Leeds United employee makes 'car crash' claim as controversial Dan James footage analysed
Noel Whelan has admitted a lack of discipline is “killing” Leeds United after Dan James’ red card against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker insisted the speed of the 24-year-old’s tackle on Mateo Kovacic meant it was always going to end in a “car crash”.
In footage relayed by Sky Sports (11 May), James was shown a straight red after catching Kovacic high above the ankle with the follow-through.
It was the second successive match Leeds have gone down to 10 men after Luke Ayling’s red against Arsenal.
Whelan admitted “emotions got the better” of both Whites stars.
Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “We’re not giving ourselves a chance at the minute. We’re losing our discipline and emotion is taking over people’s heads
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“It’s killing us at the minute. Sometimes you’ve got to manage your game and your head at times. Emotion got the better of him on that occasion. I love the commitment, I want to see that from Leeds United players.
“But at the same time, it’s that one moment of recklessness. It’s not the winning of the ball, it’s the follow-through.
“When you go to ground and you’re running at the pace Dan James is running there, there is always going to be a car crash, unfortunately. It’s a really bad challenge.
“You can see how high his studs are into the shin and it is a potential leg breaker, it really is. You’ve got to control your emotions in big games. He should be more experienced than that.
“If you’re going to challenge, he was going nowhere, Kovacic, just stand and make that tackle. There’s no need to do that.
“But when you’re under pressure in big games, in big moments, with the loud crowd sometimes you lose that edge of discipline in your game. That one moment of recklessness has cost him until the end of the season.”