Stuart Dallas, Marcelo Bielsa’s Rolls Royce?
17 Nov 2019 11:13am, by YorkshireSquare
Paul Madeley was Don Revie's Rolls Royce, the original ‘Super Sub’ and the most versatile player ever to wear the Leeds shirt...and arguably in the whole history of the Football League. In his 724 first team appearances, spread over an incredible 17 year span at Leeds, he scored 34 goals, playing in every position except goal - perhaps hindering his international selection, as he never had a regular first team position at Leeds. Originally he was groomed as Jack Charlton’s successor before Don Revie realized he was a versatile performer and in one season played nine different positions.
Madeley was never asked to play out of position because every position was natural to him. Madeley's natural ability to adapt to a different role on a frequent basis meant that he was often in the side chosen by manager Don Revie at the expense of a 'specialist' in that position, though the majority of the time there was a player either injured or suspended whom Madeley would replace, mainly in defence. Although, having become a regular in the team from 1966, Madeley was in attacking positions when Leeds won their first major honours under Revie.
Now Marcelo Bielsa has his own Rolls Royce in the form of Stuart Dallas. Not many players could hold their heads up high after the play-off debacle against Derby County but Dallas was certainly one who could with two goals to his name. That performance came from the left back position but his form has continued into the new season with ‘Mr Versatile’ playing all over the pitch. Right back, wing back, central midfield, you name it the Northern Irishman has played there for both club and country, four positions for Northern Ireland in their draw with the Netherlands this weekend.
Never perhaps the most gifted player his work rate and dedication have always been recognised by his fellow players. Dallas made 49 appearances in his debut 2015-2016 season for Leeds, more than any other player that season, and was named 'Players Player 0f The Year’. This season, when perhaps chances seemed limited for Dallas following the signings of Harrison and Costa he has been Bielsa’s go to player. Injuries to Ayling, Foreshaw and Alioski have seen Dallas every present this campaign, in a multitude of positions, and one of Leeds most consistence performers wherever he has played.
The likes of Hernandez, Costa, Phillips and White may grab the headlines but any promotion push this season will be reliant on Stuart Dallas, Marcelo Bielsa’s Rolls Royce!