Marcelo Bielsa discusses Kalvin Phillips' availability for Leeds United v Crystal Palace
Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Leeds United man Kalvin Phillips is available to play against Crystal Palace.
The 25-year-old was withdrawn at half-time during the Whites’ 0-0 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion, but Bielsa insists that he doesn’t have a problem with the England midfielder.
This follows on from Jamie Redknapp’s comment about something not being quite right between Bielsa and Phillips [Sky Sports].
However, speaking in his pre-match press conference [Leeds Live], the Argentine tried to dismiss any problems.
He said: “With respect to Kalvin, he’s available for the game tomorrow. As I said in the declarations after the game against Brighton, [Jamie] Shackleton and Pascal [Struijk] coming on were all to do with improving how the team was playing. I don’t liken it to his individual performance, whether it was high or low.
“It’s very difficult to imagine that a player can never be substituted from a team. The logic of football shows that perfectly in any game; any player can come off.
“That doesn’t mean I was correct, but I did what I thought was best. But in no way does that mean there’s a difficulty with anyone. It’s never good for a player or a team to think that the positions are immovable and that the hierarchies are within a team can’t be altered ever because it’s not only bad for the player who is untouchable, but it’s bad for those who want to alter the positions within a team.”
Clear and decisive message from Bielsa.
It is very clear that Bielsa doesn’t believe there is a problem between himself and Phillips.
However, he makes it perfectly clear that no player is undroppable or should be surprised if they are brought off.
Now, it was a surprise on Saturday when Bielsa decided to take Phillips out of the action.
However, it seems as if it was purely tactical and had nothing to do with his performance; he simply wanted to get another player on who he thought could do a job.
Now, the Whites didn’t win, but they were a lot more solid in the second half and left Brighton with what could be a valuable point.
Now, despite all the talk of problems and stuff, it would be a huge surprise if Phillips doesn’t play tomorrow night as the Whites look to seal what could be a vital win at home.
In other Leeds United news, Jeff Stelling has provided an injury update on Patrick Bamford.