Ian Holloway gets himself in a twist over Bielsa after Leeds win 4-0 v Middlesbrough
It’s no surprise that Ian Holloway gets lots of work as a pundit. You can always rely on him to be opinionated and come out with sharp soundbites that are perfect for social media.
The only problem we have is that he’s not very consistent.
During the EFL highlights on Quest (Saturday, 9pm), Holloway was positively gushing about Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa.
He was watching Leeds hammer Middlesbrough 4-0 and he described it as “magical”.
“I was so impressed with them [Leeds] today,” Holloway said. “It’s not just Bamford on his streak as Tony Pulis said a few weeks ago. The pressure they put on Middlesbrough today was as good as I’ve seen outside the top two of the Premier League.
“It’s Bielsa. It’s magical. They’re getting better and better. It’s pretty ominous for everyone else.”
That sounds about right to us. Even when Leeds haven’t been getting the results this season they’ve absolutely dominated games and they’re playing a style of football that top managers like Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola are employing in the Premier League.
Pochettino has said before that Bielsa is “one of the world’s best managers”.
Holloway is a busy boy. He turned up on talkSPORT this morning, but he’d do well to try to remember what he’s said before as he wasn’t quite as complimentary about Bielsa on Monday morning.
Holloway was questioning whether Pochettino was a good manager after getting sacked by Tottenham, and claimed that Micky Gray had said Bielsa should be “in the frame” for the Arsenal job.
“Bielsa, he’s like dad to Pochettino, right, I’m saying Rafa Benitez all day long [for Arsenal] because if you look at Bielsa he couldn’t get Leeds up last season.”
That is rather a reductive way of looking at things, which disregards the players and money Bielsa has had to work with. And it flies completely in the face of what Holloway said just days before.
However, there’s one thing we are in absolute agreement on – Arsenal should definitely look to Benitez and ignore Bielsa completely.
Hopefully, Bielsa will get a chance to prove Holloway wrong with Leeds in the Premier League next season.
In other Leeds United news, Paul Robinson claims ‘adaptable’ Leeds player should replace Phillips v Huddersfield