By George Overhill

12th Jan, 2022 | 7:10am

Marcelo Bielsa keen to dispel Leeds United injury crisis theory

Marcelo Bielsa fears that he will get the blame for the injury crisis engulfing Leeds United, reports Beren Cross on Leeds Live.

The Whites have been blighted by absent players all season, including stars Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford, and now even Sam Greenwood, the single remaining striker available, has reported an injury following the defeat at West Ham.

The manager appears to be sensitive to the idea that his training methods are to blame, and is at pains to point out the relative lack of muscle injuries in press conferences.

On the Argentine’s perspective, Cross writes: “One theory, and it is speculation until he clarifies, is Bielsa’s sense the public believes his training may be behind the injury issues and causing muscle strains.

“A long injury list might point to one common denominator if they were similar issues, but as Bielsa points out, that was not the case.

“With the injuries mounting up once more, Bielsa knows questions will start to build in some minds about the root cause.”

Unfair reputation

After United’s triumphant return to the Premier League last season the team appears to be suffering badly from ‘second season syndrome’.

A ninth-placed finish last year has given way to Leeds languishing down in 16th mid-way through this season.

But the incredible bad luck in terms of injuries suffered by the Yorkshire side cannot be overlooked, with as many as 10 first-team players unavailable for the FA Cup visit to West Ham at the weekend.

The manager knows that, fairly or not, he has gained a reputation for working his players extremely hard, as they are known to cover huge amounts of ground over the season.

And again, fairly or not, poor results often result in blame being pointed at the manager, so it is no surprise that he might want to get what he sees as the facts out before a false narrative builds up.

While the Whites appear to be suffering from particularly bad luck on the fitness front, the Christmas period combined with Covid-19 outbreaks have led to fatigue and injury issues across the league, so Bielsa will not want to be held entirely responsible.

In other Leeds United news, this potential signing has reportedly snubbed multiple clubs in favour of a move to Elland Road.