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5 Things you may not know about Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa

5 Things you may not know about Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa
By PA Sport

11/01/2019 at 19:41Updated 11/01/2019 at 20:58

Argentinian admitted he was behind the Derby training ground spy incident.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has admitted he was behind the Derby training ground spy incident.

Here, Press Association Sport’s Phil Blanche looks at the career and
idiosyncrasies of the man they call ‘El Loco’.

Pitch perfect

Bielsa is known to check pitch measurements before matches. He waits upon
deciding on a particular formation until he paces out the pitch. Bielsa’s
unorthodox approach also stretches to almost obsessive use of videos – editing and analysing for each player – and allocating separate training times for different parts of his squad, with the defenders, midfielders and strikers
working alone.

Nottingham Forest v Leeds United – Sky Bet Championship – City Ground

Pep talk

Bielsa has no shortage of football disciples but perhaps his greatest supporter
is Pep Guardiola. The Manchester City manager travelled to Argentina for a
meeting with Bielsa in 2006 prior to taking charge of Barcelona. “My admiration for Bielsa is immense,” Guardiola reportedly said. “I have never met a player who has worked with Bielsa and has spoken badly of him. For me he is the best coach in the world.”

Manchester City v Liverpool – Premier League – Etihad Stadium

Trademark tactics

Bielsa’s principles is based on aggressive pressing of the ball and intelligent positioning both in defence and attack. He has previously employed a 3-3-1-3 formation which has flummoxed opponents, while his 4-2-3-1 system demands a huge workrate, which can sometimes put him at odds with his players.

Soccer – 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa – Group H – Chile v Switzerland – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Lazio U-turn

Bielsa spent two days in charge of Lazio in 2016. He was appointed manager of the Serie A club on July 6, but quit just 48 hours later complaining that the
club had failed to recruit the players he required. Lazio issued legal action
against Bielsa for breach of contract, suing him for 50 million Euros, before
the coach resurfaced at French club Lille just over a year later.

Hull City v Leeds United – Sky Bet Championship – KC Stadium

French leave

Bielsa’s last job at Lille was a short-lived affair. He signed a two-year
contract last summer but was suspended in November with Lille second bottom of Ligue 1. It was reported that Bielsa went on an unauthorised trip to Chile to visit former national team assistant Luis Bonini, who was battling stomach cancer. He was eventually replaced in December by Christophe Galtier.

Saint Etienne Training Session and Press Conference – Old Trafford
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