Marcelo Bielsa is too long in the tooth to care what people say about the way in which he sets his teams up to play football, so it’s no surprise that he’s taken a swipe at the media suggesting his Leeds side need to prioritise results over style.
With disciples such as Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino regularly espousing the debt of gratitude that football owes Bielsa, the Argentinian maestro really doesn’t need to worry what anyone thinks.
Leeds have been a breath of fresh air in this 2020/21 Premier League season, playing with the wanton abandon of teams from yesteryear at times.
Although they’ve lost seven of their 15 top-flight games so far, their current 12th position is healthy enough and they’re far enough away from the drop zone in points terms to not be too concerned.
“The first thing I’d like to say is I never put the style above the result,” Bielsa is quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
“What I do think is that the style is the main thing that facilitates the result, and if you look at the end of the Burnley game you can see we couldn’t implement our style, but we maintained the result, so that means the journey to winning doesn’t always mean you have to play well.
“I don’t think the press has anything to do with the results that a team maintains. The actions of the press does not influence what happens in a team.
“I never justify a result to the influence of the press. I never speak about the press in general, because the media has different ways of communicating.
“What I do like is, where possible, that the media knows the way I analyse the game. Football is a subject where everyone can have an opinion and everyone has an opinion.
“Everybody likes football and to offer their points of view, but I have the right to say what I think with respect to what’s been said and written – and to add to what the fans can see.”
Such an attitude may not chime with certain sections of football royalty, but it’s intoxicating to watch, and once Leeds’ supporters are back in the stadium, you’re unlikely to see too many complaints from the paying public that worship the ground he walks on.