In the Press

Leeds United news here, transfer rumours, club affairs, players, fans, etc.
Specific match discussions should go in the category below.

Re: In the Press

Postby BenH » 26 Jul 2020, 09:13

:arrow: ... lo-bielsa/

Blog rather than the press but thought I'd share anyway!

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Re: In the Press

Postby Saxon » 26 Jul 2020, 12:38

Just in.
David De Gea has been allowed to train without a mask.
He can't catch anything. :geek:
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Re: In the Press

Postby SiMamu » 26 Jul 2020, 13:26

corkleedsmot wrote:

Very highly unlikely but it looks like we will have to sweat gossip like this until the deal is done.

If Messi wants to play for Bielsa there is something else he can do...

From what I can make out, the entire story is based on a past quote where Messi said he'd like to be managed by Bielsa one day, and nothing more.
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 27 Jul 2020, 12:20

Great article about David Harvey from the Scotsman:- ... ay-2923924
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Re: In the Press

Postby Davycc » 27 Jul 2020, 13:10

SCOTTISH LEEDS wrote:Great article about David Harvey from the Scotsman:- ... ay-2923924

Good read that, seems like a right character.
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Re: In the Press

Postby TheCoachesVoice » 27 Jul 2020, 19:02

Hi again, all,

Firstly, congratulations on your promotion. We're looking forward to bringing you further Leeds United=inspired content over the coming season. We also wanted to draw your attention to this professional scout report on Marcelo Bielsa's methods: ... guardiola/.

Hopefully you'll very much enjoy, and thank you for your time.
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Re: In the Press

Postby rigger » 04 Sep 2020, 09:12

Premier League 2020-21 preview No 9: Leeds United

From today's Guardian :

Will Marcelo Bielsa’s team be another Sheffield United or more like Norwich? Much may depend on record signing Rodrigo

by Louise Taylor

Guardian writers’ predicted position: 10th (NB: this is not necessarily Louise Taylor’s prediction but the average of our writers’ tips)

Last season’s position: 1st in the Championship

Odds to win the league (via Oddschecker): 200-1

Like a lot of Yorkshiremen Steve McClaren once dreamt of managing Leeds. He never did – although there was a time when it came very close to happening – but the former Middlesbrough, FC Twente, Newcastle and England head coach fully understands the innate uncertainty of pre-season.

“You never quite know what’s going to happen,” McClaren reflected during those Newcastle days. “No manager does and if they say they do they’re lying. You hope your plan’s going to work and you know you’ve done all the right things in training but, until your team actually starts playing games, there’s always that element of doubt. No one’s ever really sure.”

Right now Leeds are shrouded in considerable uncertainty. There’s plenty of excitement, giddy optimism even, but it is impossible to predict what will happen when Marcelo Bielsa is perched back on his blue technical area bucket and his team cross the white line.

Will they emulate the audaciously upward trajectory Sheffield United took last season? Or might Norwich’s gallant struggles be a more realistic template? Yes, in Bielsa, Leeds possess one of the world’s foremost tactical brains but his squad do not mirror their manager’s brilliance.

Moreover their style – high-energy pressing, intricate positional interchanging, perfectly timed overloads, advanced discipline – is relentlessly demanding. Admittedly Mauricio Pochettino, like Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane a true Bielsaite, played a version of the same sort of style at Tottenham but he had better players.

Such caution is leavened by the success of Sheffield United’s swashbuckling overlapping centre-halves in a side of what had once been regarded as strictly League One players. Not to mention the doom-mongers who claimed Leeds and Bielsa would crash and burn in the Championship.

Instead, led by the excellent captain and centre-half Liam Cooper – and, remember, he was initially dubbed “League One Liam” – they blew away the second tier. Leeds would probably have been promoted before lockdown had Patrick Bamford’s finishing been as good as his movement.

