By Alex Beard

8th Feb, 2020 | 7:20am

Former Premier League star claims Leeds man's 'madness must be handled'

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is well known for his enigmatic ways. He’s a maverick, which is why he’s beloved, but he’s not always easy to deal with.

The Argentine tends to enjoy short but successful spells at clubs – with a few exceptions – and has a history of exhausting his teams.

That’s what the Whites took on when they appointed him in 2018. They knew what they were getting into, and they thought he was worth the risk.

There won’t be many Leeds fans who disagree with that stance, although they will all be aware that the boss has to be dealt with delicately.

That’s certainly the view of former Liverpool star Mark Gonzalez, who worked with Bielsa during the latter’s time in charge of Chile.

He had a humorous tale to tell about the Leeds chief after an international fixture back in the day.

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“After a match in Ecuador, where we lost that match, Bielsa enters the dressing room ‘hot’ and walked there and here,” he told Chilean outlet T13.

“Suddenly we entered and it had been hardened. He got on top of a stretcher as if they were going to operate it, completely naked.

“For me he is a football genius because of how he lives it. But his degree of madness must be handled, because the pressure he imposes on training and matches is not easy. The level of demand is important.”

This is quite a story from Gonzalez. It’s not really much of a surprise, though, to hear that Bielsa was willing to bare it all in front of his players.

He’s the sort of manager who lets everything hang out… so to speak. He says it how it is and he’s extremely passionate.

Aside from the nakedness, though, Gonzalez says some interesting things. He believes that Bielsa is a genius, but also that he must be handled correctly. That’s not something that is often said about managers.

He’s right that the pressure that Bielsa imposes on his players and on his clubs in general is enormous and unique. He wants the absolute best, he demands it, but that can be draining.

In other Leeds United news, West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic has been moaning about something to do with the Whites.