Leeds United have sacked manager Marcelo Bielsa amid the club’s poor league form, and revealed when a new manager will be appointed at Elland Road.
Bielsa had come under pressure following defeats to Manchester United and Liverpool, during which the Whites had conceded 10 goals. And the West Yorkshire outfit failed to bounce back on Saturday, losing 4-0 to Antonio Conte’s Tottenham at home.
Leeds have now wielded the axe by confirming the departure of 66-year-old Bielsa, who had been in charge since July 2018.
Bielsa was pivotal to Leeds’ Premier League return, guiding them to the Championship title during his second season at the helm.
But his team have been badly affected by injuries this campaign and are now terribly low on confidence. They have not won since mid-January and are just two points off the relegation zone.
Club chairman Andrea Radrizzani revealed just how hard it had been to move on from the fan favourite.
“This has been the toughest decision I have had to make during my tenure at Leeds United, taking into account all the success Marcelo has had at the club,” Radrizzani said.
Leeds chairman thanks Marcelo Bielsa
“With Marcelo as our head coach, we had three incredible campaigns and the good times returned to Elland Road. He changed the culture of the club and brought a winning mentality to us all. The moments created, particularly in the 2019/20 season and winning promotion to the Premier League, will of course live long in all our memories, myself and the fans included.
“However, I have to act in the best interest of the club. I believe a change is required now in order to secure our Premier League status. Recent results and performances have not met our expectations.
“We find ourselves in a precarious league position. I feel now is the right time to bring in a new head coach, in order to have an impact in the decisive stage of the season.
“Naturally, myself, along with everyone else at the club would like to thank Marcelo for his efforts and achievements and we wish him the very best for the future.”
Whites could soon appoint successor
In the club statement, it was revealed that Bielsa’s successor would be announced on Monday. It is most likely to be RB Leipzig’s former American coach Jesse Marsch.
Leeds director of football Victor Orta also gave his reaction to Bielsa’s departure. “Since arriving at Leeds United Marcelo had a huge impact on the club. On a scale I have not seen before,” the chief said.
“He has created a legacy, overseeing major infrastructure improvements at Thorp Arch, uniting the supporters and the players, and giving a clear pathway for young players to transition into the first team.
“It is disappointing his reign has had to end in this manner, given the special times we have enjoyed in recent years, which have been some of the best in my career. But we cannot hide from recent results.
“I would like to thank Marcelo Bielsa for his commitment and dedication. I wish him every success going forwards.”
Leeds are planning to honour Bielsa’s legacy at Elland Road with a permanent tribute, which could come in the form of a statue.