Pundit lashes out at Marcelo Bielsa praise and claims Leeds are average

Date published: Tuesday 22nd December 2020 8:55

Marcelo Bielsa TEAMtalk

Leeds United are little more than ‘average’ and the media have created a “myth” in Marcelo Bielsa, according to Stan Collymore.

Sunday’s 6-2 thrashing at Manchester United means Leeds have conceded 30 goals in their 14 games so far. That’s more than any of their Premier League rivals. Despite all that, Bielsa and his side have come in for an abundance of praise for their approach. Gary Neville, for example, is a massive fan of their style and has compared them to Barcelona.

With Roy Keane also affording them praise, Collymore has instead tried to turn the tables. Indeed, the former Liverpool striker says their heavy loss at Old Trafford is nothing to celebrate.

Writing in his Mirror Sport column, he said:  “Sorry folks, but after hearing Martin Tyler be almost breathless in his praise of Leeds United for 90 minutes during their ­hammering by Manchester United, I was left wondering did I read the scoreline correctly?

“At one stage he actually made out they were enjoying it. No they weren’t!

“Nobody enjoys losing 6-2, that’s ­nonsense!

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a Sunday league game or a World Cup Final. It also made me realise how much we in the media create myths.”

Bielsa was recently shortlisted for FIFA Coach of the Year, the award eventually being won by Jurgen Klopp.

Now Collymore has questioned how Bielsa even made the cut, with Leeds’ leaky defence as his proof they are over-hyped.

Marcelo Bielsa’s statistics as a club manager are pretty average,” he added. “He’s won two Clausuras and one Apertura title in Argentina and got Leeds up from the Championship.

“Those are not the statistics of a great manager and to be a great ­manager, you’ve got to win the biggest trophies, otherwise what is the point of being competitive?”

Bielsa and Leeds have ‘inability to defend’

Collymore joins another former Villa man in Gabriel Agbonlahor in criticising Leeds.

Tomas Soucek scores v Leeds United

And Collymore continued: “He’s a good manager who has a very open and expansive idea about how the game should be played. But he has an Achilles heel in the Premier League, which is his inability to defend.

“You cannot concede 30 goals in 14 games, and more than three goals six times. I don’t care if you score 100 goals at the other end. To concede 30 goals in the Premier League after 14 games is poor.

“They’re on course to concede 100 goals over their 38 Premier League games. It’s madness that you could ­categorise someone as one of the best three managers on the planet, as FIFA did when they shortlisted him for their coach of the year award. It looks worse if you’re heading towards 100 goals conceded over a season.”

READ MORE: Bielsa names ‘riskier’ tactics which Leeds stars believe could topple Man Utd

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