Marcelo Bielsa laid waste to any rumblings of a fall-out with Kalvin Phillips, and launched a tremendous defence of his Leeds United tactics.
After being curiously deployed as a centre-back for large parts of their defeat to Tottenham two weeks ago, Kalvin Phillips’ post-match comments drew attention. When asked why he was utilised out of position, Phillips admitted: “I don’t know why he did it.”
Phillips quickly moved to allay any fears of unrest when speaking after the last-gasp victory over Brighton in midweek. Now, during his Friday press conference, Bielsa did the same.
“It’s what’s common in the world of football,” said the Argentine (via Leeds Live). “It’s difficult to express yourself over things that didn’t happen, that there’s nothing behind and that they are expressed as a reality.
“There’s things that correspond to the private part of a relationship. So perhaps the media talks about these things that are hidden but this is a next step.
“This was the spread of something that didn’t happen at all. What I’m saying is, it’s a way the press are. The objective is very clear: it’s to bring attention with any type of resource.
“The press, not only do they inform, but they have their legitimate need that what they tell wakes up interest and in that process, on occasion it happens that they invent realities to bring attention.
“But I insist this, there’s nobody better than the representatives of the press to explain it. As a result for me to say this doesn’t make much sense, in all the countries in the world the sensationalism occupies a part of the press.
“I think in England from my point of view, it’s less than elsewhere, normally that’s because the material they work with is precious because very few leagues have so much to say about it as something as precious as the Premier League.”
Also on the agenda in Bielsa’s press conference was the subject of his tactics.
Leeds’ struggles have been there for all to see this season. Though in a lengthy and philosophical response, Bielsa insisted deviating from what has made Leeds the club they are could be a fatal error.
Bielsa launches incredible Leeds defence
“The way a team chooses to compete is a decision that has to be reflected upon a lot,” said Bielsa. “To construct it takes a long time. To not maintain your philosophy of play and abandon the main themes that sustain it, that’s very easy.
“New philosophy to substitute it and not that it resolves the next game. It worked as a base that lasts.
“The urgency we have to obtain results generates this option of the plan B. From my point of view, that’s caused a lot of damage to football in general.
“What should be considered is the improvement of the plan chosen, not the substitution of it. What you call a plan B, if you analyse, is going from speculation to the protagonist or vice versa.
“From precaution to risk and from risk to speculation. That doesn’t describe an idea of play because you can have cautious teams that are very good and teams that are protagonists that are very good. Both processes are valid.
“What you can’t do is change it on a weekly basis because to consolidate takes a long time. What’s really significant is what you obtain or what you deserve because if what’s deserved is not obtained, the path is the correct one.
“Of what’s obtained is not deserved the path is not the right one. In both cases, time verifies those things. The only thing I am saying is what corresponds is to deserve what you get.
“Any focus is valid, that no process is consolidated instantaneously. No process of regularity that’s immovable. From my point of view, what should be judged is the relationship between what you deserve and what you obtain, which is truly decisive.”