For Leeds United it was a 22 hour journey to Australia for a two-game tour that takes in Premier League big-boys Manchester United on Wednesday and A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers at the weekend.
However, in what many will see as something of a strange quirk, Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa remained in England. There were murmurings that he wasn’t entirely happy with arrangements, but they are just murmurings.
What is known is that El Loco hasn’t been sat at home drinking his favourite maté with his feet up. Instead he was pictured at Valley Parade yesterday, taking in Bradford City’s friendly against Champions League winners Liverpool.
The ever-studious Bielsa was spotted not only taking in the game, one which Liverpool won 3-1, but also taking notes. This gave rise to some thinking that he may have been there checking out Reds duo Harry Wilson and Ryan Kent. This duo have been linked with Leeds United and started yesterday’s game either side of fellow impressive Anfield youngster Rhian Brewster.
With some Leeds United fans hoping for a Liverpool arrival, the real reason might bring them down to Earth a little more. Simon Peach, writing in the Yorkshire Evening Post (YEP), says that the real reason Bielsa has stayed behind is to ensure that new signings and late arrivals back from international duty are brought up to speed.
The YEP’s Peach says that Bielsa is due to fly out with an arrival timed for Tuesday, just a day ahead of Wednesday’s big game against bitter rivals Manchester United. He also adds that it is unclear whether the legendary Argentine coach will stay out there for the conclusion of the tour or, conversely, whether he will fly back to continue to oversee preparations back in Leeds.