Phil Hay has said that Leeds United are hoping that the international break will “cool the temperature between Bielsa and Pablo Hernandez” after the player was dropped from the game against Crystal Palace.
The Athletic journalist also said that Bielsa didn’t communicate his decision to anyone at the club before he announced he wouldn’t be taking the midfielder to the game in his pre-match press conference.
Hernandez was subbed off in the previous game against Leicester and he showed his displeasure by ripping off his black armband and kicking a water bottle. He has since apologised for the reaction.
Writing on The Athletic Hay said, “The club hope that a two-week interlude will also cool the temperature between Bielsa and Pablo Hernandez after the latter’s omission from the squad at Palace.”
On the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show podcast he said, “It’s probably worth saying Bielsa didn’t really expand at all on the decision. And from what I’m told I don’t think he communicated to anyone at the club before he made that decision.
“That’s not a surprise as he doesn’t tend to seek validation for what to do with the team. It’s always his decision and he sees the team as his to run.
“It’s safe to assume it’s what happened at Leicester. I don’t think he’d have seen it at the time because Hernandez was on the other side of the pitch.
“Evidently, something in the days after has convinced Bielasa not to take him. And it’s his prerogative not to explain this.”
Hopefully, this is over
Whether we agree with the decision or not, you have to love the way that Bielsa handles things.
The Tony Yeboah incident – where he ripped his shirt off and hurled it at George Graham – was also discussed on the podcast.
After that incident, Graham went public and tried to turn the fans on Yeboah. Bielsa has made his decision but doesn’t feel the need to state explicitly the reason or humiliate Hernandez further.
We don’t mind reactions from players after getting subbed but the black armband was a step too far.
And, we imagine that Leeds players getting subbed from now on will turn and applaud the player coming on in future, even if they’re unhappy inside.
The one worrying thing is that we’re not sure that this incident is actually finished after this Hay update.
Hay saying that the “club hopes” the temperature has cooled doesn’t exactly put it to bed and we might not know for sure until the squad is announced for the Arsenal game.
Hernandez isn’t likely to start the game with Rodrigo returning after his positive Covid-19 result. If he’s not on the bench, it’s more worrying.
Hernandez might not be a regular starter but he’s a hugely important player for Leeds.
In other Leeds United news, ‘OMG’, ‘Remarkable’, ‘Madness’ – These Leeds fans thrilled after int’l display by one player