Sparking, fizzing, effervescent – there’s a triplet of words that sum up a lot of Leeds United’s football this season under Marcelo Bielsa. At times it has been football to take the breath away.
Yet, sides have become accustomed to hustling Leeds’ high-press game, often nicking the ball and finding inroads into the United midfield and are able to build up chances and shots at goal.
I suppose it is par for the course really; play with fire often enough and it’s singed fingers time coming at some point. That’s often been the case of late, Leeds being stung but having both the class and wherewithal to sting back.
Only twice have they lost, by twin 2-1 scorelines to Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers, but in each of these games they have been in it until the end and not in any danger of being outclassed. Against the Blues it was two early goals that proved their undoing; against Rovers it was sloppy defending at corners that saw the game slip away from them.
Errors and misjudgments creep into games at EVERY level, from Sunday League to Premier League, with no prestige of game excepted.
The above video gives Leeds United fans a sense of hope, hope that even in dark moments their side can turn on the gas and dazzle away. That goal, scored by Mateusz Klich, is a goal straight out of the Bielsa playbook. Patient build-up from the back, quick transition through the channels and you are upfield in seconds and a series of passes.
That’s BielsaBall, a style of football that has some fans rightly drooling and calling the Whites Bielsalona. trouble is, should this be the bread and butter of Leeds United’s play or should it be reserved, like Del Boy’s ‘two pairs of aces’ to beat Boycey, for special occasions during games.
I suppose what I am saying is this: should Leeds United set about playing in a gritty style more akin to Barnsley than to Barcelona?