'I expect that from academy players' - Noel Whelan tears into Leeds forward who ignored Bielsa


Noel Whelan has torn into Leeds United winger Jack Clarke after he ignored instructions from manager Marcelo Bielsa during their League Cup defeat to Stoke City.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker and lifelong supporter of the club says that the Argentine boss was quite clearly shouting instructions the way of the teenage forward in Tuesday’s clash but that the youngster failed to carry them out.

Clarke, who started the game at Elland Road, was one of three players substituted at half-time as Bielsa brought more experienced players into the game.

Whelan says there is clearly something wrong with Clarke’s mentality right now, blasting him for being ineffectual on the left wing and failing to carry out his manager’s instructions.

Whelan told Football Insider: “I don’t think it’s a talent thing, so it’s got to be a personal and mental thing. When you get opportunities you want to go out there and prove yourself and that was his opportunity.

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“It wasn’t the Jack Clarke we expected, he didn’t really do anything on the left-hand side, gave the ball away cheaply. When the ball was on the other side, he was still out on the wing – you’re not affecting the game by doing that. He was being shouted at Bielsa to come infield when the ball’s on the right side.

“He was just standing there on the left wing – I’d expect that from players that don’t know their roles, I expect that from academy players. Whether he’s switched on completely, I’m not so sure. You’ve got to fight, show some spirit.” 

Clarke has struggled for game time this season after returning on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, with no Championship minutes under his belt so far.

His only action has come in the League Cup, starting against both Salford City and Stoke before seeing his teammates lose on penalties to the Potters.

In other Leeds United news, Darren Bent has told Football Insider that an unhappy Tottenham have launched a probe at Elland Road.