According to Sky Sports, Championship Leeds United are in advanced talks to appoint highly-rated Argentinian boss Marcelo Bielsa as their new head coach. It would be an incredible coup for the Whites, but it seems to be a strange pairing.
Bielsa regarded as a top boss
Marcelo Bielsa is a true football innovator when it comes to football tactics. Many of the world’s top coaches regard Bielsa as a big influence on their managerial styles and philosophy’s. Bielsa has influenced the likes of Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone’s in their coaching styles.
The latter played under Bielsa for the Argentina national side during his six-year spell in charge of the Albiceleste. Guardiola once even described Bielsa as ‘the best coach in the world’.
The 62-year-old also earned acclaim for his four-year spell in charge of the Chilean national side. His work with Basque club Athletic Bilbao brought him to the attention of many European football fans. His tactical acumen and style of play were unique. Many were calling him a tactical genius through his work in Bilbao.
For some though, he is more like a nutty professor, as some of his coaching methods in the recent past have been unorthodox, to say the least. He is quite simply mad as a box of frogs. In fact, his nickname is ‘El Loco’ (The Crazy One).
He once quit his role as Lazio boss after just two days in charge of the Roman club, which saw him live up to his nickname. However, every former player seems to speak positively about the Argentinian and he is renowned as a great man-manager who improves the players under his guidance.
Leeds still looking for a saviour
Leeds United are a sleeping giant of the English game. While I am not old enough to remember their great team of the late sixties and early seventies, I do remember the Whites winning the top-flight title in 1992.
More recently, the Yorkshire club was in and around the Champions League spots in the Premier League. However, terrible financial management saw Leeds slip into the abyss of League One in the noughties, the clubs lowest ever position in their history.
The Whites eventually returned to the Championship. However, their form in the second tier has been mediocre and the club has gone through a plethora of bosses in recent years searching for the man to take them back into the top-flight.
Former boss Paul Heckingbottom managed the Whites for just 13 games after moving to Elland Road from Yorkshire rivals Barnsley. In truth, though, the relative rookie boss was out of his depth at a club with such big expectations.
Expectations will not bother Bielsa. Despite an unsuccessful spell in charge of Lille last time out, the Argentinian has full confidence in his ability to get the best out of players and teams in his charge.
It may just work
On paper, it seems like a strange move for Bielsa to make, as he is dropping into the second tier of English football. However, the 62-year-old seems to like a challenge and resurrecting Leeds United is a massive challenge.
Leeds are currently outsiders for automatic promotion at 14/1. However, the appointment of the charismatic Bielsa is likely to change those odds, as he is simply that good a coach.
The Championship is a very tough league to crack. Bielsa no doubt has the managerial ability to take Leeds back to the Premier League. However, success at United will depend on whether the Whites hierarchy are prepared to back the Argentine and his sometimes-unorthodox methods. If they are then it could just be a match made in heaven or in this case Yorkshire.
Can Marcelo Bielsa help Leeds win promotion to the Premier League?
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