Stan Collymore slams Bielsa for sticking with playing style
Stan Collymore has slammed Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa for refusing to see the flaws in his game, urging the club to let him go next summer.
The Elland Road outfit have picked up just two wins after 12 Premier League games in 2021-22, and with only two points and a place separating them from the relegation zone, the former Liverpool star has told Sunday People it is high time he was sent packing.
Bielsa spent two seasons with Leeds in the Championship before helping them back to the big time after 16 years out, but their second season is not going as planned.
Collymore wrote in his column: “The problem with the Argentine, though, is that even though his methods – like the double sessions, the hard work, the high pressing – got Leeds from the Championship to the Premier League and kept them there comfortably, it’s still blindingly obvious there are inherent faults within them.
“While those who have learned from him over the years, like Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola and Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino, have taken all the good stuff from his philosophy and worked out which parts need discarding, the one person who has never recognised the weaknesses is Bielsa himself.
“That really annoys me because overall, it’s a good philosophy. The trouble is, he just can’t see its flaws. Leeds haven’t been able to defend or attack at a consistent level in the season-and-a-half since they won promotion back to the top flight.
“And while I know they have had injury issues at the back in that time, I do wonder whether the end of this season would be the right time for Leeds to say ‘Thank you and goodbye’ to the 66-year-old and bring in someone who will kick the club on again.”
Exit on the cards?
Bielsa will most likely be moving on should he fail to keep his side up this season, but could the club be looking to part ways with him even if they remain in the top-flight?
The Argentine is a god in Yorkshire, and the fans do not want to see him leave anytime soon.
While injuries have limited his team this term, a lot of people will not see that as a tangible excuse for going down.
With their style of play, keeping clean sheets is often a problem, and it is hard for any team to really break into Europe without a solid defence or a style of play that prevents plenty of goals from being scored.
Surviving is the main thing on Leeds’ mind this term, but Bielsa will not be changing his pattern anytime soon having stuck with it for decades.
The last thing the Elland Road outfit want right now is relegating after just two seasons.
It would be a tough blow, and while the fans and players will fancy their chances of remaining in the Premier League, their current form has not been good enough, and something has to change.
In other Leeds United news, a major update on Whites January bid to sign attacker has been provided, with pen-to-paper imminent.