‘I don’t care how nice the football is’ – Merson pulling no punches on Bielsa and his style at Leeds

He’s won plaudits for his style of play wherever he’s managed, but Marcelo Bielsa is finding life tough in the English Premier League.

A lack of supporters at Elland Road for their first top-flight campaign in a decade and a half can’t have helped, however, the plain fact is that Leeds are down in the lower reaches of the division with a negative goal difference and having lost half of their 14 games.

The jump up from the Championship is getting harder to bridge now, so a tough start to life in the Premier League was perhaps to be expected.

Paul Merson is livid with Bielsa for even trying to impose his style in a league which will expose every flaw.

“Playing the Marcelo Bielsa way is madness,” he said in his Daily Star column.

“People say it’s great to watch, but sometimes you’ve got to pull the strings in. They could have lost by double figures to Manchester United.

“If I’m a Leeds fan, I don’t want to be getting smashed by United. I don’t care how nice the football is.

“Everyone has caught on to how Leeds play. Every team is now playing players against them who are good one-on-one and have pace. Beat your man, it’s goodnight.

“You watch Leeds play and if you’d come in half way through and the score wasn’t in the corner of the TV you wouldn’t know who was winning.

“They play the same way whatever the score is. That can’t be right. I love watching them. But people are telling me their manager is the best in the world. Why?

“The best managers win things. I played football to win stuff. Not to be every neutral’s favourite team to watch.

“People only like watching you until you start winning. They soon go off you when you lift a few trophies. Leeds can’t keep on playing like this. It frustrates me.”

With well over half the season to go, it’s entirely possible that Leeds will go on a run and finish in mid-table respectability by season’s end.

One thing is certain too, and that’s that Bielsa will never change. In this day and age that’s very refreshing even if Leeds lose more than they win.

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