This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
No more room for slip-ups and no more excuses.
That is perhaps the biggest takeaway from Friday’s press conference with Marcelo Bielsa.
Speaking to the media, the Argentine talked about what the team was doing during the international break:
“We are working for the last 15 days to compensate for one weekend without playing. We were controlling all the details about our game, our strategy.
“We are always verifying matches we play. We analyse what we have to develop or correct and taking account of this we plan the week. This is what we did in those 15 days.”
It’s well known just how meticulous Marcelo Bielsa is.
The fact he went through all the effort before being caught for the whole ‘Spygate’ affair, then his now infamous press conference presentation afterwards shows us how much work he is willing to put in when he has his mind set on something.
Whilst not all members of the squad will have been present, with the likes of Stuart Dallas, Eddie Nketiah and Gjanni Alioski on international duty amongst others, the fact that Bielsa is working them so hard should mean that there are no more inexplicable losses like the one against Millwall before the international break.
Leeds set an incredibly high bar after last season jumping from 13th to 3rd in the space of a year and bringing some incredibly attractive football into the fold as well.
If Bielsa believes that his system is really the best one to get them out of this division after 15 years away, then weeks like these are going to be a huge test to see if those methods are not only getting across to the players but will also lead to success.
Perhaps the best example of this is with the forwards.
With this in mind, there can simply be nobody to blame but himself and himself alone if he picks Bamford and he doesn’t come firing out of the blocks against Birmingham to prove that all the training has been paying off.
If performances don’t start picking up soon, it really could be time to start asking the question if Bielsa is really the man that can deliver promotion. He’s now had plenty of time to get his players ready and an increased focus on these types of things over the break simply have to bear fruit.