The Athletic’s Phil Hay has delivered a behind-the-scenes update on how Leeds United’s players felt about Marcelo Bielsa’s reign coming to an end.
In a Q&A for The Athletic, Hay revealed: “There was sadness that it came to an end, definitely, and not least because of how much Bielsa had done for so many of the squad. Players who never really expected to play in the Premier League appreciate that they made it there in no small way because of him.
“Form and confidence were suffering, though, and many in the dressing room understood the purpose of the change. I think they saw the potential impact of a refresh. But, as I’ve said before, in no way was there a mutiny.”
While things may have ended like a nightmare following a resounding 4-0 defeat at home to Spurs in Bielsa’s final game in charge, that should not take anything away from the Argentine’s incredible achievements at Elland Road.
Having come into the job when the Whites were still desperately trying to escape from Championship obscurity, Bielsa turned things around sharpish, instilling a real culture and identity at the Yorkshire club once again.
With his famous Bielsa-ball tactics and intense training methods, the veteran boss got Leeds back to the promised land of the Premier League, and in an astounding first campaign back in the top-flight, captured the attentions of people up and down the country with the club’s unique style of play.
His ability to connect with the fan-base on a more personal level with his work off the pitch as well, helped harbour a real sense of connection and unity on all fronts, so it’s no surprise that those who got to know him day-in and day-out like the Leeds players felt sad at his departure.
Hay’s update on Bielsa is certainly an emotional one for Leeds supporters.