Leeds United could be burning out under Marcelo Bielsa
Leeds United were outrun by Southampton in their 1-0 defeat at St. Mary’s on Saturday, according to a stat shared by Opta.
This is the first time, excluding red cards, that has happened under Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League.
According to LeedsLive’s Joe Donnohue, Saints ran 3 kilometres more than the Whites, and that was apparent to anyone who watched the game.
Leeds did not seem to be wanting it as much as Southampton did and were deservedly outplayed by the hosts.
Bielsa’s teams are known to be fluid and tireless, often putting the opponents on the backfoot.
Anyone watching Leeds for the first time would be amazed by the sort of energy some of the players produce from start to end.
However, against Southampton, none of that was visible and the side looked akin to the pre-Bielsa days.
There was no clear system, most of the players looked clueless as to what they had to do, and the only big chance they managed to create was courtesy of an error from Southampton.
Even though many of the first-team players, including Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha, Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Junior Firpo missed out, that was no excuse for other players to perform the way they did.
Everyone knows about Bielsa’s murderball training sessions, and there’s a huge chance that his side may be burning out.
It may be reactionary to say that after one game, but even before the international break, we haven’t seen the Whites play with the same kind of fluidity.
Whether it’s the lack of depth or Bielsa’s approach to games, something needs to change and it must happen sooner rather than later.
The Argentine is dogmatic, and sometimes that proves to be counterintuitive as it was on Saturday afternoon.
Hopefully, once the absentees return, things will improve, because if they don’t then Leeds are facing a very real threat of relegation.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay issues major injury update, shares timeline on Firpo return