Marcelo Bielsa - Leeds United's Sensei

19 Aug 2018 03:14 pm, by YorkshireSquare

Marcelo Bielsa is like Leeds United’s sensei. A picture of zen-like calm sat on his bucket, his thoughts telepathically transmitted to his generals who shout and gesticulate to the players around him. His mastery of the high press has already seen off the young pretenders of Gary Rowett and Frank Lampard. Football fans around the country stare in awe at videos of his Leeds United team passing their rivals off the park.

But it’s not only his tactics on the field that demonstrate he operates at a higher level but also his press conferences and interviews. The press ask their usual divisive questions about whether to play Roofe or Bamford... ‘Surely you can let a 7 million man warm the bench?’ Or ‘Do you have enough cover if players get injured?’ Or ‘Will you be getting loan players in before the end of August?’ Or the equally inane ‘Will you win the league?’ after only three games.

Bielsa has a smile and a titter to himself and gives a reply that is completely delightful and unexpected. You get the feeling that he is some sort of University Don bringing enlightenment to a stupid student, and the reporter is left feeling embarrassed and inadequate for ever having asked such a question in the first place.

He will not be not be drawn into the mealy mouthed, evasive statements that you usually get from football managers. He inhabits another world of philosophy and the art of war. He is a combination of ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu and the Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges who though being blind was director of the National Public Library and professor of English Literature at the University of Buenos Aires.

Now it takes someone special who is blind to oversee a library full of books. That takes a special skill that mere mortals can never understand, and so it is with reporters, they expect to trap him with their weasley words, and the replies he gives are as mystifying as quotes from One Hundred years of Solitude by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez.

He is a scholar and a gentleman... something you rarely see from English football managers whose replies are on the level of jerseys for goalposts variety. We have a mystical treasure on our hands... I would not be in the least surprised if the Pope hails him as the patron Saint of football.

From a post by rab_rant, view the topic here.