The Athletic’s Phil Hay has delivered some insight into the situation surrounding Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips.
After seeing him being taken off at half-time against Brighton, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp suggested that there was a bit of conflict between Phillips and Bielsa, something that Hay has now refuted.
He said: “The Redknapp comment was a bit daft. I’m not saying that there wasn’t frustration at Brighton because it was evidently a confused performance but to say that Bielsa and Phillips are clashing is a big statement and you can tell that it’s not true. When Bielsa falls out with players, Jansson gets sold to Brentford and Hernandez is consigned to the bench. Phillips is right in the thick of it.”
Make no mistake about it, Redknapp appears to have just blown the whole thing out of proportion, delivering a hot take designed to get people talking.
Bielsa himself moved quickly to dismiss any speculation of a rift, insisting: “That doesn’t mean I was correct, but I did what I thought was best. But in no way does that mean that there’s a difficulty with anyone. It’s never good for a player or for a team to think that the positions are immovable and that the hierarchies that are within a team can’t be altered ever.
“Apart from that it’s not only bad for the player, who is untouchable, but it’s bad for those (players) who want to alter the positions within a team.”
After all, the England international is clearly hugely important to the Yorkshire side and the midfielder wouldn’t be where he is today without Bielsa’s help.
It was the Argentine who put him in the team in the first place and over the last few years, his dominative performances in the middle of the park have seen him rewarded with international acclaim.
Furthermore, the Whites have won zero of the games they’ve played with Phillips missing from the team this term, highlighting him as a crucial asset.
Thus, Hay’s reveal that both Phillips and Bielsa are all fine, and haven’t fallen out a la a Pontus Jansson or a Pablo Hernandez, is sure to leave fans both relieved and delighted.