Marcelo Bielsa conducted another tense Leeds United press conference on Thursday, although it was perhaps slightly less tetchy than previous ones.
However, the Leeds manager wasn’t happy at some of the questions he was asked at Thorp Arch and unusually it was one from Athletic journalist Phil Hay that set him off.
Results haven’t been going Leeds’ way and the chasing pack has caught them up.
They’re still second in the Championship but Fulham are on the same points and Saturday’s opponents Bristol City – in seventh – are only three points behind.
However, it’s not just the results that are causing Bielsa’s moods – it’s the line of questioning from journalists.
On the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show, the Athletic journalist was asked what it was like to get a glare from Bielsa at the press conference.
“It’s been glares for a month and a half now, it’s a slightly tense atmosphere,” Hay said.
“I think, if you’ll pardon my language, he’s a bit sick of our **** at the moment.
“Part of the problem since the end of December and since Nketiah left it’s been issue after issue that he’s had to deal with and that he’s been pressed on.
“He’s now got the issue with Casilla, quite clearly out of form and quite clearly struggling but as far as Bielsa is concerned, he doesn’t deserve to lose his place.
“That’s caused a fair amount of confusion and bafflement in the media.”
Hay went on to say that the question he asked was about Casilla and why he was so important to Bielsa’s Leeds side.
“There are plenty of managers who would have looked at Casilla’s form and said look it’s time for a change and something has to happen for his sake and the team’s sake,” Hay said.
“I always think back to the Rachubka night at Elland Road when it just felt as if there was no option but for Grayson to replace him. That was a long-term replacement, and he never played again.”
Lost in translation
Bielsa isn’t enjoying the questions he’s getting asked at the moment. Last week it was about Jean-Kevin Augustin and why he’s not playing. This week it was Casilla and his loss of form.
However, a lot of the issues are coming from the translation of the questions.
Nuances in questions are being lost and to Bielsa it obviously sounds like he’s getting asked the same question over and over, when that’s not actually the case.
In the case of the Hay question, Bielsa felt like he was just getting asked again why Casilla was keeping his place in the side.
The issue was talked about a lot after the press conference yesterday and it seems clear that Leeds should try and get a more accurate translator for Bielsa.
Bielsa must be aware of the issue now – he keeps a very close eye on the media – and hopefully it’s something that will get resolved for next week.
We’re also hoping that three points and a clean sheet at Elland Road on Saturday will lift the mood and the pressure off both Bielsa and Casilla.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Ridiculous’, ‘Don’t stand a chance’ – Many Leeds fans fume at EFL update for clash v Bristol City