By Daniel Feliciano

21st Feb, 2022 | 7:45am

Phil Hay: Raphinha and Marcelo Bielsa spoke privately about Leeds team v Man United

Raphinha and Marcelo Bielsa had a private talk during the week about the Brazilian’s substitution against Everton and omission from the Leeds team versus Manchester United, according to Phil Hay.

The Brazilian was hooked at half-time after a horror-show against Everton against Goodison Park, before being left out of the starting team entirely for the visit of their red rivals on Sunday at Elland Road.

Raphinha came on at half-time against United and scored to make it 2-2 in the eventual 4-2 defeat, but according to The Athletic despite their talk in midweek Bielsa had made his decision early.

Hay says that Bielsa was keen to bring Adam Forshaw into the team to add extra protection to the midfield, with Leeds having conceded 50 goals in the Premier League now this season.

However, the switch didn’t work as Leeds lacked that flair and spark in the final third during the first half and but for a wild 24 seconds in the second never really looked like getting back into the game.

Structure or freedom

The decision raises the question about what is best for Leeds in the remainder of the season as they battle against relegation.

Bielsa’s teams are at their best when they’re in free-flowing, flying form with their attacking players given total license in the final third. But defensively they suffer in that instance.

With no Patrick Bamford for the foreseeable future, it seems as though Leeds can’t play that way anymore and the manager still hasn’t been able to find a way to merge goals with more structure.

Obviously, the absence of Kalvin Phillips doesn’t help either, but at this point, Bielsa needs to get his best players on the pitch as often as possible and make it work.

Raphinha is one of those and showed against United that he is capable of popping up with moments to win games. It’s the other end of the pitch where the biggest problems lie.

In other Leeds news, Gaetano Berardi reveals ‘biggest dream’ he achieved at Elland Road after emotional exit