Gabby Agbonlahor was asked for his reaction to Marcelo Bielsa getting nominated for FIFA’s manager of the year award and it was as salty as we expected. 

He said it was “ridiculous” and that he was “shocked” that Bielsa was named in FIFA’s top five managers – despite being in the Championship last season.

Ally McCoist delivered a far more measured approach saying he was happy that Bielsa and the Championship had been recognised in such a prestigious award.

He said whether Bielsa was in the top five managers in the world was “up for debate”.

The real debate will take place online, where Leeds United have already put out the call to mobilise fans.

Talking on the Breakfast show (talkSPORT, Wednesday, 9.30pm) Agbonlahor and McCoist were asked for their reactions to the breaking news.

“He’s done a great job at Leeds getting them promoted and a good start to the season, but I think it’s a bit ridiculous for him to be in that top five,” Agbonlahor said.

“There are so many great managers in world football who have done a better job then Bielsa. So, I’m quite shocked.

“I think you have to give it to the Bayern Munich for how he’s smashed every team in the Champions League. But Bielsa… I’m lost for words.”

McCoist said, “I think it’s great, I really do. I love watching his team.

“I think it’s nice he’s been recognised but Hansi Flick at Bayern Munich will take some beating. Top five is certainly up for debate but I’m pleased he’s been recognised.

“I think you have to take budget into account and achievements. But I’m definitely happy that Bielsa and the Championship have been recognised. Top five is up for debate.”

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We can fully understand why Agbonlahor is so salty.

He made the headlines when he criticised Bielsa on talkSPORT last month.

He said, “Everyone is getting excited about Bielsa, but if you’re getting that excited by Bielsa, you must be putting the red carpet down for Dean Smith. I feel like people need to calm down with Leeds United at the moment.”

Following that, Bielsa schooled Aston Villa with a 3-0 thrashing, the first points they’d dropped all season.

Now this. Bielsa will take it all in his stride but it’s going to wind up a lot of pundits and fans from other sides.

The funny thing is that the award is given after an online vote and we know how good Leeds fans are at these.

However, when you’re up against fans from across the world, even Leeds fans might find this a step too far.

Just getting nominated is an achievement in itself, though.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Push the envelope’ – Jim White & Simon Jordan react to exciting new Leeds off-pitch deal


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