Marcelo Bielsa insists Leeds revival and his own decision to remain in West Yorkshire is down to the manner in which owner Andrea Radrizzani runs the club.
Bielsa, 66, is now in his fourth season at Elland Road. He managed to lift the Whites back into the Premier League after a 16-year absence. And, tipped to struggle, the Argentinian guided them to a ninth-place finish last term.
He penned a new one-year deal in August this year and is hoping for another solid campaign. Leeds are yet to win in the league in 2021-2022, with draws against Everton and Burnley.
They followed on from an opening 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United. The quest for three points will continue on Sunday when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the visitors.
Leeds have been a breath of fresh air since their return to the top flight, with an attractive brand of football. And the South American coach feels it is no coincidence that the club’s resurgence began after Radrizzani’s arrival.
“We see how Leeds is managed, the decisions that the owner has taken, the way that the owner has managed this club is contradictory (to the norm),” he said. “He invests in the foundation, in technology for the foundation, in a way to find young players.
“They have improved facilities to take forward the programmes of work. The relationship he has with the fans, the respect.”
Bielsa hails fans impact
Supporters are now back in grounds around the country after the lifting of Covid restrictions. There will be another full house at Elland Road this weekend as domestic action resumes following the international break.
And Bielsa acknowledged just how important having packed stands is to the club’s prospects.
“The affection that the fans transmit in the Premier League at Elland Road, you can see it for yourself,” he added. “Of course that makes you emotional, it increases your desire to want to win the game.”
Stuart Dallas is expected to feature after withdrawing from Northern Ireland’s squad last week due to personal reasons. Patrick Bamford made his first senior appearance for England in last Sunday’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Andorra.
And Bielsa feels Bamford can cope with anything he encounters for both club and country.
“The higher the competition he competes in, the better his growth is going to be,” he continued. “Apart from that in this case in particular, the manager of England is a great manager that will surely contribute things to him that will facilitate his development.”