By Beck Pascal

20th Dec, 2021 | 2:15pm

Agbonlahor claims he would rather play under Sam Allardyce rather than Leeds’ Marcelo Bielsa

Gabby Agbonlahor has controversially claimed that he would rather play under Sam Allardyce rather than Leeds United’s Marcelo Bielsa.

The statement was made following the Whites third consecutive defeat in the league, a 4-1 thrashing against Arsenal.

Like many others, Agbonlahor questioned Bielsa’s training methods as his team continue to struggle in their second season in the Premier League. Which is not being helped by the squads continually growing injury list.  

Live on air he said he would rather play under Bielsa or Allardyce, he replied: “I don’t know, probably big Sam, me. Big Sam at Bolton (Wanderers), playing to his strengths.”

Bielsa continues to come under scrutiny as he plays his free-flowing expansive football leaving his players exposed against opposition with quality.

Speaking live on air on TalkSPORT, Agbonlahor said: “If you go down, are you going to be doing an open top tour bus because you still love the football, if you get relegated? Because you love how they play?

“Last season’s gone, (it’s) this season we’re talking about. You’re playing against tough teams, you’ve got injuries, so change it up a bit. Try and get a draw today, try and get a draw against Manchester City, not go toe-to-toe.

“When you play teams, you don’t want everyone behind the ball, where you’re kicking it out up the field and you’re getting pressurised back on again, but (in) certain games you can change it. Not every game go to toe-to-toe. Next week against Liverpool, if you do the same that you’ve done today, it could be like 12-0, you can’t do that.”


Marcelo Bielsa is – rightly so – one of the world’s best and most respected managers. The job he has done for Leeds United as a club on and off of the pitch cannot be forgotten after a poor run of form.

Agbonlahor’s claim seems even more delusional when you take into account the players Leeds are currently without. He is right in saying that the Whites need to adapt their approach.

If he doesn’t the embarrassing 14 goals conceded, and one scored in three consecutive defeats may continue or even worsen as teams relish the opportunity to play such a dismantlable team.

Much like Jurgen Klopp did when he relaxed his high line in the absence of Virgil Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip. Bielsa must adapt to the opposition he is faced with and the players at his disposal.

Otherwise, it could be second season syndrome for the Yorkshire club after a gruelling 16-year absence from the topflight of English football.

In other Leeds news, Danny Murphy breaks down Leeds’ ‘chaotic’ approach in defeat versus Arsenal.