France World Cup winners launch astonishing attack on Marcelo Bielsa

Date published: Wednesday 6th February 2019 1:41

Former France World Cup winners Franck Leboeuf and Christophe Dugarry have stuck the boot into Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

Bielsa is under investigation by the FA and was widely vilified 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 in January.

Leeds apologised to Derby and Frank Lampard and said they would remind Bielsa of his responsibilities, while he then held a remarkable press conference detailing his tactics in an hour-long PowerPoint presentation to journalists and admitted his coaching staff have watched training sessions of all their opponents before playing them this season

The furore has coincided with a slump in form for the Whites with four defeats in their last six Championship games to find themselves knocked off the top of the table.

Bielsa was even criticised this week by defender Pontus Jansson, who questioned some of the Argentine’s training methods.

And now, speaking on the Team Duga show on RMC Sport, translated by Sport Witness, Leboeuf and Dugarry, were very critical of the former Marseille coach.

Referring to an incident with former Marseille captain Steve Mandanda, Leboeuf said: “He’s somebody I don’t like. I don’t like his life philosophy. I don’t like how he manages a group and for me he’s shown nothing.

“To take the lift in the morning with your captain, to not say hello and to not even look at him, there’s a bit of a problem.”

Dugarry said: “It’s the way he treats people, journalists, it’s a bit autistic, isn’t it?”

The pair were then asked about the praise the Leeds manager has received from counterparts such as Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino.

Leboeuf added: “No, no, no, that’s not true, Guardiola just said he spoke with him a bit.”

And Dugarry claimed: “They were inspired by certain things, but he isn’t their mentor at all. He’s not their mentor at all. They were also inspired by Mourinho, by all the other managers.”

The show’s host then said although it was fair to criticise how Bielsa gets results, to say he never inspired managers and didn’t help players develop was incorrect.

Dugarry replied: “He’s a manager, I’d hope he’d help players progress. He’s not completely stupid, but to say he’s the one who inspired Guardiola or Pochettino, that’s false. That’s completely false. Guardiola and Pochettino have never said that.

“But there’s dozens of them who mock him. Who’s he respected by? Because he’s crazy? Because he’s sat on a cooler? That’s why he’s respected. The number of people who mock him, thinking ‘how can you play like this?’ Who has he inspired?

“Guardiola was inspired by Cruyff. He might have had discussions with Bielsa that got him thinking. He brought some analysis, a debate, that’s it. What’s impressive with Bielsa is that he can stand in front of managers for two hours and give his philosophy, but what has he brought to the game? Cruyff inspired football. What has he created in the game?”

The pair were pointed towards Guardiola’s quote about Bielsa in 2017.

“It doesn’t matter how many titles he had in his career. We are judged by that, how much success we have, how many titles we have won, but that is much less influential than how he has influenced football and his football players. That is why, for me, he is the best coach in the world.”

Dugarry replied: “Yes, I know, I know exactly what you’re going to tell me. Don’t worry I know them off by heart.

“Stop, Jean-Louis (host). Bravo, you’re right, I’m wrong. I’m so sorry. You are completely right. What else do you want me to say? You’re right, since your friends sent it to you from the internet. It’s very good.”

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