Sol Bamba delivers fascinating verdict on Leeds, Garry Monk and PL promotion
By Matt Farr
Ex-Leeds defender Sol Bamba has hailed the work Garry Monk has done with his former club this season and backed them to win promotion to the Premier League.
The 32-year-old is expected to make his return to Elland Road on Saturday when Cardiff take on Leeds in the Championship, a place where Bamba has fond memories.
The Ivory Coast international played for Leeds between January 2015 and August of last year, making 49 appearances for the club, before he had his contracted terminated by Monk.
However, Bamba insists that he has no hard feelings over his sudden departure, praising the work of Monk, but admitted that he didn’t have Leeds down as promotion candidates this season.
In a fascinating appraisal of his former side, he told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I’d be lying if I told you I thought they’d get promoted this season. Even now I think they’ve gone further much faster than any of us expected. But I knew they’d be fine. I’d have backed them for top 10, definitely.
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“I loved being at Leeds, honestly loved it. But there was a lot of politics in my time there, and I didn’t like the politics. But last summer (when Monk was appointed) it felt different and looking in from a distance, you can tell that it’s not been a problem this season. It’s all about the football.
“I liked the manager (Monk) straight away. I don’t have a bad word to say about him.”
Bamba sealed his move to Championship rivals Cardiff in October, where has since made 21 appearances under Neil Warnock.
However, although his potential return to Elland Road will allow him a chance to catch up with his former team-mates, Bamba will be determined to be on the winning side.
Leeds will be tough opposition though, despite their recent defeat to Huddersfield.
They are currently fifth in the Championship, five points clear of next-best Sheffield Wednesday.
Fans have already welcomed the return of Bamba to the club on Saturday, but hope that he does not prevent them from coming away with three points.