Create
Notifications
Favorites Edit
Advertisement

Marcelo Bielsa's influence at Leeds United

shivam singh
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
765   //    19 Dec 2018, 03:26 IST

Bielsa's magic has Leeds top of the Championship after 22 matches this term
Bielsa's magic has Leeds top of the Championship after 22 matches this term

Marcelo Bielsa is widely considered one of the greatest managers across the modern footballing era. A perfectionist who studies opponents thoroughly prior to fixtures, he's unorthodox and introduced the footballing world to his "loco" approach and a 3-3-3-1 formation - allowing his teams an opportunity to transition from defence to attack with ease.

He began his coaching career with Argentine first division side Newell's Old Boys, where he worked wonders - helping them reach the Copa Libertadores Final as well as multiple league cup titles too. Regarded with so much respect, the club named their stadium after him. He later managed the Argentina national team, Espanyol, Chile, Athletic Bilbao and Marseille to name a few.

Bielsa's previous success

It was famously at Bilbao where he worked wonders, knocking favourites Manchester United out of the Europa League in 2012 and nullifying the free-flowing Barcelona too. To describe him as influential would be an understatement. Some of his disciples in the managerial world include Mauricio Pochettino, Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola.

Bielsa in training ahead of Bilbao's UEFA Europa League Final defeat against Atletico
Bielsa in training ahead of Bilbao's UEFA Europa League Final defeat against Atletico

Pep claimed Bielsa's managerial style influenced his own coaching immensely while considering him the world's best coach. Pochettino has not only worked alongside him, but played under him back in Argentina as well as Espanyol. He considers the 60-year-old as his father, while echoing Pep's stylistic sentiments.

Marcelo Bielsa always studies his opponent thoroughly before a match.
Marcelo Bielsa always studies his opponent thoroughly before a match.

Bielsa has also influenced various players and helped them improve their respective games - City fullback Benjamin Mendy is a prime example. Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker took a significant pay cut to play under Bielsa's guidance on a season-long loan this past summer.

Marcelo Bielsa's arrival was welcomed with optimism by the fans as they felt that he is the right person to take their legendary side from the second division to the top flight.

However, there was an air of uncertainty among the experts as Bielsa's style is often considered as a high demanding coach who asks nothing but perfection from his side. His teams are often characterized to play at high intensity and maintaining this intensity for over 40 games seemed to be far-fetched for a championship side.

Advertisement
Leeds United are considered the sleeping giants of English football.
Leeds United are considered the sleeping giants of English football.

So far in the season Leeds have been playing attractive football and churning out results.

But Bielsa has not only changed the onfield syle of Leeds but has also worked wonders off the pitch as well. One of the most heartwarming football stories this year has been when Bielsa made his entire team to pick-up litter in order to give them a perspective of the hard work fans have to go through in order to support their team and thus cherish every minute the play for the club.

Leeds United is one of the most legendary sides in the English top flight but somehow lost their way drastically. They went from 2001 champions league semi-finalists to the 2nd division of English football.

This hasn't hindered the support of their passionate fans and seems like the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa has given all the more reasons for the fans to be an optimist to relive the glory days that Leeds once enjoyed.

Tags:
Advertisement