By Saikat Mandal

3rd Dec, 2021 | 8:10pm

Marcelo Bielsa reacts to Kalvin Phillips rift rumours at Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa has suggested that “sensationalism” is a common feature in the UK press ahead of Leeds United clash against Brentford on Sunday.

One of the major stories that dominated the headline this week is the alleged rift between Bielsa and Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

The England midfielder started at centre-back, and then he was drifted in midfield only to be hooked at half-time in the 0-0 draw against Brighton last week.

Bielsa has issued a long answer when asked to comment on the rumour of a potential rift between him and Phillips. The Argentine said, as quoted by Leeds Live:

“It’s what’s common in the world of football. It’s difficult to express yourself over things that didn’t happen, that there’s nothing behind and that they are expressed as a reality.

“There’s things that correspond to the private part of a relationship so perhaps the media talks about these things that are hidden but this is a next step. This was the spread of something that didn’t happen at all. What I’m saying is, it’s a way the press are, the objective is very clear: it’s to bring attention with any type of resource.

“The press, not only do they inform, but they have their legitimate need that what they tell wakes up interest and in that process, on occasion it happens that they invent realities to bring attention. But I insist this, all this I’m saying there’s nobody better than the representatives of the press to explain it.

“As a result for me to say this doesn’t make much sense, in all the countries in the world the sensationalism occupies a part of the press. I think in England from my point of view, it’s less than elsewhere, normally that’s because the material they work with is precious because very few leagues have so much to say about it as something as precious as the Premier League.”

Important game

Phillips has already quashed such rumours saying (01 December) he respects Bielsa enough to accept any decision of his.

Bielsa previously claimed (29 November) that his decision to take Phillips off was purely tactical.

Phillips has said time and again that Bielsa has been instrumental in shaping his career.

The Argentine is absolutely spot on here. The press has got a tendency to sensationalise things even when there’s nothing in it.

Leeds must focus on winning their next Premier League game against Brentford where Bielsa could welcome back Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling into the side.

With both the players now back, and Robin Koch nearing full fitness, Bielsa now has a near full-strength squad.

It’s also the perfect time to rediscover their form, and climb up the table. Leeds are heading into this game on the back of a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Tuesday.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are ready to make major January signings with unexpected deals to force action