Given that chances are rarer in the Premier League, Leeds fans must pray that Rodrigo, the £27m marquee Spain striker signed from Valencia, does not mislay his shooting boots as often as Bamford.

The fee for Rodrigo, who can be highly effective in a deeper No 10 style role and has also operated as a winger, could rise to £36m and he is set to collect around £100,000 a week, so Bielsa needs the club’s most expensive signing since Rio Ferdinand’s £18m acquisition from West Ham 20 years ago to hit the ground running.

Further back, Leeds were disappointed when Ben White, last season’s star loanee at centre-half, signed a new contract with Brighton but Bielsa has endeavoured to mitigate the loss of White by signing the Germany international Robin Koch from Freiburg as Cooper’s new partner.

At least the England newbie Kalvin Phillips is around to screen the defence from his holding midfield role. Potentially one of the finest anchors in the top flight, Phillips could well emerge as key figure.

Arguably of equal importance is the question of when crowds will be able to return. Relationships between crowds and teams are rarely as mutually important as that involving Leeds and fans who revel in making Elland Road one of the most infamously intimidating in England. The cardboard cutouts of season-ticket holders deployed during lockdown were surprisingly life-like but no substitute for the genuine hostile, high-decibel article. Bielsa’s playing style demands plenty of adrenaline and his side have so often depended – heavily – on their supporters to help raise the tempo by supplying it.

In the past couple of seasons Leeds have also frequently turned to Pablo Hernández in moments of on-pitch need. But the Spanish creative wizard is 35 and must be used a little sparingly. Can El Loco squeeze one last season in the sun out of his talisman? Much potentially hinges on it.

Intriguing as Bielsa’s tactical duels with Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp, Chris Wilder et al will doubtless prove, and genuine as his emotional bond with Leeds appears, there remains the lingering fear of dormant fragility. The sense that, should something go wrong, a coach whose sojourns at Marseille, Lazio and Lille proved disappointingly brief could suddenly opt to take his bucket elsewhere.

But perhaps that latent fear is the price Leeds must pay for life with a coach whose exceptional, life-affirming, talents come clothed in the most enigmatic of cloaks.

The manager
On the touchline Bielsa habitually views games perched, largely emotionless, on his famous upturned blue bucket. The bucket has its own Twitter account, and replicas sell for £80, but the reason Bielsa sits on it is to manage chronic back pain.

On Zoom Although his English is very decent, the Argentinian conducts press conferences through an interpreter, frequently correcting any mistranslations. Something of a pedant, Bielsa is capable of answering a straightforward inquiry about an injury with a 1,500-word monolgue. Maintains inscrutable expression throughout.

The key
Hernández has been arguably Leeds’s most influential player under Bielsa. The game changing Spaniard has proved the team’s creative attacking midfield catalyst, helping turn draws into wins. Hernández’s advancing years dictate that influence may come, increasingly, after stepping off the bench but Leeds need his vision and incision.

The owners
Andrea Radrizzani is a 45-year Milanese businessmen and media rights specialist. The public relations graduate founded the sports broadcasting group Eleven Sports. In 2018 his estimated wealth was £450m. He bought Leeds from Massimo Cellino in 2017.

Young blood
Sam Greenwood, an 18-year-old striker, joined from Arsenal for an initial £1.5m. A product of Sunderland’s academy watched repeatedly by Milan and Manchester United scouts, Greenwood is a free-scoring England youth international. Two-footed, he relishes running at defenders.

New blood
Leeds have broken their transfer record to take Rodrigo from Valencia for an initial £27m, comfortably eclipsing the £18m paid to West Ham for Rio Ferdinand in 2000. Rodrigo becomes the highest earner in the club’s history.

Kit story
Leeds have played in their white home kit since 1961 when Don Revie became manager and replaced the blue and yellow/gold strip with an all-white strip modelled on that of Real Madrid. The blue and yellow survives via assorted trims.

