Phil Hay admits photo of senior Leeds man 'not a good look' with country shutting down
Athletic journalist Phil Hay has admitted that the photo of Marcelo Bielsa marching into Thorp Arch “wasn’t a good look” ahead of the Leeds training ground shutting down.
Bielsa has long been admired by Leeds fans for walking to and from Thorp Arch in his tracksuit.
He was photographed on Monday and while some fans applauded him, others were concerned it would put him at risk with fans wanting selfies with him or wanting to shake his hand.
Courtesy of the PA wire, evidence of life going on as usual pic.twitter.com/sOuIYHEfUC
— Amitai Winehouse (@awinehouse1) March 16, 2020
Leeds had planned to carry on training at Thorp Arch as normal but announced a total shutdown on Tuesday, with players now set to keep fit at home.
Talking on the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show, the Athletic journalist said, “Football has to be as responsible as everything else which is why Leeds players have gone home with individual plans.
“They tried to stick it out, they were back in Monday and were due in several days this week, but on Tuesday afternoon it was decided, by Rob Price more than anyone, that it wasn’t sensible for players to be there as it heightened the risk of the virus spreading between them. No one has tested positive at Thorp Arch.
“As much as we enjoyed seeing the picture of Bielsa marching into Thorp Arch, he kind of concurred with this, and it wasn’t a great look while the rest of the country is shutting down.
“They’re going to review this next week but I don’t think they’ll resume for a long whole yet.”
Hay isn’t criticising Bielsa here, more than saying that the decision to suspend operations at Thorp Arch was necessary with the country needing to take the Coronavirus outbreak seriously.
The players are now training from home but that’s going to necessitate a period of full training before Championship matches can start again.
However, this is going to be the same for everyone and football, when it does kick off again, is likely to be very different from what we’ve been used to.
Talking on the Aan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show (talkSPORT, Friday, 8am), QPR manager Mark Warburton said that with his players at home, it would take three weeks to get his players “in some sort of shape” and it’s almost inevitable that games will be much less intense than normal.
Add that to playing behind closed doors and it’s likely that games will have a training ground feel.
This could also play into Leeds’ hands. Clubs with nothing to play for will be much less motivated than those fighting for promotion.
It feels like we’re a long way away from this, though.
In other Leeds United news, Reliable journalist details why Poveda has been struggling since signing for Leeds