By George Overhill

15th Apr, 2022 | 5:40pm

Leeds United hero Johnny Giles furious with Jesse Marsch's 'unfair' criticism of Marcelo Bielsa

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch was “very unfair” for making “derogatory” remarks about predecessor Marcelo Bielsa, according to Johnny Giles.

The American told talkSPORT that the injury problems at Elland Road this season were a result of an “overtrained” squad under the Argentine, but ex-White’s hero Giles is furious at the suggestion.

Bielsa oversaw a complete transformation of the club’s fortunes during his reign, and Giles has pointed to that to suggest the new man in charge was out of line.

The 81-year-old told Off The Ball, via Leeds Live: “I think it is outrageous and unfair. What he said about the training methods leading to the injuries which brought them into trouble.

“Marsch has come in and said because of [Bielsa], injuries have been caused. But what about the previous two years when he took them from the second division and then they had a great season in the Premier League.

“Bamford said it one time, he has scored more goals under Bielsa than anyone else and he said he was responsible for getting him to the fittest he has ever been.

“He was here between three and four years but I think it is outrageous that he has come into the club and criticised the guy he has replaced. I think it is wrong and unfair.

“You can’t run Bielsa down for what he has done and criticise him in the way he has.

“First of all, I think any manager taking over from another professional manager shouldn’t make any derogatory remarks about the manager.

“If he is sacked, he is sacked, just let him get on with the job and the way you deal with it. He is being very unfair on Bielsa and he has a long job on his hands.”

Blowback

It was always going to be a risk for Marsch to criticise Bielsa considering the legendary boss’ standing in the city.

And Giles, who played over 500 times for the club in the 1960s and 1970s, has reacted how plenty of fans may have.

But the ex-Red Bull man would not have let it slip on a whim, so it seems likely that he has had that sentiment affirmed by others at the training ground.

Two things can be true at once, and suggesting that the famous methods of the former Argentina manager had caught up with his squad doesn’t negate his achievements.

It is quite possible that it required the extreme physical exertion that he demanded to wake the sleeping giant up at Elland Road.

But those methods seem inherently short-term, and having brought about the revolution that fans craved it probably required a change in tactics.

If it were to be accepted that the former manager was responsible both for the upturn in the club’s trajectory and the eventual injury crisis then on balance most would likely say it was worth it.

As long as his successor keeps getting results he will be able to speak his mind, but if form slips he will need to be careful.

In other Leeds United news, two recent first-team performers started for the under-23s, but three stars missed out on valuable minutes.