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Marcelo Bielsa- Man, Myth… Leeds Legend?

Leeds United have had their fair share of ups and downs, especially since the turn of the century, but from the beginning of last season and the arrival of legendary manager Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds have been on an upwards curve. Does the last twelve months warrant legendary status for the Argentinian in West Yorkshire?

Here I take a look into the mindset of a Leeds United fan in the midst of what seems to have been a tremendously exciting year at Elland Road, but has enough been done on the field to make it one of the most important years in the clubs history?

Victor Orta Director of Football at Leeds United and Andrea Radrizzani owner of Leeds United chatting during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Utd and Leeds United at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, England on 10 February 2018. Picture by Paul Thompson.

Under previous stewardship, since 2004, Leeds United have been a dormant giant who have failed to fulfil anything like the potential that it has.

However, since the beginning of the 2017/18 season and the take over of the club by Italian media mogul Andrea Radrizzani, Leeds have shown signs of stirring.

He had an iffy start to life in West Yorkshire, with the embarrassing situation around then boss Garry Monk, but the employment of Thomas Christiansen resurrected a fire in the Whites belly, but after a fantastic start, Leeds tailed of towards the end of the season costing the Dane his job. Following this, Leeds brought in Paul Heckingbottom from Yorkshire rivals Barnsley… the rest of that season is history, needless to say it didn’t work.

Now, prior to the start of the 2018/19 season, Radrizzani took the hugely brave decision to try and tempt Argentine Myth, Marcelo Bielsa, to Elland Road, showing the fans just how ambitious he was. After spending days with Bielsa in Argentina, Radrizzani finally agreed on a contract for Bielsa, after El Loco had already revealed that he had watched every single minute of Leeds’ previous seasons action… including the friendlies, with a one year initial contract being signed (and the option of another year).

Credit must also go to Victor Orta who made initial contact with Bielsa and played a huge part in negotiations.

Since that day, Leeds have gone from strength to strength, just falling short of promotion in the Argentinians first season, but this is just part of the story. From his off piste interviews, to “Spygate”, to calling an emergency press conference in order to explain to the world that “spying” gave him zero advantage over opponents and that his preparation was the main reason for Leeds’ success.

Leeds’ football last season was fast, it was intricate and it was beautiful to watch, all achieved with the same squad that struggled so much the season before, this added to the details in the last paragraph have put Marcelo Bielsa deep into Leeds United fans hearts, something that isn’t easy to achieve with the West Yorkshire clubs faithful in recent times.

Bielsa has since signed on for another year at Elland Road and is being backed in the transfer market so far at an impressive rate, so the question to all Leeds fans is…

Is Marcelo Bielsa already a legend in supporters eyes or is he merely a cult figure that the fans have warmed to, needing to secure a path back to The Premier League in order to achieve “Leeds Legend” status?

 

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