Leeds United have been a pretty polarising team this season, with some calling their play ‘entertaining’, whilst others like Sky Sport’s Paul Merson have completely the other way with it and slammed their defensive capabilities. There is some validity to the claim with Leeds having conceded 38 goals in the league this season, more than two out of the bottom three in the division.
And going one step further, as heard on the talkSPORT Daily podcast (5:07), Cundy feels that Bielsa’s style of play is holding them back and that they won’t be able to progress as a club whilst he and his style of play is in place:
“So my argument is Bielsa actually isn’t far away, but if they continue to play like that they’ll only ever be mid-table. But they can be as good as they want to be. They’re happy because they were in the Championship last 16 years.
“Bielsa gets way too much credit, they conceded six at Old Trafford, I’ve never heard a manager get lauded over conceding six. Going forward. He is a brilliant manager. Defensively he is Championship at best.”
TIF Thoughts on Jason Cundy’s comments about Marcelo Bielsa
Cundy’s words have an element of truth here. Whilst you can’t ignore their brilliant attacking play, the gaps at the back do leave something to be desired. But at the end of the say, it all comes down to what the club is aiming for.
Paraag Marathe, owner 49ers Enterprises that owns 37% of the club, did recently say (The Ornstein & Chapman Podcast via This Is Futbol) that the club have ambition to play in the Champions League at some point, but if they are to realistically challenge the ‘big six’ in the division (seven if you include Leicester City), they cannot carry on like this.
If that requires a change in personnel to help Leeds defend better, or for Bielsa to tweak his system to stop being so adventurous, then so be it. But as things stand, it would be a near-impossible task to make happen.