Marcelo Bielsa is an enigmatic character who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Ironically, the Argentine’s most recent comments come exactly 12 months on from his infamous PowerPoint presentation after the Spygate debacle.
Just as he did last year, Bielsa’s comments on the 16th of January left journalists with questions about his mindset, and you can understand why.
Quite simply, it was a bizarre press conference from the 64-year-old as he seemed to have a bit of a victim complex going on.
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He channelled his inner teenager as he proclaimed that Arsenal recalling Eddie Nketiah was ‘unfair’, before giving a long-winded answer on the criticism his team have been facing and whether they deserve it or not. He then went on a completely unprovoked rant about the state of pitches in England. Bielsa said:
“Our pitch, like every pitch in England, is not in the same state in winter as it is in summer. If it is good or bad, everyone can realise this.
“What I can say is that the quality of the work here (Thorp Arch) – and I’m sure Kiel Barrett’s (ER groundsman) work is the same – is done with a lot of professionalism. I’m 100 per cent sure that make the maximum effort.”
Making excuses for things at this point of the season is doing Leeds absolutely no favours.
Losing Nketiah may be ‘unfair’ in his eyes, but he only started two games before being recalled, so they haven’t lost that much really. Because of that, Arsenal have every right to be frustrated with his lack of match time.
This view that things are going against Leeds mustn’t trickle down into the players’ minds because they won’t learn from the mistakes that have seen them win just one of their last six league games. Rather than looking at external factors, they must look closer to home and their own performances.
Using excuses such as pitch quality simply isn’t viable – it’s the same for both teams and a negative outlook like this could have a detrimental impact on the squad.
We can only hope that Bielsa is putting on a bit of a front for the press in this scenario and that he will eventually address the true issues at hand.
In other news, Leeds may finally be about to replace Chris Wood.