TalkSPORT’s Adrian Durham believes Leeds United’s manager Marcelo Bielsa has been great for the game of football in England and has suggested that fans cherish it whilst everyone still can.
Writing in an exclusive article for the website about being back in Yorkshire and being able to watch the Whites live in action against Brentford at Elland Road on Wednesday, the pundit revealed he felt that the Argentine’s love for the sport is one reason that appears to make him unique to others in his position.
Durham also revealed that he felt the neutral supporters in the game should also want to see Leeds win promotion to the Premier League this season, as he believes it could be the only way Bielsa will stay in the country beyond the end of the season.
“But there is one big reason why neutrals should all be keen for Leeds to get promoted and it’s this: if Leeds go up this season, there’s a far greater chance of Marcelo Bielsa staying in this country. If you love football, you should be keen for him to stick around,” he wrote.
“Bielsa has an ability to make players better; his teams are gorgeous to watch – even if it doesn’t always come off his teams are easy on the eye. He trusts young players on the pitch. He watches football, to the point where he knew Ben White, on loan and not spectacular at Peterborough last season, would be a player he could work with in his team this season.
“In short, summing all this up, Bielsa openly and passionately CARES about football. And I think we should all cherish him for that in this country while we have the chance. He doesn’t do it for reputation or money or ego. He does it because he loves this wonderful game.”
Although the TalkSPORT pundit can be someone who is highly controversial and explosive when on the airwaves (Chris Sutton did not appear to like what he heard from him on a show back in 2017), it would be hard to disagree with him on this point.
Bielsa has earned plenty of praise for what he has been able to achieve at Elland Road, whilst some of his decisions have also made some great news stories for the country’s media – whether those decisions were the right ones at the time is debatable.
He attracted the wrath of many with the whole ‘Spygate’ saga and held his hands up and revealed he paid the £200,000 fine that was handed to them out of his own pocket. Regarding the issue, he also held a press conference whereby he gave journalists a detailed briefing about his methods via a PowerPoint presentation – which had some calling it a ‘coaching masterclass’.
Notably, he also allowed Aston Villa to score after Mateusz Klich scored a highly controversial goal against them in a highly intense Championship fixture last season, drawing praise for his sportsmanship and attitude to the game.
There were rumours that Bielsa could have left Leeds in the summer after failing to obtain promotion the Premier League, however it was revealed that there was a clause in his contract that allowed the club to keep him for another year – although the manager has revealed he was in agreement about exercising the option (BBC).
On the pitch, the South American has brought an exciting style of play to Elland Road whilst he appears to have made integrating some of the club’s youngsters into the first-team a rather easy task (Yorkshire Evening Post).
Bielsa certainly has brought an aspect of entertainment to the game in England with his methods (whether rightly or wrongly), however, if the Whites do not manage to achieve top-flight football this season, convincing him to stay could be a difficult task for Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta.
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