Former Leeds United centre-back Pontus Jansson has detailed a big bust-up between him and Marcelo Bielsa that happened after a 3-1 defeat to Norwich in February 2019 in the Championship.
Talking on the Lundh podcast this week, Jansson gave what was probably his most in-depth interview to date on what happened during his occasionally fiery time at Leeds.
After the Norwich game, Jansson claims that Bielsa yelled at him “in English” but that it all stemmed from a misunderstanding about what he’d said.
“When it was at its worst between us was when I more or less told how it was with Bielsa on an international break,” Jansson said.
“The picture everyone has is that life at Leeds was very hard and intense both in terms of training and matches. That we trained hard and that it was clear that you could sometimes get tired after matches. I said that in the mixed zone.
“Then we met Norwich in the league in February, we lost 1-3 at home and of course it came out in the English media the next day. Then he got so angry.
“When he’s angry and has decided on something… I did not get the chance to defend myself. I wanted to explain that I said that three months ago. He thought I had said it because we lost, that we were tired but that was not the case.
“He started yelling at me and got really angry. I tried to interrupt and explain how it was but didn’t get the chance. He shouted in English. It was the first time he was really angry with me.”
Don’t get on his wrong side
When it was good with Jansson it was great. When it went sour, it went wrong very quickly and dramatically.
What’s fascinating about this interview is the insight into Bielsa’s management style.
We know him as a very cordial man with a real penchant for details and what’s right.
He goes out of his way to talk to fans. He’s softly spoken and very generous with his time.
This shows you what it’s like to get on the wrong side of him and it’s not somewhere we’d like to be.
Once Bielsa has made his mind up about something it appears that it’s not easy to get him to shift his opinion.
He has a lot of power at Leeds and he does what he thinks is the best for the club. So far, it’s worked out pretty well for almost everyone… Jansson being one obvious exception.
In other Leeds United news, Report: Leeds plot swoop for winger who is playing as a striker – 17 goal involvements in 20/21