Marcelo Bielsa could fire Leeds United into the Premier League
After years of struggle and tears, Marcelo Bielsa looks like he could be Leeds United‘s messiah. The charismatic manager was appointed as the club’s boss earlier this summer following Paul Heckingbottom’s unceremonious sacking.
And despite their numerous issues from previous campaigns, it goes without saying that Leeds have fared excellently in the new season so far. In fact, Bielsa has set the Championship alight with his pragmatic tactics.
Leeds have notched up four consecutive wins, beating the likes of Stoke City, Derby County, Bolton Wanderers and Rotherham United in recent times. Currently sitting one point behind league leaders Middlesbrough, do Leeds have a chance of securing promotion this season?
During the club’s recent match against Rotherham, Bielsa certainly looked uncomfortable sitting in an upturned blue bucket for a good majority of the game. But as far as Leeds are concerned, they look like they could comfortably stake a claim for an automatic promotion spot.
Bielsa has always been known for his high-pressing tactics but the way he has transformed Leeds’ overall game is remarkable, to say the least.
Their build-up play from the back was visible in full glory during their game against Derby County. Leeds posed a threat at all times and suffocated their opponents to a point where they were almost powerless and feeble on the pitch.
Although Bielsa has not added too many new faces to his current Leeds squad, almost all the players look like renewed versions of themselves. That’s the true mark of a great manager.
What’s more interesting to note is their effortless transition of formations while on the field. Bielsa usually deploys his personnel in a 4-1-4-1 but as the game progresses, his wide players position themselves in a way that it morphs into a 3-3-1-3 with the ball. And when Leeds are not in possession, they transform into a 4-5-1, with every player looking hungry to win the ball back.
Kemar Roofe has done admirably well to act as the first line of Leeds’ press, which is followed by the likes of Ezgjan Alioski, Samuel Saiz and Pablo Hernandez.
To make matters exciting, the likes of Mateusz Klich and Kalvin Phillips also indulge in pressing, to completely limit their opponents. In fact, this was quite evident against the likes of Stoke and Derby.
With such a dramatic yet effective change in tactics, Bielsa seems like the right person to fire Leeds back into the Premier League. His efforts have yielded positive results as well and the fact that he has managed to achieve all this with the same squad from the previous term is truly commendable. Hence, this could easily be Leeds’ year in the Championship.