We’re the biggest fans of Marcelo Bielsa you can find but the Leeds United legend is not above criticism. 

And we think Leeds are paying a very heavy price for a shocking mistake that could so easily have been avoided.

Leeds were 2-0 up against Crystal Palace and in cruise control when Kalvin Phillips went down with an injury.

It looked like a muscle problem and we were fully expecting him to go off.

Instead, he limped on until the 88th minute when he finally went off to be replaced Jamie Shackleton.

The TV commentary team couldn’t understand it, asking why Bielsa hadn’t just taken him off when he first went down.

We couldn’t understand it. The game was won, Palace were awful and Shackleton could easily have come on when Phillips first went down injured without jeopardising the three points.

Instead, he played on and obviously did more damage.

Phillips is such an important player for Leeds. It’s said so much we don’t need to go into that again.

He was subsequently ruled out of the Arsenal game where we flopped horribly without him. Now he’s been ruled out of the Wolves game on Friday and there’s no guarantee he’ll be back for Southampton next week.

It might be easy to say with hindsight but keeping him on was just a shockingly bad call. He might have said he was okay but Bielsa should have exercised caution.

It’s not the first time – this exact same thing has happened before with Phillips. It was literally no surprise when he was ruled out of the Arsenal game through injury.

Following the Arsenal game, Bielsa said that he’d played Mateusz Klich despite him suffering with an injury.

This isn’t sensible, especially with Klich in such a slump of form anyway.

Put simply, the Leeds squad is too small and while that’s Bielsa’s way, it needs to change or he needs to start trusting his bench more.

In Bielsa we trust. Just not over this particular decision.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay claims Hernandez not athletic enough for Bielsa, likely to leave in summer


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