Beesotted’s Jim Levack reflects on the news that Pontus Jansson, magic hat and all, will be leaving Brentford for his beloved Malmo at the end of the season.
When Pontus Jansson defied Marcelo Bielsa’s orders by refusing to let a striker pass to roll the ball into an empty net, the jury was out.
He was flouting the ultimate act of sportsmanship from the Leeds manager in a controversial and high stakes match with Villa. Outrageous said many, and I got it.
But equally I understood the angels and demons dilemma that faced one of the most important signings Brentford have ever made.
Because, you see, he’s a winner. And that’s why his part in our club’s folklore will never be underestimated or forgotten.
It’s not quite on a par with ‘where were you when Elvis died?’, but the capture of the Leeds united talisman after the fall-out that followed Goal-gate was pivotal in our evolution.
His signing in 2019 was a powerful statement of intent. A player joining us pretty much at the peak of his powers, but far more important than that… a leader.
What followed was no surprise. He galvanised those around him. As a trusted skipper, someone you’d look for and feel assured by in the heat of battle, he ranks among Brentford’s finest.
His impact was immediate, both psychologically, physically and in terms of belief.
It went largely unsaid, but it finally felt like the experienced Swede could be the last piece of the jigsaw to spearhead a genuine Premier League push. And he’d apparently asked to come to us.
It was a perfect relationship with Brentford fans traditionally happy to forgive a lack of unbridled talent or ability if 100% commitment to the cause was given.
But Pontus was the complete package. A player who walked the walk as well as talking the inspirational talk. His mere presence on the touchline when injured during some of those dark and empty Covid games was enough to inspire.
Captaining Brentford to the Premier League on that day at Wembley will undoubtedly be one of his career highlights to feature in the annals of history. But his undoubtedly huge role in ensuring Brentford returned stronger from the previous season’s disappointment was no less monumental.
His will be incredibly hard boots to fill because of his heart on sleeve passion… a showreel indelibly etched on my mind following his 95th minute headed winner at Watford.
“This is what it means yeah, this is what it means!” he screamed at the thousands of rapturous travelling fans.
And that’s why, deep down, he always was, and always will be, one of us.
Thank you Pontus and good luck.