Liam Cooper wasn’t even being considered as a starter or even a back-up by the majority before the season started. I was one of those, and most will be happy to admit that they were feeling the same. It’s also fair to say that he has proved that in this form he is more than capable of starting for the club, and so far he has been by far the most improved player, and one of the best in the early season games.
Cooper was voted in by the other players to be club captain and it seems to have been the tonic he needed ahead of the new season. I think he’s an honest lad and he would probably admit that his form at times in the last few years has been very poor. he has always had a top performance in him, the home game against Brighton last season the perfect example. Jansson was benched by Monk and Cooper came in and put in a man of the match performance against one of the best sides in the league. Fast forward a week and he was at fault for the only goal in a crucial game at Reading, and that probably sums up his first few years at the club. What I will say is that playing alongside Sol Bamba and Guiseppe Bellusci won’t have helped his development at all.
In terms of liability Liam Cooper is at the top of the list. He knows what it means to be playing for a club like Leeds United and having met him on a couple of occasions he is one of the most humble and polite players I have ever come across, and that isn’t always the case when you meet them. He also has the respect of the other players at the club and a tweet from Pontus Jansson a couple of weeks ago after the Sunderland game showed just that. He said about a captain and leader of the club and how good he was at it, Liam Cooper. Jansson is probably the most respected player from the stands at Leeds United so a tweet like that makes you think about what he is saying.
One thing that has helped Cooper is the departure of Chris Wood believe it or not, it’s helped a few. He was prone to playing long balls towards the player but floated ones that were lazy and extremely frustrating to watch. He hasn’t had that option in the last couple of games and he has used the ball so well, finding feet and actually coming out with the ball. The test now for the captain is consistency and making sure he keeps his form up and keeps leading the side. He’s barely put a foot wrong in the opening games and it’s nice to see that players can come good like this if the confidence and guidance is there. We all want the form to continue and with no goals conceded in four games his confidence will be sky-high.