Phil Hay shares Marcelo Bielsa failing that could see Leeds United decide to move on
Leeds United are in a different position this year and could decide to move on from Marcelo Bielsa due to failings in a bad season, according to Phil Hay.
The team has struggled in their second season in the Premier League while suffering badly with injuries, yet nobody was brought in during the transfer window and some youngsters are still finding opportunities hard to come by.
Hay thinks that these issues contribute to a genuine chance that the relationship between the club and their inspirational manager comes to an end in a way that was never truly on the cards before.
Speaking on The Phil Hay Show this week he said: “This time around, it seems to me to be a completely different scenario because you have to start taking into consideration the performance levels and issues around it like injuries, like the size of the squad that they’re maintaining and the management of the Under-23s.
“The Under-23s are very prevalent at Leeds and they’re very prominent as well – but not to the extent where they’re playing that much.
“The squad has quite a large core of experienced players, i.e. players nearer the end of their careers than the start of them, and a big core of young players without a big number of players in between.
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“How many of the Under-23 players have actually progressed this season in a way that would make you expect they’d play more next season? I think the answer is, ‘not that many’.
“It is going to be a big decision and it’s going to be a difficult decision. It’s going to depend on an awful lot of factors.”
It seems like the difficulties of this season have actually made the unthinkable a possibility now.
Leeds have become synonymous with Bielsa since he arrived at the club three and a half years ago.
And after he finally secured the Whites’ long-awaited return to the top flight many fans never want to see him leave.
But this season has been the most uncomfortable of his tenure so far.
Despite missing out on promotion amid the controversies with Aston Villa and Derby during his first season, there was a distinct feeling of progress.
This year has seen the club regress from their impressive ninth-placed finish last season, with the remote possibility of relegation still on the table.
The manager can justifiably point to the extensive injury issues he has had to contend with, and in particular to the ones that have seen key men missing for long periods.
But his insistence on maintaining a smaller squad, and a reticence to turn to the younger generations that Hay refers to, has raised questions about the Argentine’s methods.
Turning down Donny van de Beek in January, only to see the Dutchman pull the strings as United were overrun at Everton was not a good look.
Nor are the repeated chances handed to Tyler Roberts when so many have been crying out for Joe Gelhardt to be given more chances.
If the end is approaching Bielsa will always have a significant place in the club’s history but a departure would undoubtedly be painful.
In other Leeds United news, the club are seriously considering one manager as Bielsa’s successor.