Jamie Redknapp has questioned Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa in his Daily Mail column, asking whether the training sessions under the Argentine are too “intense” and whether that is having a detrimental affect on the Leeds players.
Just two wins in nine league games has seen Leeds slip to second place, but more importantly – only three points above third. The gap between the top two and third was in double digits heading into the Christmas period.
A corner that deflected over Kiko Casilla off of Pablo Hernandez succumbed Leeds to defeat on Saturday against lowly Wigan, despite numerous chances for Patrick Bamford, Helder Costa, Jack Harrison and more.
Ex-England international Redknapp has questioned Bielsa’s training-ground tactics, asking whether his widely-renowned intense sessions are having a laster-longing effect on the Leeds players when it comes to this point in the season.
“Is Bielsa’s training too intense? We hear stories about how intense Marcelo Bielsa’s training sessions are, so has that played a part in Leeds’ poor form?” Redknapp said. “This is not the first time this has happened, of course.
“Last season Leeds were top of the table on Boxing Day, six points clear of third. Then they went on to miss out on automatic promotion. Their players will be desperate to avoid the lottery of the play-offs again.”
TBR’s view – Claims of over-training are simply ridiculous
Bielsa’s training sessions are very intense – with Bamford once explaining that it is like a normal session, but instead of jogging here and there, it is 100% intensity and sprinting everywhere.
But claims that the training is too much is ridiculous. If his training is hard in mid-season, it must be double as hard in pre-season – and yet Leeds got off the blocks to a stunning start.
The issue with Leeds is that, with promotion a very realistic possibility, the enormous pressure of such a big and expectant fanbase weighs the players down. Bamford struggles, as do a number of others.
It is the pressure from supporters – and the desperation to avoid last season’s failure a second time – that could cost Leeds promotion.