Michael Bridges has revealed a rather worrying revelation that he has been told by some of Leeds United’s senior players regarding Marcelo Bielsa’s methods.
The former striker has suggested that the current group of players at the club can not quite deal with the intensity demanded from the Argentine for the duration of a season and ran out of steam at the midway point.
Speaking to the English Football Show, Bridges stated: “The other thing Leeds struggled with last year (as well as the injury to Kemar Roofe)… I was speaking to a few of players, (including) Liam Cooper the captain… they just felt after Christmas they’d almost run out of energy, the way they’d been playing football.”
Indeed, it is not a difficult remark to understand and it, perhaps, hardly comes as a surprising one either.
When looking back at last season’s efforts, it was rather evident that Leeds’ quest for promotion was starting to falter as they suffered as they lost nine out of their 21 Championship matches following the turn of the year (Transfermarkt) despite a rather emphatic start to life under Bielsa.
Worryingly, the Whites have appeared to start in the same rich form they found themselves in the previous campaign once again, so there may be a sense of caution about just how well things are going for them at the moment.
Leeds are yet to taste defeat in the Championship after five games, having suffered their first loss in their ninth match last season.
Bielsa has also admitted recently that his side are playing with the same ideas as last season, so burnout will, indeed, have to be monitored and watched carefully – a narrative that appears to have followed the South American everywhere he has managed (iNews).
“We are playing with the same ideas as last year, but losing the ball less,” he told the Yorkshire Post. “We are spending more time with the ball than without it and we are not losing the ball very easily. We are suffering less counter-attacks.
“This is the same idea of the team, but maybe with more spontaneous behaviours in the team and more natural behaviours in the team.”
With a small squad of 29 players available to him (Transfermarkt) with some areas lacking important depth and his knownness for ‘high-octane intensity‘, it would not be a surprise to see Leeds suffer a little following the festive period once again.
However, history suggests lessons can be learned from the past, so, perhaps, Bielsa will have been able to take a few notes on what went wrong (he does seem to enjoy a PowerPoint – even if he says he is not a teacher) and will be able to guide his players to the Premier League at the second time of asking.
Leeds fans, are you concerned with the remarks that have been made? Do you think the side will handle it better this season? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!