Marcelo Bielsa has heaped praise on Kalvin Phillips after the Leeds United midfielder enjoyed a successful international break with England.
Phillips started all three games for the Three Lions as Gareth Southgate’s side won all three of their World Cup qualifiers. Indeed, Phillips played more minutes than any other outfield player across the three matches. He’s also made a huge leap up the England ladder.
Phillips played alongside Declan Rice in two of his three starts. And playing with the West Ham meant for a slightly-more advanced role for the Leeds-born star.
However, he did not disappoint and Phillips now looks a good bet to secure a place in the Euro 2020 squad.
He’s also earned the wholesome praise of his manager at Leeds.
He originally was a box-to-box midfielder and he has the habit of having played in this position for many years,” Bielsa said of Phillips. “The resources which helped improve him play in many positions. With respect to his physical condition, it is all linked to the effort he puts into this matter.”
Bielsa was quick to praise Phillips for taking well to international football. His three games for England now means he has seven caps for his country.
“To be able to hold onto a starting role in a team as strong as England is an important achievement. In a sector of the pitch where it’s difficult to shine. He deserves to be very proud of what he has been achieving,” Bielsa said.
Bielsa comments on Tyler Roberts issue
It wasn’t all good news for Leeds’ international stars. Indeed one, in Tyler Roberts, found himself sent home from the Wales squad. That’s after Roberts, and two of his teammates, broke camp protocols.
Bielsa believes Roberts will have learned a harsh lesson from the saga and insists he had to live with the punishment.
Any player that doesn’t adhere to the rules, having accepted them, commits an error,” Bielsa added. “Errors always have consequences. Some of them are positive. To not repeat the same mistakes again and others have worse consequences as they sanction you for your mistakes.
“Tyler’s a player who’s close to having a lack of experience. A way of understanding some of his behavioural mistakes. Surely this will help him to not make mistakes which are not convenient.”
Bielsa continued: “When a situation like this will be solved when he doesn’t commit this error again. He already received a sanction from his national team, which is an important one.
“I don’t know what the position is of their staff or the federation, who are the people who resolve this matter.”