Former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown has taken a swipe at Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics at Leeds.
Leeds host Keown’s former club Arsenal at Elland Road on Sunday and the former centre-back knows what he would do to topple the Premier League new boys.
Leeds have lost three of their last four games. Two of those were 4-1 defeats against Leicester and Crystal Palace and Keown has spotted how Bielsa’s side were undone.
Keown says if he was a Leeds player he would be doubting Bielsa’s methods after two heavy defeats.
During a recent interview with talkSPORT, Keown said: “If I was being asked to do that, I’d have to sit down with the boss after the game against Palace and say I’m not really sure I completely believe in this because I’m out on my feet here – as the Leeds players were in that match.
“Palace just had a low block as Leicester did the week before and had good players at the top of the team with pace, like Vardy the week before.
“They were broken down. It was fascinating to commentate on and fascinating to watch but, actually, it wasn’t a winning formula.
“Guardiola is a very humble man because he looks at the genius and he sees Bielsa’s quality – he’s got an incredible mind for football – but if we link it to success, Guardiola has won an incredible amount of trophies. He’s got the balance right and I don’t think Leeds have got the right balance.”
Keown: Two defenders exposed
“I don’t know if there has to be a plan B. I think it’s a case of needing a bit more restraint.”
Bielsa’s teams have often been accused of running out of steam in the second half of seasons. The Whites did exactly that in 2018/19 before getting the job done last season and winning promotion to the Premier League.
Asked if he thought Leeds, who impressed against Liverpool and Aston Villa, could maintain their high intensity performances, Keown said: “He’s had 70-odd matches there and the players are well-drilled and know exactly what he wants. I don’t know if the players can sustain it, what I am seeing is their two central defenders being exposed.
“If you’re going man-for-man all over the pitch, there’ll eventually be someone in a one-vs-one situation and they’re not comfortable with that. Vardy and Zaha both did it for them.”