Pundit rips Marcelo Bielsa apart, warns Leeds cracks ‘already’ starting to appear

Date published: Tuesday 17th August 2021 6:31 - Jonny Whitfield

Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds v Liverpool

Stan Collymore feels that Leeds United deserve a better manager than Marcelo Bielsa following Saturday’s defeat to Manchester United.

The Whites have enjoyed historic success under the Argentine. He ended the club’s agonising wait for Premier League promotion in 2020. However, he did not stop there. A ninth-placed finish upon their return corresponded with the highest-ever points tally from a promoted side since 2000/01.

As such, expectations were high ahead of the new campaign. However, the 5-1 defeat at Old Trafford represented a sour start.

The loss mirrored their 6-2 thrashing by their rivals at the same ground last season.

Despite last season’s success given they had just returned to the Premier League, former Premier League striker Collymore believes Leeds deserve better.

“Another season and already another set of excuses for Leeds under their untouchable manager, Marcelo Bielsa,” the pundit wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror.

“Yes, we know he got them promoted with players who weren’t anywhere near favourites to go up.

“Yes, we know several managers were inspired by his approach to fitness and being on the front foot as much as possible. And, yes, he’s eccentric.

Marcelo Bielsa after Leeds loss to Man Utd August 2021

“But he’s also on £8million a year and, for that, Leeds should be getting a manager whose side can attack and create but be pragmatic and defend when they need to as well.”

Leeds conceded the most goals of any team in the Premier League’s top 10 last season – 54.

Indeed, Leicester – with 50 – came closest to Bielsa’s team. Leeds did show defensive resilience on occasions, such as their 1-0 win over Burnley in December.

However, Collymore insisted that Leeds should look to their record against their biggest rivals.

Collymore questions Bielsa at Leeds

Marcelo Bielsa during Leeds friendly against Ajax August 2021

“Certainly, they should be getting someone who can offer more after a 5-1 defeat than, ‘We were better than the corresponding fixture last year’,” the pundit added.

“Because no, mate, you weren’t and, having lost that game 6-2, this result means you conceded 11 goals in those two games against your biggest rivals.”

Leeds are back at Elland Road on Saturday for their first home game of the new season.

They play Everton, who came back impressively to beat Southampton 3-1 after falling behind in the first half.

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