‘Unbelievable’ – Martin Keown suggests Leeds United move from Man Utd has changed Dan James as Gary Lineker offers horror tackle defence

Martin Keown has suggested Daniel James’ rash challenge on Mateo Kovacic comes with playing for Leeds United.

The Wales winger was given a straight red card for his first-half tackle on the Chelsea midfielder at Elland Road on Wednesday night in Leeds’ 3-0 defeat to the Blues.

They were already 1-0 down when James was given his marching orders by referee Anthony Taylor for a tackle which was deemed dangerous. It’s the second dismissal in as many matches for Jesse Marsch’s men, who lost Luke Ayling to suspension following his red at Arsenal last weekend.

READ MORE: What Daniel James said in dressing room after horror red card vs Chelsea

Keown says the aggressiveness was not something seen in James during his time at Old Trafford with Manchester United. Speaking on Match of the Day, host Gary Lineker described the tackle as “rash”, and offered up some mitigation for the former Swansea City star.

“Unbelievable,” Keown responded. “This is the thing. You want your players at boiling point, but you don’t want them to boil over.”

“Sometimes I think they look worse than they actually are, because he gets the ball first and follows through, but I know what you mean,” Lineker interjected.

“It’s something Gary he didn’t really do at Manchester United, I don’t know whether it comes with playing for Leeds,” Keown went on to add. “A part of that getting stuck in and getting around people. But at the moment it’s costing them. They’ve had a catalogue of injuries, down to 10 men again, everything that could go wrong in this game went wrong.

“You look at the fixtures and what’s coming up and it does feel like now it is starting to fall apart for Leeds.”

Leeds became the first team in Premier League history to record 100 cards in one season last night – 97 yellows and three reds – so Keown’s claim does have some foundation.

They then went on to talk about Kalvin Phillips’ challenge on Christian Pulisic, also in the first-half in Yorkshire. “This one here, Kalvin Phillips, I mean that is…. he is really lucky that he’s not another victim.”

Lineker replies: “That is actually deliberate, whereas Dan James’ probably wasn’t.”

“They are lucky not to lose yet another player,” Keown adds. “The manager can talk as much as he wants, but he’s losing players through suspension, through injury and they are losing their heads. It’s going really wrong for them, and they look pretty well doomed at the moment.”


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