Multiple Incoming Transfers for Leeds as Bielsa Style Means Large Squad – by Rob Atkinson


Bielsa – deep squad vital

If every transfer deal Leeds United are supposed to be working on actually came to fruition, then United would need to expand Thorp Arch to twice its current size at least. Most of the speculation, of course, is just that. It’s the sort of thing that takes off during the silly season, when there’s no actual football being played, apart from some prima donnas’ kickabout in Mother Russia. And right now, every sort of speculation has reached fever pitch around LS11 – due to the arrival of a certain allegedly deranged Argentinean, name of Marcelo Bielsa.

The difference Bielsa makes to our recent idea of normality is really twofold. Firstly, the pursuit and capture of a coach with a global reputation must be seen as a sign of serious intent on the part of Leeds United FC, of an ambition not manifest in recent seasons. Bielsa is not daft, and he’ll have made his position and his requirements abundantly clear during the tough negotiations that evidently preceded his appointment. His track record includes a sudden, early walk-out at Lazio, when el Loco felt that he had been lied to. United must have made promises about player recruitment and the manager’s involvement in decisions; they will have to honour them, or they’ll get the Lazio treatment from the maverick Argentine.

The other thing is Bielsa’s famed style of play. The high-pressing, fluidly attacking game makes heavy demands of the players attempting it; the outcome is that, particularly towards the end of a typically hard and gruelling Championship campaign, fatigue will lead to the full use of a necessarily large squad that has strength in depth going for it.

The inevitable conclusion is that, although as usual Twitter is all aflutter because little has happened so far, things will soon start to happen, because Leeds will need a major influx of the right type of talent into what is a patchy squad. I’d fully expect significant arrivals within the next couple of weeks, to allow sufficient time pre-season for the Bielsa method to be inculcated into his players. This coaching appointment simply won’t work unless proper investment and recruitment happens, and you can bet your bottom dollar that, behind the scenes, the activity is already frenetic.

It’s going to be an exciting time between now and the start of the season in August. Enjoy the ride.

9 responses to “Multiple Incoming Transfers for Leeds as Bielsa Style Means Large Squad – by Rob Atkinson

  1. I agree with you, some fans have fallen for the Thatcherite ideology of poor conditions for the players, too few players to the job.


  2. With the high press, we need 18 players of quality to rotate as required.
    Just now we have maybe 8 to10 players who could qualify?
    Mr Bielsa has his own evaluation of course Rob, and may be more scathing than me.
    It would seem we need at least 8 quality players, but 5 will do for me.
    All the rumours are the usual crap we get every year.
    It does seem odd though, that nothing has happened at all so far?
    The players are back on Monday, and I am sure Mr Bielsa will want all new players in promptly.
    Our transfer windows in recent years have been a disaster, but let’s hope that this time it will be different!!


  3. Life is LUFC

    Hi Rob, thought for a time there you had been struck dumb, haha.
    As you say Leeds United are being bombed with every player you can put a name to. Not only will Thorpe Arch have to be extended but heaven knows what the wage bill is at the moment. Sounds to me as though Mr Radrizzani has withdrawn every penny from the bank to pay for them all as well 🙂
    No one is going to be announced from a player point of view until the man himself has been introduced in person.
    That lot on TWATTERATTI are going crackers due to the lack of any announcement. The fact that they are all still on holiday/their break seems to have no bearing at all. Wonder how they would feel if they were hounded on their hols!
    Even the release of the league games for next season had some sacking the man by September.
    I am quite happy to wait until the time is right for any announcements be they what/whom I am expecting or not. I am just hoping for a good season for everyone.


  4. David Smith

    As you intimated, we can’t underestimate the pulling power that Bielsa brings to the transfer market and that includes loan signings which I suspect will be many and of a calibre we could not have envisaged with a less respected manager. With a tough opening fixture list, I just hope he is given the respect and patience he deserves by the fans & owners, because as you say he is not someone who suffers fools gladly! It’s all very exciting! MOT


  5. The tightwads appear to be waiting for July to arrive, before players are signed, but doesn’t pre-season training start next week ?.
    Unless a mass of signings happen very quickly, then it’s the same old bunch of players from last season, that will start pre-season training, with the same old bad habits that have seen off quite a few Coaches.
    Sacko will be given yet another chance, because the new Coach doesn’t know how poor Sacko really is, unless someone at Leeds speaks up and explains which 15 players need to go through the exit door, as soon as possible.


  6. Rob, if all these speculative players are signed up we will need a bigger stadium never mind Thorpe Arch.MOT


  7. I did find it interesting that Bielsa had apparently been more interested in recruitment than the ‘finer details of his contract’. This makes me think that some of the names been bandied around this silly season might just have an element of truth in them. I suspect that some deals might be already done and we might get a number of signings announced all at the same time!


  8. NickB(50yrsLU)

    I’ve been watching developments over the Phil Foden rumour all day; it appears Pep won’t now let him go out on loan. Amidst the euphoria over Bielsa, I can see a slight double-edged sword when it comes to trying to recruit young loanees from top clubs – the kids might have their heads turned by Bielsa’s charisma and not want to return to the mother club. Guardiola would know all about that and, though Bielsa’s his mentor, he simply must put his current club before long term friendships. But, what do I know? Foden might just trot out alongside Alioszki, Saiz, Vydra et al. on Mon.! Someone I’ve seen tonight who greatly impressed was Switzerland’s Rodriguez – amazing, pinpoint passing, corner taking, etc.. But I doubt we could stretch to A.C.Milan’s fee or wages. Sigh! What’s Snoddy’s number?!


    • I think the numbers (not Snoddy’s mobile) are what would keep the likes of Foden out of our reach. We’d not be able to match City wages even in the Prem – so I doubt Pep would be that worried. I can see the benefits of a loan for all parties to be honest. Hope it happens, the kid’s a bit special.


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