Leeds United’s 2018/19 fixtures were announced on Thursday morning, and Marcelo Bielsa has certainly been given a tough baptism of fire in his first managerial job in England.
The Yorkshire outfit and their new boss, who should use his relationship with Mauricio Pochettino to sign these three Tottenham youngsters, kick off with a visit from one of the promotion favourites Stoke City before they travel to Frank Lampard’s Derby County, before a home clash at Elland Road against Rotherham United is followed by trips to Swansea City, Norwich City and Millwall, with the later preceded by a visit by Middlesbrough.
That is certainly a tough opening matches for the Whites and Bielsa on paper, and it remains to be seen how the eccentric 62-year-old chooses to approach those matches. The Argentine chief could choose to implement his ideas and tactics and go for it, or he could play it more cautiously. With that in mind, Football FanCast lay out three suggested solutions for their manager…
While Bielsa will arrive at Leeds with new ideas and will bring his own players to Elland Road this summer, the fact remains that the nucleus of the team that starts against the Potters will likely be the one that ended the 2017/18 campaign.
Considering the Argentine boss is known for his unique 3-3-1-3/3-3-3-1 formation he could choose to implement that straight away in pre-season, but if it doesn’t quickly yield positive results then perhaps he should stick with the 4-2-3-1 system that the majority of his players will be used to playing, to ensure they don’t make a disastrous beginning to the season.
Bielsa is an experienced coach that has managed at the highest level, and he will be confident in his methods and tactics.
The 62-year-old may choose to go with his trusted formation whatever the fixture list has thrown up because he believes in it, and he could go out all guns blazing to try and make his mark in English football and in the Championship.
Nuno Santo came in and went with his methods with Wolves last term, and having seen that work out so well Bielsa should do the same and attack clubs that could be the Yorkshire club’s promotion rivals.
While Bielsa could go with something of an all-out-attack approach in Leeds’ opening seven fixtures to try and get off to a positive start and pick up as many points as possible, it may be better for the Argentine if he plays it cautiously and doesn’t take too many risks against potential promotion rivals in Stoke City and Swansea City, among others.
If the Whites slip up in those fixtures they could leave themselves playing catch up, and it would perhaps be better in some ways if they take no risks and try and pick up as many points as possible if they are to finally win that promotion.
So, Leeds fans, which solution do you think Bielsa should opt with? Let us know by voting below…