Noel Whelan has accused Leeds United winger Jack Clarke of “feeling sorry for himself” after his disappointing start to the new season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker and lifelong supporter of the Whites says that the teenage talent has failed to live up to expectations after his impressive breakthrough season, with Marcelo Bielsa handing the attacker limited game time at Elland Road.
Clarke has not featured once in the Championship this season, with his only outings coming in the League Cup win over Salford and defeat to Stoke City.
With Clarke having not been seen since being hooked at half time against the Potters, Whelan says that the young starlet looks as though he is struggling to handle the pressure building on his shoulders.
Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s down to the player to catch the manager’s eye, it shouldn’t be the manager demanding from him, he’s got to have demands and expectations of himself and levels in training and how he goes about his job.
“He’s getting paid really good money here, he’s at a great club where the fans enjoy his football but at the minute people are questioning him. There’s got to be a reason we’re not seeing the best of Jack Clarke. He was given an opportunity against Stoke and he didn’t look like he’s taken it.
“He looks a little rusty, a little bit feeling sorry for himself. He needs to man up a little bit and with expectations, you’ve got to deal with that pressure.”
Clarke returned to Leeds on loan from Tottenham this summer after signing for the Premier League giants, but has not enjoyed the same sort of form he showed last season.
The 18-year-old has 27 first-team appearances and two goals under his belt for Leeds, with 24 of those coming in the Championship and the play-offs last term.