MOT View: Words of World Cup winner show how lucky Leeds are with Bielsa
When Leeds United appointed Marcelo Bielsa as their new manager in 2018 it was viewed as one of the biggest coups the Championship has ever seen.
This was a guy who managed Argentina for six years, who transformed Chile into a footballing force and took European football by storm with that joyous Athletic Bilbao team.
He was a genius, a demi-god walking among mere mortals in the second tier. There was no bigger name who’d ever traversed the Championship proving ground.
However, as with all things, the allure wears off after a while. The enigmatic maverick has, for some, become a paranoid rambler.
The operative words there are for some. There is a minority, and it’s undoubtedly a minority, of Leeds fans who are perhaps now wondering if the Bielsa juice is worth the squeeze.
You see, there’s a lot that comes with the Bielsa experience. He is very set in his ways, and he sticks to his ideals and is loyal almost to a fault.
That last point is a touchy one for some members of the fanbase. His continued faith in Patrick Bamford, despite countless missed chances, has become a real bone of contention at Elland Road.
However, it’s worth remembering sometimes just how lucky the Whites are to have a manager like Bielsa in charge.
For that, we head over to FourFourTwo magazine to see what World Cup-winning left back Benjamin Mendy – who worked with him at Marseille – has to say about the Leeds boss.
“Yes, he is so special. The videos! The meetings! For me, when you go to France you need to try to speak French, but he spoke in Spanish all the time – that’s how much he was focused only on the game. He always had a guy with him to translate.
“For our first match, we had a friendly and some of the staff had been making jokes. He didn’t like them [the jokes]. So before that game he told them not to bother coming – we got on the coach and it was only the players, Bielsa and the doctor. We all thought, ‘This manager is crazy’.
“But after that it was OK – he’s a great personality, a fantastic coach, and you had to respect him for what he did.”
Those words from Mendy are a nice reminder of what exactly the Leeds fans have in Bielsa. He is intensely focused on one thing: winning. If you can’t help him to do that then he doesn’t want you around.
Things have gotten a bit wobbly at Elland Road recently, but now isn’t the time to lose faith. Bielsa is the man.
In other Leeds United news, former player David Prutton has been wondering why the club didn’t sign a different striker last month.