Have Leeds Finally Got The Right Man in Bielsa?
After the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom just four months into his Leeds tenure, the entire footballing world let out the same disgruntled groan that has become synonymous with everything Leeds United related.
Sure, the appointment of the former Barnsley manager raised a fair few eyebrows, especially as Heckingbottom had only signed a new contract with the Tykes only a week previous to joining Leeds. Nevertheless, the dismissal of a manager who’s barely had any time to stamp his own authority on the club and squad raises questions about not only the decision making at Leeds but the hierarchical structure under which the club is currently operating.
In Marco Bielsa, Leeds have appointed a well respected coach with a wealth of experience. Despite the fact that the Argentinian has never managed in England, Bielsa has managed Argentina, Chile and Lille and can count Mauricio Pochettino, Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola as some of his friends and biggest admirers.
“He makes the players much much better ” says Guardiola, who went on to add that his admiration for Bielsa is “huge” and that “he helped me a lot with his advice.” On the surface, Bielsa could well be the piece of the jigsaw that Leeds have been missing in recent years – only last year, he was described as the best and most influential coach in the world. However, the Elland Road club have had 11 managers since 2013, which is more than any other club currently operating in the English League system and the 2018/2019 season will be the fifth in succession in which Leeds have started with a new manager.
Source: Pep Team via Facebook
Whilst Bielsa is undoubtedly the most qualified and experienced Leeds manager in the modern era, the club’s hire and fire policy means that the Argentine will need to hit the ground running or it could well be over before it’s even started.
One could argue that with Bielsa’s contacts in the game, the players that he’s able to bring in should be of a higher calibre than those that have been seen at Elland Road in years gone by. The question remains, however, will Bielsa be given enough time to bring his own players in?
Leeds are among the favourites at 4/1 to be promoted in the Championship betting and so it seems that the bookmakers tend to be leaning towards the answer to that question being a yes.
At this point in time, it’s almost impossible to assess whether Leeds have finally appointed the right man at the helm in Marco Bielsa but one thing’s for certain, you can’t knock the club’s ambition in bringing the Argentinian into the club.
Bielsa is arguably the most audacious appointment the Championship has ever seen and if he isn’t given the time he needs to get Leeds back into the Premier League, then it’s difficult to see who will be.
The Championship is currently renowned for being one of the most difficult leagues to get out of owing to the sheer size of some of the clubs currently operating in the second tier of English football and if Leeds are to even think about getting promoted anytime soon, continuity should be the first thing on their agenda.