Leeds United’s Gain Will Be Real Madrid’s Loss as Bielsa Heads to Elland Road – by Rob Atkinson


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El Loco

It’s a topsy-turvy football world these days. Huddersfield Town occupy a higher league position than any other Yorkshire club, Manchester City are streets ahead of their Salford neighbours on the wrong side of the Pennines, Spurs are ahead of Arsenal – and Leeds United are set to appoint a coach seriously coveted for their own club by fans of European Champions Real Madrid.

Incredible as it might seem, the odds are ever more, as each hour passes, on Argentinian legend Marcelo Bielsa becoming the latest occupant of the Elland Road hot seat – with some well-placed sources claiming the deal is already done, all bar the work permit. To say that this would be a coup for United is to edge dangerously close to vast understatement. Anybody who can be suggested as the next coach of Real Madrid, as a feasible successor, mark you, to Zenedine Zidane himself – and yet not have that suggestion laughed out of court – must be hot property indeed. And then there’s the small matter of the opinion of Bielsa voiced by none other than Pep Guardiola – lest we forget, former Barcelona coach and current boss at runaway English champions Manchester City. According to Pep, Bielsa is “the best coach in the world”. Who are we to argue with Pep? Indeed, who is anybody to argue with Pep?

So these are heady days around Elland Road. Should the story be true, they’re liable to get even headier. And if the rumours are anywhere near the bullseye that such a coaching appointment also signals a stratospheric soaring of the United transfer ambitions, then the headiness will know no bounds. It’s safe to say that, in these circumstances, we’d be heading into next season on a high.

For the moment at least, it’s enough of a pleasing novelty to be linked with the likes of Bielsa, and of course Claudio Ranieri too. Things appear to be moving fast, though, and Don alone knows where all of our heads will be at in a couple of weeks or so. We could be celebrating, or we could be reflecting that we perhaps aimed too high. But I have a sneaky feeling that it’ll be the former state of affairs.

Roll on next season then, although – what with the World Cup as well as all of this juicy Leeds United speculation – the summer should be a lot more entertaining than usual for those of us with LUFC carved upon our hearts. One way or another, it’s going to be a very interesting next few months. 

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27 responses to “Leeds United’s Gain Will Be Real Madrid’s Loss as Bielsa Heads to Elland Road – by Rob Atkinson

  1. I need to know am I having one of the greatest dreams ever or better still am I wide awake and this is real. I’m in shock, please god let this happen.

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  2. Scally Lad

    All encouraging news, Rob, but I’m hoping for an English manager who knows the league and its unique demands. Someone who’s never coached in England – let alone the Championship – sounds to me like yet another potential misappointnent. I’m encouraged by the prospect of Sam Allardyce, but hey – anyone’s got to be better than this last sad and expensive lot of characters we’ve been stuck with.

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  3. Great news if Leeds United can get Bielsa as the manager . Please Andrea
    Not Bruce! He made a mess in Villa just like Hecky did in Leeds! And has been sacked!

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  4. Aussie Dave

    It must be June again….. The annual blind faith and hope have returned but this news has just trumped every other previous June. Can this be real? Do we dare to dream? OMG is this really happening?

    If Bielsa comes I can’t imagine just what kind of players he would attract. Would we have the money to feed his needs though? So much to dream about….

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  5. Dave Parry

    If it works. About time.

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  6. Philip of Spain

    Yet after all that Rob,there is still a minority of Leeds fans twittering away about Big Sam and what a mistake the club is making going for the Argentinian. The club can’t aim much higher, coach wise.If it comes off and its looking more likely every day,we are in for a treat.(Note to ex Leeds manager,Tuesdays can be very cold in Argentina).

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  7. Steven watt

    Sorry but have heard it all before we will end up with a WHO and a WHAT. Radz knows how to play us as we are played every season. Until quality investment is put into the first team we will unfortunately always be hoping .

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  8. Don went to England, Jock went to Scotland, Jack went to Ireland, Terry went to Wales, Alex went to Argentina, Howard helped out England. At last, we might be seeing a movement in the other direction. Come on Alex, tell him how good Yorkshire is.

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  9. Ropey Wyla

    Hi Rob, all this optimism is so odd. It feels a bit like when your a kid waiting for Christmas. Really hope we all get what we want and deserve, good tidings and big respect to all who are Leeds.

