This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to episode seven of the Training Ground Guru Podcast, Victor Orta gave an in-depth assessment of the club and Marcelo Bielsa, detailing specifically the advantage the young players have at the club.
Leeds may be sitting in fifth place in the Championship after their defeat to Millwall but there are still reasons to be positive, particularly as they’re playing such good football.
One negative, however, is the current injuries. Liam Cooper is out for six weeks while Jamie Shackleton is also set to miss a month.
That being said, chances could be on the horizon for a few more younger players. Leif Davis, Robbie Gotts and Jack Clarke were on the bench last weekend while Pascal Struijk and Olly Casey were spoken about by Bielsa recently too.
It’s no secret that the Argentine likes to give opportunities to the young players but that’s only been magnified by Orta, who suggested they help him with his ideas. He said:
“He talks with facts. Jack Clarke, Leif Davis. He talks always in his career – I remember in Bilbao that changed lives. He talks with facts. He likes the young players because what he finds in them is amazing for his ideas.”
As of last January, Bielsa had handed ten opportunities to players under the age of 21. That’s a glowing indication of his attention to youth but so is the fact he’s given first-team debuts to Alfie McCalmont and Mateusz Bogusz since then as well.
Bielsa has helped change the face of the football club and that’s ringing true at academy level too where he’s installed one of his assistant’s Carlos Corberan as the U23s manager.
The fact that the 64-year-old finds the young players amazing for instilling his own ideas is something that simply has to be relayed to those coming through at Thorp Arch.
If Jack Clarke is worried about his game time then he needs to bear in mind Bielsa was the one that gave him his chance in the first place. The same goes for someone like Davis who has also been handed chances sparingly in 2019/20.
But for those who haven’t earned debuts, this should be seen as an opportunity too, not least for the aforementioned Struijk and Casey who could well pounce on the uncertainty surrounding the defence.
Bielsa appears straight up with the young players and Orta’s words should serve as big motivation. They must be on red alert with opportunities there to be had.