Love them, or loathe them, Leeds United are a team that divides opinion.
Being known as Dirty, dirty Leeds, or their association with being a team with a bad image in terms of how their fans behave, one thing is for sure is that ever since veteran Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa wound up in West Yorkshire, it’s left the world of football stunned.
Spells with Atletico Bilbao was a success, where the Basque side stunned Sir Alex’s Manchester United in the Europa League and would go all the way to the final that year.
There would also be success, with Chile’s national team. The high intensity and high pressing made Bielsa’s Chile team a nightmare to deal with.
A round of 16 defeat to South American rivals Brazil in the world cup, wasn’t the end they would have wanted in the 2014 World Cup, but the fact that Chile qualified for the tournament after being absent in the last two tournaments before softened the blow.
Spells with Lazio and Lille were threatening to unravel one of the legends of the game’s managerial legacy.
So when Leeds United announced in 2018 that they have managed to secure the services of former Newell Old Boys, Argentina, Atletico Bilbao manager Marcelo Bielsa, eyebrows were raised and there was shock.
Notorious for his unusual seating position on the touchline, (something not too dissimilar from someone from the Asian Subcontinent going to the gents/ladies).
That point aside, his teams make you sit up and take notice. Marcelo Bielsa was a manager who had a damaged reputation, which was in need of repair and Leeds United were in need of a fresh start too.
A Fast, attacking, high energy and high press game, now moved to English shores and in the Yorkshire lanes . Kalvin Phillips has been seen as the Yorkshire version of Andrea Pirlo, partly due to the Bielsa affect .
The Italian legend Pirlo, with his luscious hair and a beard to match, ensured he wasn’t only easy on the eye off the pitch (being lady crush and man-crush material)
Former Juventus midfielder Pirlo was also easy on the eye on the pitch with how he effortlessly played the game. Where some players, looked like they embarked in a battle royal, he looked like he could has played in his suit and tie.
Back to the topic of Leeds, and after the Elland Road side came so close yet so far, in the 2018-2019 season, the 2019-2020 season was a successful one, all be it in unusual circumstances.
Last season’s Championship winners Leeds, were a neutral fan’s favourite, due to their swashbuckling approach.
With that in mind, many pundits and fans alike (yeah I was one), had Leeds United down as one of the sides who will take the Premier League by storm.
After an initial good start where the Lillywhites were up to third, battering’s against Crystal Palace and Leicester (both 4-1) and Manchester United (6-2) are just some examples of the point I am going to make.
Now, it’s brilliant when you’re not getting counter-attacked, but this is very Naïve from Leeds.
Yes, their attacking approach is highly commendable and admired, but someone needs to tell Leeds, this isn’t under 10’s. I am a football purist and love football to be played in the beautiful way, but I am telling a cautionary tale.
Bournemouth and Wigan are two prime examples of teams who face the severest consequence of naïve football, relegation. Leeds United fans after waiting for 16 years for Premier League football, will surely not want that.