Ex-Leeds defender labels Marcelo Bielsa as ‘mental’ and a ‘God’

Leeds United Manager Marcelo Bielsa during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate, Bristol, England on 4 August 2019.

Brentford captain Pontus Jansson has given a revealing interview about what life was like at Elland Road under “mental” boss Marcelo Bielsa.

The 28-year-old became a fan favourite at Elland Road during his three years at the club between 2016 and 2019.

He made the move south to join Brentford earlier this summer but he has fond memories of his time at the Whites – particularly under the character that is Bielsa.

Speaking to SunSport, the Swedish defender said: “Marcelo is mental in everything that he sees about football.

“As people they are different because Marcelo does not want to have that close relationship with his players.

“One reason is the language barrier because he doesn’t speak English very well.

But with the name Marcelo Bielsa you get so much for free and as a player you just have to show him respect.

“If a team were not getting results, and it was a new coach coming in that didn’t want to talk to anyone it would put him in a tough position.

“But with Bielsa, with what he has achieved and how big he is, you just have to accept it and do everything he says. You can’t go against him.”

Jansson said his departure from Leeds in the summer was “sad” as he had to come to terms with accepting he was no longer part of the picture at Elland Road.

However, he has developed a good working relationship with new boss Thomas Frank whose demeanour is somewhat different to that of Bielsa’s.

He said: “With me and Thomas we speak so much about football and I like that.

“With Thomas, I’m captain so our relationship is even closer than the other players have with him.

“He also likes the tactical perspective of the game and Brentford work with statistics and numbers and he takes that into his plans and into his football ideas.

“On the pitch, football and tactic wise, I think they’re quite similar but as people they are quite different.

“I would say I prefer a coach you can talk with. You don’t have to be able to talk about life in general but just football.

“You could do that with Marcelo but not as much because he’s God and he knows everything so you just have to listen.

“I learned so much from Marcelo, it’s just unbelievable how he sees football.”