The Chalkboard: Leeds’ transfer market troubles have cost Bielsa dearly

Fixture In Focus banner Richard Lee

Leeds rescued a point in dramatic fashion at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but the performance was once again unbefitting of Marcelo Bielsa’s genius.

Leeds started the season in incredible form; riding a wave of positivity as they lost just once in their first 12 Championship matches under Bielsa.

The results have dropped off since Christmas though, as the Whites have now picked up just seven points from their last seven league games, losing four times.

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This is not a result of Bielsa’s tactics getting found out, but rather a complete lack of sense from the club not adding to the squad in January.

With injuries spreading around Thorp Arch like a plague, the boss is quite literally running out of first team players to choose from, and his side’s bad form is a direct result of the club’s failure to strengthen the squad in the transfer market.

On the chalkboard

The game at the Riverside on Saturday followed the exact same pattern as the defeats to Stoke City and Norwich, with Leeds dominated the ball but creating very few clear-cut chances.

In the 1-1 draw against Tony Pulis’ side, the Whites had 69 per cent of the ball, 17 shots to Boro’s nine and a whopping nine corners to just two, per Whoscored.

Despite this, Bielsa’s side never really looked overly threatening, as they lack the sufficient quality to break down a deep defence.

Players like Samuel Saiz and Pablo Hernandez, who can unlock an organised defence in an instant, are a rarity outside of the top tiers of European football, and selling one of them without signing a replacement was absolutely criminal.

Put simply, Bielsa’s style is struggling due to a lack of tehcinally gifted players in the side, and if the boss fails to secure automatic promotion then the blame should be placed entirely on those above him.