By Bruce Watson

10th Mar, 2021 | 1:05pm

Sampaoli name-checks 'idol' Bielsa in first Marseille press conference

Marseille’s new manager Jorge Sampaoli named-checked Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa in his first press conference in charge of his new club. 

Sampaoli replaced Andre Villas-Boas who was the centre of controversy at the start of February when he offered his resignation in protest at the club’s transfer dealings.

The Argentine boss hailed the Leeds manager as an idol and admitted he bases his managerial style on that of El Loco.

Sampaoli is quoted by the official Ligue 1 site as saying, “Bielsa is a reference point for many coaches.

“For me he has been. I have followed his teams a lot. I feel very close to his ideology, his way of playing.

“But I’m not going to try to be him or resemble him. I’m going to try in my own way to change things very quickly. I believe that certain idols, in certain places, are impossible to imitate.”

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These quotes once again prove how lucky we are to have a world-renowned coach like Bielsa at the helm.

We are always staggered by the respect that many coaches hold for Bielsa whenever he is brought up in press conferences or interviews.

Sampaoli speaking about Bielsa in his first press conference at his new club will surely have Marseille fans excited about the brand of football he may bring to the club.

Especially if Sampaoli’s comment about watching Bielsa’s teams ‘a lot’ is anything to go by.

One glance at Leeds this season shows how well El Loco has done on his first crack at managing in the Premier League.

Of course, the current Leeds squad is far from the finished article but if you want to base your managerial career on one manager and one team, where better to start than Bielsa’s Leeds?

In other Leeds United news, Mike Dean’s awful reffing display on Monday proved us right.