Marcelo Bielsa insists Leeds United are glad to make a mockery of claims his side suffer end of season burnout after Saturday’s win at Burnley saw them extend their fine run of form to one defeat in nine.
Leeds go to Southampton for the final away trip of the Premier League season on Tuesday. And United head to St Mary’s in fine fettle after their resounding 4-0 success at Burnley on Saturday. It’s been a brilliant season back in the Premier League for Bielsa’s side. It also means they have suffered just one defeat – at Brighton – in their last nine games.
Victory at St Mary’s would also set a record for most away wins in a single season enjoyed by a newly-promoted Premier League club over a 38-game season.
One of the most annoying myths in the game is that Bielsa’s sides suffer end of season burnout. However, the stats show that Leeds’ fitness and running has never dipped during the closing games of the season.
Asked how Leeds have adapted, and improved, their fitness in the Premier League, Bielsa was happy to praise two unsung heroes who have played their part in that.
“Three years working with a stable group is an advantage and to have been able to have been part of a long season as the Championship also helps.
“Now that you’ve asked me about it I want to give recognition to Benoit Delaval who is the fitness coach. And with all the group that’s being led by Rob Price who is in charge of the medical and recovery stuff. Those two structures are very developed in the club,” Bielsa said, via Leeds Live.
“These things are linked to the physical activities of the players, the recovery of the loads and the health. They have done a very valuable job. They are professionals who are very up to date and very capable.
“And we have been able to take advantage of this condition of the players to do great things.”
Leeds burnout myth
When asked if Leeds had showed that they suffer burnout is a myth, Bielsa had a resounding response.
“In relation to that question there are evaluations that are very clear for each team at the end of the season,” Bielsa added. “And the physical performance is not only linked to the physical preparation but how the mind gives potential to those resources.
“When a team runs, it’s a reflection of how the body is and how the mind is. Those values are accessible to all the world so that the affirmations that are made over that particular subject, you can verify with the data.
“We’ve always had the same physical performance in the years we have been here and in my career in general. That has to do with the capacity of the people that I’ve worked with in that area. There is always a presumption around this. However, it’s in the data or where you can verify if those comments are correct or not.
“But we will know that the evaluations are always made with the results. The results don’t necessarily measure the capacities.
“Sometimes you achieve results but the capacities are not decisive. You can obtain results without capacities being at their maximum to you. Sometimes you cannot get the result even if you made a very high effort.
“So when there’s results, the data is another thing to look at. When a team doesn’t have good results at the end of the campaign it doesn’t mean it’s because of that.
“That’s why the affirmations you get form data and be interpreted with those values.”