MOT View: Ex England international right not to blame Leeds over controversial Bielsa stance
The Eddie Nketiah situation at Leeds United has unfortunately turned into a rather sour one, with Marcelo Bielsa bringing up old wounds this week.
The Argentine accused the young Arsenal striker of underestimating the club and of expecting to start every week as soon as he joined.
It was something that we all thought was in the past, but the manager’s handling of Jean-Kevin Augustin compelled him to re-open Pandora’s Box on Thursday.
Nketiah won’t have appreciated being brought up by Bielsa, but as the boss has restarted the conversation, let’s continue it. Did he handle the striker’s time at the club correctly, and was he right to take him to task this week?
Former England international Kevin Phillips certainly feels that Bielsa was the one in the right in this instance.
“A bit of everything went wrong for him at Leeds, I suppose, maybe not playing enough,” he told Football Insider.
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“You can understand Leeds’ point of view, he’s still a young lad and Bielsa probably sees Patrick Bamford as a more steady, reliable player.
“It’s hindsight, isn’t it? Who knows, only Bielsa can answer that [if he made a mistake with Bielsa] but it’ll be interesting to see how the kid develops.
“You can’t really say that Bielsa got it wrong because Leeds are sitting at the top of the league so he knows what he’s doing.”
Phillips is absolutely right, here. Bielsa shouldn’t be blamed for doing what was best for his side. He makes the decisions at the end of the day, and he preferred Patrick Bamford for the majority of the time this season.
Obviously Arsenal didn’t like that because they loaned the youngster out to get game time, but that’s really nothing to do with Bielsa.
As Phillips says, Leeds are enjoying life near the top of the division, so it’s difficult to say that he got it wrong. Plus, Augustin has now come in to fill Nketiah’s spot, so you can’t slam Bielsa for how he handled Nketiah.
It’s frustrating that this is still a topic of discussion, and clearly it’s wound Bielsa up. However, he needs to relax knowing that he did the right thing for his team.
In other Leeds United news, the club’s supporters have been reacting to an update from the FA.