalty-taker and he has the ball’.
“That is fabulous captaincy. We have seen one or two issues, obviously with Rashford and Pogba. Proper captaincy and that’s just given Leeds that breathing space.”
Both Pogba and Rashford were involved in an unforgettable moment during their clash against Wolves last month when Pogba opted to take the penalty ahead of his teammate and missed.
The previous week, Rashford had taken a penalty and converted, with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer coming out and stating that he has two takers before firmly handing over the responsibilities to Rashford, as reported by The Manchester Evening News.
Luckily for Leeds, they had Cooper on hand who ensured nothing escalated, as Leeds went on to clinch all three points and move to the top of the Championship table.