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UK - Championship
Bielsa's strong ethics are having an effect at Leeds

On the right track

2018/10/19 16:18
By Sam Bevan - Playmaker Club Specialist

Since his reign at Leeds began in June, Marcelo Bielsa has insisted upon improvements not only on the pitch, but off it.

The Argentinian coaching guru has had a huge impact since walking into Elland Road in the summer, United currently in third spot in the Championship after a fantastic start to the season.

This week's international break has given Leeds' management, players and fans time to take stock  - with Bielsa introducing initiatives to ensure his squad value their “privileged position” and apply themselves in the right manner.  

Bielsa has undoubtedly given his players a huge shot in the arm, in terms of their confidence, but there is also a distinct sense that he is trying to round them as individuals, as well as football players. 

Keep Leeds tidy

In early August, Bielsa made the squad pick up litter from around the training ground, Thorp Arch. He saw this as a method to teach the players about the extent to which fans must work to attend games. Average ticket prices to attend Elland Road vary between £29 - £39 for an adult ticket, dependent on the location of the seat, which is one of the highest costs in the league.

However, Bielsa’s reign has seen average home attendances rise from 31,521 to 32,942 in his short spell out the club. Work such as the litter picking has helped the club to develop a sense of community and help supporters connect with their club again. This goodwill between the club and its supporters has been built upon on the pitch, fans wanting to attend games to see the squad play a brand of football that hasn’t been seen before in the Championship.

©Leeds United

The recent partnership between Leeds United and the Children Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) has also offered the players a chance to give something back to the community and improve the lives of others.

The two players to visit the Leeds General Infirmary most recently were Adam Forshaw and Kalvin Phillips. Bielsa has imposed his high standards and work ethic on the players even during the international break, and this additional social work has helped his players build links within the community, and opened their eyes to what happens outside of the footballing world. 

Moulding youth

Youngsters such as Phillips perhaps have the most to gain from being coached by Bielsa - and England boss Gareth Southgate must be monitoring the progress of a midfielder, who is being moulded into a highly effective defensive midfielder by Bielsa. 

In Southgate's most recent Three Lions squad, Mason MountJadon Sancho and James Maddison were all called up for the first time, and Phillips must have taken note that young players who have performed well in the Championship have been handed their international wings. The 22-year-old is yet to be involved in any national team, but if his form in the 18/19 season continues, that may change. The anchor of Bielsa’s team could provide Southgate with real versatility, as he is able to transition the play quickly from defence to attack, while providing excellent defensive cover.

As United push for promotion back to the Premier League in their centenary year, the tactics and ethics of new boss Bielsa are provely hugely influential; Leeds fans have bought into his unique philosophy and are looking forward to a rewarding season, both on and off the pitch.




Marcelo Bielsa
NameMarcelo Alberto Bielsa Caldera
Born1955-07-21(63 -yrs-old)
Job RoleManager
Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa
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