Lucky Leeds Boss Bielsa Has Thousands of Experts to Tell Him What to Do – by Rob Atkinson


Marcelo Bielsa – lucky man

Marcelo Bielsa really can count himself truly blessed in his current situation at Leeds United. He’s in charge of a club of global pedigree and immense potential, and he’s assembled a squad rich with talent and promise. On top of that, Bielsa himself is lauded by some of the game’s foremost coaches as the granddaddy of them all, the guru, the one who’s influenced the best of the rest. Bielsa, in short, has a heck of a lot going for him.

But it doesn’t end there. For Bielsa, lauded as the Master by football’s movers and shakers, has a massive army of armchair experts behind him, poised ready to bestow upon him the benefits of their tactical acumen at the first sign of the smallest problem or misfortune. Some of the experts would replace Bamford with Nketiah, others would play both as a twin spearhead. Still others would replace Harrison with Costa, and there are also those who would drop Hernandez and play Harrison/Roberts/Costa in that role. This group include those who praised Hernandez as the best in the league following a masterclass late last season, but no matter. Drop him now, they say, for they know best.

In fact, it’s odd that these sedentary experts are all so sure that they know best as, though they all reckon they know better than Bielsa, still there’s great disagreement between them as a group. Surely, they can’t all be right? Is there even the glimmer of a possibility, then, that Bielsa actually does know best about the group of players he works with, day in and day out?

United are, after all, top of the Championship, having won five games and having failed to win the other three when they most certainly should have. But they’re firmly on course to win the league if they can maintain even this slightly less than perfect form. Still, that’s not good enough for the “Dave from Beeston” types out there, nor yet the Twitter tendency. From the way these “supporters” carry on, you might imagine they know more about the game than poor old Marcelo.

Here’s a thought, though. What if we all just let Bielsa get on with it, just on the off-chance that Pep Guardiola, and other super coaches, are right about him. Why don’t we all get off Bamford’s back as well, just in case the sports psychologist chaps have a point about mass criticism having an adverse effect on confidence and performance. You never know, it might just work, this controversial idea of letting the pros get on with it.

Who knows – maybe, at the end of the season, with the league title on the sideboard, we’ll all be saying, well, who’d have thought it. That global legend Marcelo Bielsa really did know what he was on about, after all.

On a slightly less acidly sarcastic note, how good it was to see United and Bielsa get a FIFA fair play award for gifting Villa a goal after Leeds had taken the lead in, ahem, controversial circumstances. I actually don’t agree that there was anything amiss with the Leeds goal that day, but Marcelo obviously felt uncomfortable about it, and what he says goes, as I’ve been hinting all column long. But this FIFA award has been particularly enjoyable for the distress it has caused among certain figures in the game who have a nosebleed if forced to give United any credit for anything. I won’t name names, let’s just say that the anti-Leeds brigade are many in number if slightly short of charm – and they’ve been distinctly rattled by this FIFA award thing. All of which is – let’s be honest – distinctly satisfactory.

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18 responses to “Lucky Leeds Boss Bielsa Has Thousands of Experts to Tell Him What to Do – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Life is LUFC

    Bang on Rob. If those who criticise others that do not come up to their exacting standards feel they can do better in either or both departments then get your boots on or stand on sidelines and get on with it. However do not be put out when you are criticised, it’s just someone else who can do the job better 🤐

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  2. Bloody hell Rob, glad when on our 160 mile round trip you’re not in our car. We all know best, it’s always been that way.
    Definitely drop Jackson though lol.
    MOT

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  3. I take it you mean Jack Harrison, Rob…but totally agree with the pain our Fair Play award is causing…a bit of unexpected Schadenfreude in reverse, I think….

