Sport Are Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds Premier League innovators – or throwbacks?

13:20  21 october  2020
13:20  21 october  2020 Source:   fourfourtwo.com

Koch tells how a PowerPoint convinced him to sign at Leeds

 Koch tells how a PowerPoint convinced him to sign at Leeds © Provided by Sofoot Like what, it can be useful to listen to the techno teacher. After three years in Freiburg, Robin Koch joined Leeds. A key element in the defense of the Peacocks , in which he immediately established himself as the holder, the German international revealed to Sport1 that a detailed presentation, sent by the Yorkshire club, convinced him to sign this summer.

Marcelo Bielsa , a 65-year-old from Argentina known as 'el loco,' is the football manager who finally managed to get Leeds United promoted back to the English Premier League .

After Leeds exercised their option to extend Marcelo Bielsa ' s contract for a second season, ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Stewart Robson reflect on the progress

Marcelo Bielsa can be both a mystery and an open book. The manager whose secretive quest for knowledge led to ‘Spygate’ will often happily reveal his team 48 hours before kick-off. His teamsheet is no guarantee of a formation and not merely because his players’ formidable fitness levels can take them all over the pitch. Deciphering the shape sometimes only comes after kick-off.

Marcelo Bielsa wearing glasses © Provided by FourFourTwo Marcelo Bielsa

Leeds both look to impose themselves on the opposition and alter system because of them. A key to understanding Bielsa is to recognise the exception to his policy of man-marking all over the pitch lies at the heart of defence, where he wants a spare man. So if Leeds face a team with one striker, they will have a back four, usually in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Encounter a side with two up front, and he will pull Luke Ayling infield or Kalvin Phillips deeper as a third centre-back, sometimes in a 3-3-3-1 shape that few others dare emulate.

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Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa has led the side back to the Premier League . After West Bromwich Albion lost to Huddersfield 2-1, Leeds are now guaranteed a spot in the top two of the Championship with two games to spare, earning themselves automatic promotion back to English football' s top tier.

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The innovation does not end there. Bielsa’s conception of a wing-back involves more of the former than the latter. Leeds have faced Sheffield United and Wolves, purveyors of 3-5-2. Bielsa’s chosen wing-backs have been Jack Harrison and Helder Costa. If the Englishman’s relentless running and diligent tracking back suggests he has the attributes of a wing-back, his background is entirely in midfield. There is technical term for Costa, however, and it is “winger.”

It is all the more intriguing as Bielsa’s squad contains a couple of more natural wing-backs. But Gjanni Alioski played a solitary minute in those two matches. Stuart Dallas played all 180, but in the centre of midfield. The left-back when Leeds play 4-1-4-1 – in itself a consequence of Bielsa’s gift for reinvention – the ultra-versatile Northern Irishman is the player whose role changes most in the switch of system; he tends to adapt seamlessly.

Patrick Bamford talks Bielsa and his England hopes with Jamie Redknapp

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Leeds United creating chances through movements under Marcelo Bielsa . Thank you for watching! Повторите попытку позже. Опубликовано: 3 мая 2020 г. Leeds United creating chances through movements under Manchester City City vs QPR Premier League 3-2 2011/2012 Full Highlights HD

There can be method to Bielsa’s apparent madness. Wing-back can be a hybrid role, but virtually all of its practitioners are more one thing than the other. Sheffield United and Wolves’ wing-backs (George Baldock, Enda Stevens, Romain Saiss and Nelson Semedo) are more defenders than attackers; by using players for whom the opposite applied, Bielsa tried to pin them back. It was another way to play front-foot football.

There is a sense in which Bielsa has operated in his own world, outside the parameters of what others thought were possible. There are comparisons with his own past; Jean Beausejour operated on the left in Bielsa’s 3-3-3-1 for Chile and was subsequently signed as a wing-back by Roberto Martinez, but perhaps no other Premier League manager then would have taken that decision. Pep Guardiola has occasionally selected teams without defensive width; most notably, and unsuccessfully, in Barcelona’s 2012 Champions League semi-final exit to Chelsea. His formation at times against Arsenal on Saturday bordered on 3-3-3-1.

Lucas Radebe backs Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds to qualify for Europe

  Lucas Radebe backs Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds to qualify for Europe Radebe, who made 256 appearances for the Elland Road club during their previous stretch in England's top division, believes his ex-club will break back into European football.The Premier League newcomers have enjoyed an impressive return to top-flight football to point towards a season of more than simply fighting relegation.

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After Leeds United slumped to their fifth defeat in their last five league games, ESPN FC’s Alejandro Moreno, Craig Burley and Dan Thomas question whether Marcelo Bielsa ’ s side are tiring too soon to secure Premier League promotion. Burley recalls the Peacocks showing signs of “ Bielsa burnout”

In a way, though, Bielsa is a throwback to an earlier age. He is a vocal admirer of Louis van Gaal’s Ajax, and Euro 96 featured some wing-backs who were not really wing-backs: Pavel Nedved, Ronald de Boer, Darren Anderson and Steve McManaman at times. It was facilitated by a tournament with a surfeit of fine attacking midfielders, but few out-and-out wingers, which reduced the need for full-backs. If such ideas fell out of footballing fashion, by the 2010 World Cup Bielsa felt a man out of time, playing a back three when everyone bar Algeria and New Zealand had a quartet, and did so with Beausejour, a wing-back who wasn’t really a wing-back. A decade on, Costa has that status in Bielsa’s Plan B. It is defiantly different and idiosyncratically original and yet borrowed from Bielsa’s past.

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