Bielsa and Leeds – An impressive Premier League return after 16 years

Marcelo Bielsa is a tactical genius and this fact cannot be disputed due to his performances as a manager in various clubs where he has practiced.

This then brings the question; Why are the elite clubs in the Premier League who are facing managerial challenges not looking in his direction? This remains a big wonder in my opinion.

The Argentine manager led Leeds United to a Premier League return in style and kept them in it in style ahead of the 2021/22 season.

It can be recalled that the likes of Fulham and West Brom were promoted to the Premier League from the Championship alongside Leeds but only The Whites remained as the other two sunk back into the Championship.

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The Whites regained promotion to the Premier League in 2020 after being relegated in 2004. They should have gained promotion to the upper echelon of English club football in 2019 but were denied by Derby County in a 4:3 aggregate loss in the playoffs.

However, they returned to the Premier League and took it by storm for a team that had been out of the division for more than a decade, 16 years precisely. The Argentine’s brand of football which leverages the speed, energy, and stamina of his players was a joy to behold in the Premier League.

They are a very attacking side and the number of goals they scored in the 2020/21 season is further proof of this. Only the likes of Manchester City (83), Liverpool (68), Manchester United (73), Leicester (68), and Tottenham Hotspur (68), scored more goals than the Whites (62).

They were one of the supposed small sides in the 2020/21 season that took the game to the big sides regardless of the quality on parade and it was little surprise when they ran out winners against the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester, and Everton in the course of the season.

Funny enough, only one of the clubs in the eventual top 10 of the 2020/21 season was able to record double victories over them and it was West Ham.

Leeds eventually finished ninth on the log and lost just 1 out of their last 11 Premier League games of the season. They won their last four games of the season in a row and missed out on a place in the Europa Conference League and Europa League by three points and six points respectively.

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Elland Road was one of the venues for the most exciting games of the season and having survived in style, we are looking forward to seeing more mind-blowing games in the venue. They will be up for it next season after ending the season on a high.

However, they will be faced with the challenge of consistency as we saw how it panned out for Sheffield United in the 2020/21 season after an impressive finish in the 2019/20 season.

Regardless, the wily old fox in Bielsa will be eager to prove a point and establish himself beyond doubt as one of the elite managers in the game in recent times.

We look forward to seeing how the Whites of Elland Road perform next season under Bielsa, that’s if he stays put and is not prised away.