Notes from an empty stadium
Elland Road has always ranked among England’s most intimidating arenas. Leeds have endeavoured to replicate that hostility with cardboard cutouts modelled from photographs of season-ticket holders. Directors and stewards prove surprisingly vocal behind closed doors.

Euros vision
Kalvin Phillips is a newcomer to Gareth Southgate’s England squad and the defensive midfielder has the ability to stay in it. Bielsa’s tenure has seen a promising homegrown midfielder with an eye for goal morph into one of the finest holding players around. The 24-year-old’s passing range sees him dubbed “the Yorkshire Pirlo” and his defensive screening abilities make him a quasi-sweeper.
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Re: In the Press

Postby ChilwellWhite » 04 Sep 2020, 10:10

Thanks an interesting read that timed just right to accompany my morning coffee.
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Re: In the Press

Postby rigger » 04 Sep 2020, 12:35

ChilwellWhite wrote:Thanks an interesting read that timed just right to accompany my morning coffee.

They all follow the same template and make for some thorough "homework" ahead of the new campaign.
It's funny though because you sometimes get a reporter with a soft spot for a club giving a positive spin despite his colleagues having already relegated them, eg Crystal Palace's preview.

It's all very fluffy in the media about us generally though, isn't it ?
Starting to worry me a bit :problem:
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 05 Oct 2020, 14:05

From the New York Times:-

Results, Respect and Marcelo Bielsa

A point against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City felt like a victory for Leeds. But for Bielsa and his many admirers, the journey always says more than the scoreboard.

By Rory Smith

Oct. 4, 2020

LEEDS, England — The spot where they filmed the scene in “The Damned United” is a wasteland now, and it has been for some time: a patch of land in the lee of Elland Road, long earmarked for some development or other. Before it was sealed off behind security fencing, a couple of excavators standing as idle sentries, it was a parking lot, and before that, it was Leeds United’s training center.

And it was there that, at the start of his vengeful, paranoid, ill-fated spell as manager of Leeds United, Brian Clough — or, rather, Michael Sheen, as Clough — gathered together the squad of garlanded internationals that had long been his enemies but were now, effectively, his employees, and delivered his speech.

“As far as I am concerned, the first thing you can do for me is to chuck all your medals and all your caps and all your pots and all your pans into the biggest flipping dustbin you can find,” Clough said, as imagined by David Peace, the author of the book on which the film is based. “Because you’ve never won any of them fairly.”
Rory Smith On Soccer: One of the world’s best commentators analyzes tactics, matches and personalities.

That speech — in which, in Peace’s telling, Clough assailed his new team’s famously liberal attitude to violence in pursuit of victory, a brutality that had earned it the nickname Dirty Leeds — is, in the film, interpreted as the start of the decline. Forty-four days later, Clough had left the club.

In 1974, it was a scandal and a sensation and a source of bitter recrimination. With the passage of time, some of the enmity has been blunted, part of the story softened, and it has slowly been folded into the myth and the lore not only of Clough but of Leeds, too.

But while that may well have been the moment that condemned Clough to fail at Leeds — and condemned Leeds to losing the man who still, 16 years after his death, embodies English soccer’s cult of the manager — somewhere beneath the vitriol and the provocation, Clough’s message contained a kernel of a broader truth.

Sport, as he said, is not just about what you win. It is about how you play, too. This is not a belief that is, traditionally, given much oxygen in the modern sports-industrial complex. Results are king. Stasis is failure, and failure is intolerable. Everything else, as José Mourinho never fails to tell us, is sophistry.

How then to explain the esteem — bordering on idolization — held by so many of his peers for Marcelo Bielsa, a coach who quite freely acknowledges that listing his honors would not take long, who until a few weeks ago had not won a single club trophy since 1998?