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  10. Tim Campbell

    As far as our great football club is concerned we should all be cautiously optimistic with how things are panning out at LS11. First the King of Corn releases his tentacles from around the club and the young maverick, rides (Radz 😁) into town upon his white charger to save the day. He buys back our ground, and starts to rejig the structure around the club. Admittedly as the saying goes you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few egg shells, and so it was in his first full season. But our new sheriff keeps his ear to the ground and responds accordingly. A new club crest doomed to failure upon its unveiling, was soon consigned to the cylindrical steel filing tray. And it continues one can say the same sheriff has learnt from other experiences in his first year at the post. Such as following in the footsteps of his predecessors methods in the transfer market or management choices will just not cut it. Yes the signs are promising, by all reports a sizeable transfer fund being prepared to be unleashed, a management choice that only the most ardent Leeds fan could ever have in a wet dream, and significantly, perhaps most of all, AT LAST, a raising of our wage cap to enable us to shop for Tesco’s finest range instead of the bog standard value version. Much to get the pulse racing in the coming weeks, ah yes the optimism is slowly returning, MOT my fellow brothers and sisters😁

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  11. Kevin Weston

    Sorry I think that getting Bielsa is a mistake, obviously a decent CV but we will need a lot of more decent players maybe loans from Man City to play the way he likes. I hope it works out but I’ve seen it all before.

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  12. Working with Orta? Like gin and vinegar!!

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  13. Life is LUFC

    Just suppose ……
    AR ends his partnership to Cultural Leonesa and goes into partnership with Real Madrid.
    Then this Bielsa chap is loaned to Real because of work permit issues.
    Then they never use Bielsa.
    Well Orta did it last season with a young Japanese lad and screwed his chances of playing in the world cup into the bargain. With the past twelve months decisions that have been made I would not put the above scenario past them.

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    • I think Radz in his most honest moments would admit that he’s on a steep learning curve and has made a good few mistakes. Then again, trial and error is how you learn to succeed, and I’d say the general trend has been slightly upwards overall – though it would have been nice to see that reflected in league performance rather than simply in off-field progress.

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    • Good call. I would love to hear from AR himself as to what Orta actually brings to our great club.
      He fires Hecky because of his 1 in 4 success rate yet appears to have totally different system when measuring Ortas achievement rate, 1 maybe 2 in 16? Strike rate. I’m completely bemused by it all. Nowhere else in the world would this be allowed to happen. Not even Boro!!

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  14. He’s a great COACH Rob and that is all that matters! We have some very good young players and it is my hope that he will bring them on even further. Pochettino couldn’t speak English when he came over, but this proved no obstacle to his success.
    He has successfully integrated the homegrown Spurs players to make an excellent side.
    I hope we get Bielsa and he does the same for us.

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  15. Woa steady Rob, don’t go jinxing us. This is all sounding more like a dream every minute and a bit like I was feeling after the first 10 games of last season.
    Let’s hope it happens along with a £25m plus transfer budget.

    Hopefully Real won’t step in at the last moment and gazump us!

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  16. Reality Cheque

    With Manchester City and Spurs managers giving him the highest praise just imagine how many doors will suddenly open regarding top PL teams who will be “recommending” Leeds United to their most gifted youngsters with the highest potential as the best step they could possibly take (on loan or permanent), to further their development under the tutelage of “the best coach in the world”!!!
    Whilst it appears clear that we need an injection of quality to the current squad, it appears that this guy can turn average players into stars and is unlikely to tolerate a lack of effort, determination or compliance with his instructions beyond a reasonable period of instruction and adjustment . I also suspect that he will not tolerate poor decisions or interference from above without speaking his mind.

    If this appointment happens Rob there will probably be a very long queue of players wanting to work for this man and tap into his “skill set” and consequently, our (the fans), expectations will probably go through the roof so I hope that we can have the patience to keep behind the team as it is transformed into a team capable of achieving promotion in the not too distant future.

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  17. With the coming of every season we have been optimistic. Last season started so brilliantly we dared to think of the miracle finally looking possible. Then? We are left shattered, all our asperations and dreams destroyed. No other club with a history of greatness, notoriety and sadly much hatred has had to suffer at the hands of incompetence, greed and business ineptitude than Leeds United.Even those who have the utmost contempt for this club, if honest enough would admire our undying faith and determination not to give up. We demonstrate this every game, home and away and even the usual gutter press who revel in our downward spiral have to give praise to our loyal and faithful following.
    So here we are once again, on the adrenaline rush that just MAY be the start of the long awaited miracle that will put this great club of ours back where we really belong amongst the elite. Of course our regular Twatterattis would even bellyache if we signed Bale this season, so expect the usual in depth clap trap.
    There is on only one priority we fans have and that is get behind the coach and the players regardless who they are. We all want the same thing.

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