There is a school of thought that you couldn’t have expected Michelangelo to craft his statue of David out of clay. It runs along the lines of not being able to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Except it doesn’t apply to Marcelo Bielsa.
He took over a Leeds United side wallowing in self-pity and languishing in a mediocre mid-table 13th position. In the space of one season he’s turned the juggernaut that is the Whites and faced them in the right direction.
Whichever way you choose to look at it, whatever slant you put on it, that is remarkable. It’s beyond taking a sow’s ear and crafting a silk purse; what Bielsa has done is crafted the silk purse and gilded it with the finest gold filigree.
The legendary Argentinian coach has led United to the brink of glory, the Whites stumbling at the semi-final stage in a stuttering 4-3 aggregate loss after a 4-2 defeat at Elland Road last night.
Such has been Bielsa’s effect at Elland Road that fans are beginning to clamour for the club to beseech him to stay on for one more crack at it. After the Derby loss, things were still raw but he did say that he would listen to any proposal from the club.
Today, The Telegraph said that his decision to stay rests on just one thing, and it is a big thing at that. They say that “Leeds supporters are desperate for Bielsa to stay on” and say that this is likely on one proviso.
That proviso is simple – that the right safeguards are there with regard to the financial stability and ongoing plans of the club. Bielsa wants, says reporter Luke Edwards, to have the reassurance from owner Andrea Radrizzani that “he will be able to bring in new players in the summer.”
Leeds’ threadbare, pared down squad model was more than evident as the season ground on. Bielsa has already said that he doesn’t think that the current squad will be able to hit such stellar heights again and that strengthening is needed.
However, says The Telegraph’s Edwards, should United look to sell players to create a transfer war chest, the talk of the town is that Bielsa will say “No lo quiero” and walk away from West Yorkshire.