It was, after all, Bielsa whom Pep Guardiola made a pilgrimage to meet before embarking on his own coaching career. It was Bielsa with whom he stayed up for 12 hours, talking soccer, over the embers of an asado deep in the Argentine countryside. It was Bielsa whom, Guardiola told a friend, “knew the most about football.”
ImageA second-half goal by Rodrigo Moreno, center, gave Leeds a 1-1 draw with City in the rain.
A second-half goal by Rodrigo Moreno, center, gave Leeds a 1-1 draw with City in the rain.Credit...Pool photo by Cath Ivill

Guardiola is an aesthete, of course, but he is no less ruthless or ambitious or hungry for success than Mourinho. He just happens to believe that attractive, front-foot soccer is the best way to win. He has, over the years, accumulated considerable supporting evidence: two Champions Leagues, a glut of league titles and domestic cups, an almost endless screed of records.

And yet it is Bielsa whom he finds “inspirational,” who ranks as “the person I admire the most in football.” “He is unique,” Guardiola said, a couple of days before taking his Manchester City team to Elland Road on Saturday. “He is the most authentic manager in terms of how he conducts his teams.”

It is worth lingering on that word: authentic. Bielsa’s reputation as a dogmatist has created a misleading impression of him. He is often presented as a purist, a theorist, a coach who cherishes his ideas more than mere material possessions, a leader for whom success is a secondary consideration behind beauty.

As detailed in the Bielsa biography “The Quality of Madness,” though, Bielsa’s desire to win is such that he once told the young defender Fernando Gamboa that he “had not understood a damn thing of what this is about” because he hesitated when asked if he would cut off a finger to assure victory in a derby.

Bielsa does not want to win any less than Mourinho. It is just that he believes, like Guardiola, that adventure provides a more reliable route to that success than caution. And it is just that he knows, like Clough, that how you play matters as much as what you win.

There was a telling moment, not long after the final whistle at Elland Road on Saturday night. Leeds and Manchester City had battled to a 1-1 draw. It had been precisely the sort of game that had been anticipated: breathless and absorbing and electric, full of all those flourishes, ideas and experiments that English soccer once would have seen as heresy, a sort of alien entryism, but which are now — thanks in no small part to Guardiola and Bielsa — considered cutting-edge.

City played high, with a four-man front line. Leeds learned to circumvent the City press. Rodrigo Moreno came on and dropped too deep, confounding City’s marking. City flicked to three at the back; Leeds transformed again, closing the creaking fissures. At one point, both teams had fullbacks playing in midfield.

Guardiola brought on Fernandinho, a defensive player, and made City more attacking. Bielsa, internally, applauded the move. “It was a very smart change,” Bielsa said. “It had a significant impact.” At times, as two great minds whirled and danced and flickered and fought, it felt a little like watching Jack Donaghy in “30 Rock” negotiate with himself.

At the end of it all, Bielsa paused in thought for a moment before greeting Guardiola. They exchanged a few words, a smile, a pat on the arm. Behind the City coach, a line was forming.

First, Lorenzo Buenaventura, City’s conditioning coach, was waiting; he had worked with Bielsa at the 2002 World Cup. They embraced. Aymeric Laporte, City’s French defender, had been loitering a few steps away but now he, too, beamed with delight as he greeted Bielsa, the coach who had given him his debut at Athletic Bilbao.

Then, from the bench, Benjamin Mendy tapped Bielsa on the shoulder; they had worked together at Marseille. Mendy’s prolific social media use offers an insight into just how much affection remains.

Marcelo ❤️❤️❤️
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) September 12, 2020

Not one of them had won anything by Bielsa’s side. Argentina crashed out at the group stage in 2002. Athletic reached two cup finals, and lost them both. Marseille seemed to be storming to a French title, only to finish fourth. And yet that did not seem to have tainted anyone’s memories of Bielsa. He had given them something just as valuable as medals: memories.

Perhaps that is what Guardiola meant by authentic. Not once, even as he has failed to meet his own demands, to slake his own thirst, has Bielsa deviated from his path. His ideas remain unspoiled, unadulterated, whole. Because sport is not just about what you win. It is also about how you play.
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