PFA Championship Team of the Year: Leeds United and Norwich City have three players in XI while Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham also included

24 Apr

Leeds United and Norwich City both had three players named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.

Canaries striker Teemu Pukki had already picked up the Player of the Year crown and was named with team-mates Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis in the best XI, chosen by fellow players.

Teemu Pukki is the Championship’s top scorer

Pukki has scored 28 goals since joining on a free transfer from Brondby in the summer.

Norwich need just a point at home to Blackburn on Saturday to secure promotion back to the Premier League.

Leeds United’s centre-back duo of Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper were named in the team along with Pablo Hernandez.

Pablo Hernandez has been in fine form for Leeds

Hernandez’s absence from the EFL’s Championship team of the year raised a few eyebrows at the time.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side are three points behind Sheffield United with two games to go and are relying on Chris Wilder’s side to slip up.

The Blades have two players in the XI – Oliver Norwood and Billy Sharp.

The PFA Championship team of the year

Norwood was on loan from Brighton before making the move permanently in January while Sharp has notched 23 league goals this season.

Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham is also in the side after impressive performances for Aston Villa where he has scored 25 times.

Team-mate Jack Grealish is also included, despite missing three months of the season through injury.


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Villa have won 10 straight games to all but secure themselves a play-off spot.

The team is completed by Middlesbrough goalkeeper Darren Randolph where he has helped his side to the joint best defensive record in the league.

One notable absentee is Birmingham City striker Che Adams, who was on the shortlist for player of the season.

The players will be honoured at the PFA’s annual awards ceremony in London on Sunday, April 28.

PFA Championship Team of the Year 2019: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Max Aarons (Norwich), Liam Cooper (Leeds), Pontus Jansson (Leeds), Jamal Lewis (Norwich), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United), Pablo Hernandez (Leeds), Billy Sharp (Sheffield United), Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa), Teemu Pukki (Norwich).

Championship team of the year: Alternative XI, according to statistics with Leeds United, Norwich City and Sheffield United all represented

27 Mar

The players named in the Championship team of the season were revealed by the EFL on Tuesday and some eyebrows were raised after some notable omissions.

The player of the year shortlist was also announced with Birmingham’s Che Adams, Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp and Norwich striker Teemu Pukki all up for the top award.

Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki

The official team of the year announced was as follows: Darren Randolph, Max Aarons, Reece James, Liam Cooper, Jamal Lewis, Kalvin Phillips, Oliver Norwood, Jarrod Bowen, Che Adams, Teemu Pukki and Billy Sharp.

Leeds United fans were dismayed that Pablo Hernandez was not named in that team despite scoring 10 goals and registering 11 assists.

Liam Cooper was one of three players to be in both teams of the year

But the EFL have been validated, which is bad news for Leeds fans, because he is also not in the Championship’s best XI, according to WhoScored’s ratings.

The WhoScored and the EFL teams of the season differ wildly and there are just three players who make it to both.

Just two Norwich City players make it into that team despite their club being top-of-the-table while Sheffield United have just one representative.

Two of the players who are nominated for the player of the year prize, Adams and Sharp, have not even made it in the team.

The current team of the year

The team above is not final, unlike the EFL one, with players still able to force their way into the side with some good performances in the final eight games of the season.

Leeds United fans blast Liam Cooper as Whites captain has ‘calamity’ against Brentford

6 Oct

Leeds captain Liam Cooper had a match to forget on Saturday when Brentford visited Elland Road.

The Whites skipper struggled at the heart of the defence as a hard-fought and enjoyable encounter ended in a 1-1 draw.

It was not Cooper’s finest day in a Leeds shirt

Though there will be much discussion over Brentford’s goal – a very, very debatable penalty – there can be no denying the role Cooper played in it.

The Scot gave away possession remarkably cheaply just outside Leeds’ area, which allowed them to overload the final third and play the ball across to Ollie Watkins, who was in acres of space in the left channel.

He charged into the box and went down under Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s challenge, though it is debatable just how much influence the Leeds goalkeeper had on Watkins’ fall.

Cooper cheaply gave away possession, and was immediately played out of the game

Cooper was the most culpable of all Leeds’ players for the conceding of the spot kick, and it was the headline error in a poor overall performance by the centre-back.

His shocking showing did not go unnoticed by the Elland Road support, with fans taking to Twitter to react to Cooper’s performance…

Leeds United set for ‘exciting season’ under new manager Marcelo Bielsa, captain Liam Cooper tells talkSPORT

7 Aug

Leeds United captain Liam Cooper has told talkSPORT the club could be in for a special season under new manager Marcelo Bielsa.

The Whites got the new Championship campaign off to a winning start as they comfortably beat Stoke City 3-1 at Elland Road on Sunday.

Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez gave Leeds a 2-0 lead before half-time, with Cooper nodding in their third goal from a Barry Douglas corner.

And the skipper says their performance was a taste of what’s to come under former Argentina boss Bielsa.

Marcelo Bielsa has been hired to try and end Leeds’ 14-year absence from the Premier League

Known for his intense approach and gruelling training regimes, Cooper revealed 63-year-old Bielsa had the team running triple and sometimes even quadruple sessions a day during their pre-season preparations.

But the defender has hailed the new boss and told talkSPORT host Jim White the squad have fully bought into the experienced coach’s attacking philosophy.

“From day one when the manager came in, he said we’re going to take risks and we’re going to be offensive,” Cooper said on Tuesday.

“He doesn’t want his teams to defend too much and he’s adamant we’re going to take risks, and that’s the way we’re going to play.

“It’s going to be exciting.

“The lads have really bought into his philosophy and what he wants us to do and try.

“It took some getting used to – we were running three and four sessions a day for five or weeks over the summer – but now you can see in training the performances levels have gone up and the fitness levels are really high.

“The lads are saying it’s the fittest they’ve ever felt, so long may that continue.”

Cooper also hailed Leeds fans for their continued support, and vowed to give them something to celebrate this term after slipping away in the league last season, eventually finishing in 13th place.

The Whites defender added: “The fans deserve something this season, 100 per cent. They turn out in their numbers week-in, week-out.

“Against Stoke at Elland Road on Sunday, that was certainly one of the best atmospheres I’ve played in.

“They’re a credit to the club and a credit to themselves, they pay big money to come and watch us play and the boys, myself and the whole club are very grateful for that.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Leeds United captain Liam Cooper IN FULL above!