'Same old story' - National journo offers scathing Bielsa assessment after Leeds lose to Forest
A common criticism that has been levelled at Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa over the years is that he overworks his players.
There is some corroborating evidence to suggest that might be the case, with the initial spark of his appointment gradually fading, often with disastrous consequences.
This is arguably the biggest black mark on what has otherwise been a stellar and celebrated managerial career.
But with Leeds undergoing a significant wobble at the moment – four defeats in their past five league games – he’s come under fire once again.
National journalist Jonathan Wilson launched a spectacular assault on Bielsa after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
“It’s happening again,” he wrote for The Guardian. “The same old story played out another time. It happened at Athletic, it happened at Marseille and it happened last season. This is what Marcelo Bielsa sides do. They start brilliantly, they ignite the enthusiasm and then they fade.
“Leeds’ start to the season was so good they remain in the automatic promotion places but it’s hard to avoid the sense the mirror has cracked and the curse is on them.
“Is it a curse if it is a perpetual flaw? Perhaps not, and yet to complain of the flaw seems oddly beside the point. Part of the glory of Bielsa is that his teams can play football of great beauty but it is a doomed beauty.”
Wilson’s right that there is a sense that the familiar, haunting collapse of a Bielsa team is on its way.
He does have a history of this, you can’t deny that. He comes in and has a revelatory impact, but then things start to fall apart a bit.
It’s happened at Lille, Athletic Bilbao and famously at Marseille, as Wilson says. Plus, there were signs of it last season at Leeds.
Could it be occurring once more? Yes, it very well could. He’ll be aware of this narrative, so hopefully it gives him even more motivation to turn things around.
In other Leeds United news, a BBC Sport pundit has delivered his reaction to Forest’s win over the Whites.