Bielsa heading Down Under for 36 hours
Marcelo Bielsa was reported to be unhappy with the club’s pre-season tour to Australia, with Leeds set to play Man United on Wednesday before a game against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.
His beef? Travelling so far in the middle of his preparations for the next season.
Now, it looks like a compromise has been reached which will see Bielsa make the trip to hook up with the squad members who are already out in Australia.
The Sun has claimed that Bielsa will fly out to Australia for the game against Man United before heading back to carry on working with the players that were left behind – new signings like Ben White and Helder Costa, and players late back from international duty like Mateusz Klich. It is claimed he could spend just 36 hours in Australia before jetting back to Leeds.
The full squad of players that has travelled is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Kiko Casilla, Kamil Miazek
Defenders: Gaetano Berardi, Bryce Hosannah, Liam Cooper, Barry Douglas, Stuart Dallas, Clarke Oduor
Midfielders/wingers: Kalvin Phillips, Adam Forshaw, Jack Harrison, Pablo Hernandez, Mateusz Bogusz, Jordan Stevens
Forwards: Kemar Roofe, Patrick Bamford
It seems like the perfect compromise for us. Fans who have travelled out there and local supporters will get to see enough big-name Leeds players. And Bielsa will get to work with both groups of players.
He needs to spend time with the new players Leeds have signed, coaching them in the ways of Bielsa-ball, and there will be only two weeks left of pre-season by the time the bulk of Leeds players jet back from Australia.
It’s a gruelling trip for Bielsa – close to 24 hours there and 24 hours back for a 36-hour stopover and one game. If his select Leeds XI can beat Man United he might think it’s all been worth it.
Bielsa arrived with a reputation – perhaps unfairly, after stints with Marseille, Lazio and Lille – but so far at Leeds he’s shown nothing but professionalism and willingness to compromise. That everything he does seems to be aimed at making Leeds the best they can be will just make the fans’ bond with their maverick man even deeper.