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  4. Reality Cheque

    Good post Rob, and I totally agree that jumping on the back of individual players is never a recipe for improving their confidence and them looking forward to playing at Elland Road. Bielsa wants them to take risks and sometimes those “risks” may surrender possession or attempts on goal may sail high and wide of the goal

    However, Rob I must be totally honest that I share some of the concerns being voiced regarding Bielsa not having solved the concerning low conversion rates of our far superior possession and attempts on goal, despite being in post for over a season

    On a positive our goals conceded is much improved and young White has been such a smooth master class that many of us are now questioning why we ever gave Pontus hero status in the first place. Kiko also appears to have got to grips with both the Championship and the ball. We also sold our leading goal scorer and Eddie & Costa will take a little longer to become fully Bielsaball-ised but early signs are very impressive

    That just leaves me with the dilemma of Bielsa not improving our conversion rates, (as outlined in one of my recent earlier posts Rob). We now have a full squadron of wingers, and a 1km running track at Thorp Arch but my concern is that having the fittest squad doesn’t guarantee goals or even promotion, as none of the 3 promoted teams last season did 3 training sessions a day nor was it deemed necessary for their players to sleep at their training grounds. In short Rob, I have no coaching badges or experience whatsoever and have no concrete knowledge of Bielsa’s training sessions at Thorp Arch but I just hope that he is focussing on close quarters passing and movement inside the type of congested penalty areas we have become accustomed to seeing at Elland Road when opponents park the proverbial

    Keeping things in perspective, we are top of the league, with a much improved defence, some true quality strikers, have retained Bielsa, Phillips, Pablo Klich etc., appear to have overcome our injury crisis, (touch wood repeatedly) and have a production line of amazingly talented youngsters waiting in the wings. So yes we have far more positives around our club than for many years Rob and it is now official in the global world of football that we have the most sporting of managers around!!!

    Onwards & upwards ALAW

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  5. Graham Atkinson

    Well said Rob, yet again 😀😀👍👍

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  6. It is interesting to see how many teams are trying to use the ‘High Press’ and playing out from the back.
    Wonder who inspired them??
    Bamford to getting better and stronger with every game, and he must not lose confidence.
    The fans are backing him which is vital.
    It would be nice to see Eddie playing alongside him?

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  7. Well said Rob.
    Are you sure you are a Leeds Supporter?
    Far to sensible.
    Mot.

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  8. Hello there,everyone is entitled to an opinion and to vent their collective spleens however its the knee jerk reactions that annoy me. When I was travelling back home from Saturdays game i broke my pledge never to go on my phone in public as I perused the various twitter comments most of which were over the top especially the comments regarding Jack Harrison who I felt was very unlucky to be hooked. He put some decent balls into the Derby box but our finishing was woeful. Regarding Bamford,the kindest thing I can say about him now that I’ve calmed down a bit is that he’s a square peg in a round hole and that after his diving ban last season to do it again in his first game back was a slap in the face to everyone who cares about Leeds. Also,its worth remembering Tha we were top of the league for most of lad season too when everyone was lauding Marcelo but a fat lot of good that did us. The fact that he’s been praised by all and sundry won’t cut it with me until Leeds stop gifting teams points they don’t deserve. Lets face it and be honest, Marcelo has made some mistakes since taking over and the vast majority know it too but what do majorities mean these days? I hope Marcelo proves me wrong but I still can’t see us going up.

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  9. Get one for yourself son

    Come May all will be revealed, we are playing some of the best football at Elland Road in absolute donkey years, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast;Man never Is, but always To be blest.The soul, uneasy, and confin’d from home and the North Stand.Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”
    We are Leeds and will always take the road less traveled….Get in

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  10. neil macdonald

    It’s a lovely wee oasis of thought here. Hope the boo-boys keep out.

    Personally, I have fallen in love with football again. Spent years watching Leeds through my fingers. Now we’re 2 down with a minute to go & I believe we can still win it. The fact is that we’re presently watching some of the best football we’ve ever seen – most certainly in the last decade. We should embrace it, for who knows, it could be gone soon as it arrived, never to return for donkeys years. The football world is a fragile world, and we should be thrilled to be a significant player again. Hopefully for ever, but football doesn’t work like that. All the more reason to enjoy the ride, bumpy or otherwise.

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  11. patrick Hogan

    In my humble opinion, and though I know nothing’s going for him at the moment, I thought Bamford was MOM against Derby and an absolute nightmare for their defenders to face. I hope he starts banging them in again soon.

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    • Not getting any luck just now, but we are 2nd in the League!!
      I like Bamford and would love to see both him & Eddie in the team together.
      They would compliment each other.
      Eddie could wander where he likes, with Patrick holding the line!!

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  12. Is Jackson a new signing 🤔😁

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