Bielsa admits spying on each and every Leeds opponent this season

Date published: Wednesday 16th January 2019 5:50 - James Marshment

Marcelo Bielsa has opened up a huge can of worms by admitting he has ‘spied’ on each and every one of Leeds’ Championship opponents this season.

The United manager is in hot water with the game’s ruling bodies after he openly admitted sending a member of his staff to secretly spy on a Derby training session ahead of the Whites 2-0 victory over the Rams on Friday.

The Leeds managed arranged a media briefing at 5pm on Wednesday to explain his actions – and vowed to help the authorities with their investigation.

Bielsa, however, did admit he’d watched the training sessions of every opponent Leeds had faced this season via the aide of a PowerPoint presentation.

“When you watch an opponent the day before a game it either confirms what you know.”

Bielsa also says it’s too late to construct a project to change tactically.

However, he did admit he regretted the way the scandal had exploded in Leeds’ faces.

“For me it’s important to explain. When you look at an opponent you want to know starting XI, the tactical set up and set pieces. These are three main things coaches look at.”

Bielsa then turned to the PowerPoint to explain how he’s watched all 51 matches Derby played last season.

“We think by doing that and gathering information we get closer to a win, even though we know it’s not true. And in my case it’s because I’m stupid enough to engage in this sort of behaviour.

“Each game took four hours to analyse.

“Why did we do that? Because we think this is professional behaviour. It’s to try and avoid being ignorant about the competition we’re playing in.”

Bielsa then asks a journalist to pick out a specific game – Chelsea 3 Derby 2 from last season. This graphic then illustrates the starting line-ups, the data from the game, substitutions and changes to formation during the game – all the detailed analysis from each and every game and how they leave no stone unturned.

Next, looking at Manchester United 2 Derby County 2…. “What I’m trying to do is convince you that what I said (about not getting an unfair advantage) was true. In the 51 games we watched the players who are still playing for Derby.”

“This is not very useful. It doesn’t put you in better conditions to win a game but the way to respect football is to make the effort to know the players in the team. I can’t speak English but I can speak about the 24 teams of the Championship.

“I feel ashamed to tell you this [to go into details of his coaching and tactical methods].

“But all this information is not committed to memory. I’m here to convince you that all I’m saying is true [and that spying on an opponent training does not give you an unfair advantage, but this tactical analysis of their games could].”


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