'Don’t get me wrong': Paul Merson makes controversial claim about Leeds boss Bielsa
Paul Merson has controversially claimed that Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa isn’t as good a manager as people think he is.
The Argentine, in many people’s eyes, is one of the greatest tacticians in world football. Managers like Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta and many others idolise him, and what he has done at Leeds is nothing short of brilliant.
However, Merson isn’t quite convinced. He admits that Bielsa is a good manager, but has controversially claimed that the Whites boss is no genius and that he’ll not win anything anytime soon.
Paul Merson: Marcelo Bielsa is not a genius
The Englishman wrote in his column on The Daily Star: “I’ve never quite understood this ‘genius’ tag which some people attach to Marcelo Bielsa.
“Don’t get me wrong, I do think he’s good and I totally respect the opinion of a top coach like Pep Guardiola who can’t praise the Leeds boss highly enough. But, I just don’t get it.
“Just my opinion but a valid one nonetheless. I don’t buy into it. Leeds have hit a brick wall and he needs to change things around. The trouble is, I don’t think he’s got a change in him. Whatever the ‘B’ stands for in Plan B, it’s not Bielsa. He hasn’t got one.
“His teams are full blast from the word go. They are great to watch as a neutral but it’s predictable and now Premier League coaches are wise to it. Anyone surprised that Leeds have only won once this season, perhaps shouldn’t be. Teams are changing the way they play them.
“They haven’t kicked on (from last season) and I just can’t see any way they are going to finish in the top six or eight. I like Bielsa, but if you ask me to say whether I thought he could ever go anywhere and win anything, the answer would have to be ‘no.’”
Merson’s controversial comments will not go down well. Leeds United fans will surely not appreciate them, especially after everything Bielsa has done at Elland Road over the last three years.
The Argentine is an idol to some of the best managers and footballers in the world. The way he sets out his team is something every manager looks up to, which makes you wonder why Merson would come out and say what he has said.
The only point that’s agreeable to a certain extent is that Leeds only have one way of playing, there’s no plan B. That makes them predictable at times, but that’s definitely not the reason why they have failed to pick up more wins.
Leeds are still maintaining a lot of the ball, are having plenty of shots at goal and are creating decent chances. Their only problem is the end product at the moment, but once Bielsa’s attackers find their feet, they should be able to hit last season’s heights.