Ex-Leeds United Under-23s coach Darren Arnott has expressed his unstinting admiration for Marcelo Bielsa and the work he does behind-the-scenes.
Arnott spent two-and-a-half years in West Yorkshire and worked under Carlos Corberan and Mark Jackson for the second-string Whites before making the move to Norwegian side Stromsgodset in January.
He has witnessed first-hand the effect Bielsa has had on staff and players at Thorp Arch and he praised his influence on the Under-23s side in an interview with Leeds Live.
“When he pushes people on the grass they’re willing to go above and beyond,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been starstruck by anyone, but immediate respect for the things he’s done and what he can bring.
“The staff in the Under-23s, especially that first year, it was tough, it was a shock to the system and I look back on some of the work we did, the hours we put in.
“It was a shock for the players as well, much more stressful on the physical side, but it was reaping rewards.”
Success runs through fabric of the club
Bielsa has his finger on the pulse in all areas at Thorp Arch and that is what has brought us so much success since his appointment in 2018.
The senior team has experienced a transformation from Championship also-rans to second-tier winners and is now sat in a stable mid-table position in the Premier League with visions of a top-half finish this season.
That success has not been limited to Bielsa and the first-team squad however.
Mark Jackson’s Under-23s side have taken the Premier League 2 (Division 2) by storm this season and are set for promotion to Division 1.
The likes of Joe Gelhardt and Cody Drameh have shone for the young Whites while Bielsa has also used it as an opportunity to give important minutes to senior stars lacking fitness and form.
This has helped to foster a close-knit relationship among all at Thorp Arch and shows the significant of Bielsa’s ‘one-for-all’ approach.
In other Leeds United news, see our exclusive interview with Paul Robinson on the £10m Whites move that is an ‘absolute bargain’.