Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has been a sensation since his appointment at Elland Road in the summer.
The Argentine coach has worked wonders for the Whites, having transformed them from an underperforming mid-table Championship outfit into genuine title contenders. Promotion back to the Premier League – after a 15-year absence – finally looks to be on the cards for Leeds this season.
If that goal is achieved then Bielsa will deserve plenty of the credit. The head coach has also made waves off the pitch, not least for the ‘Spygate’ scandal, but also for his open, honest and principled manner of speaking in press conferences.
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Bielsa recently stated that the biggest joy, for him, in his job comes from “human relationships.” He continued, “if human relationships are satisfactory, which means to love and be loved, to respect and being respected, then it is more important than winning and success”, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
This is a stance that Ian Holloway has aligned himself with.
In an exclusive interview with Football League World, the former Blackpool boss and EFL on Quest pundit said “that’s a hell of a statement. I don’t know him but if that’s how he is that’s great. It’s remarkable the changes he has made but then there was the Spygate thing which was a step too far for me, so there’s a bit of a contradiction there almost. I hope that’s the truth what he said, though, because I do believe you have one chance to build a reputation and it’s not about winning all the time or losing all the time.”
Holloway and Bielsa seem to agree that there’s often more to football than simply winning or losing. Certainly, whether Leeds succeed or fail in their bid for promotion this season, Bielsa’s impact at the club will remembered as a significant one regardless, due to the connection he has forged with his squad and the Elland Road faithful.