Sam Allardyce has told Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast Show on TalkSPORT (8.50am, Tuesday) that the pressure is on Marcelo Bielsa to keep his Leeds United side calm and playing without nerves as they look for promotion this season.
The Whites came within an inch of returning to the Premier League in Bielsa’s first campaign, for the first time since the club were relegated from the top tier of English football way back in 2003-04.
Bielsa’s side were sitting in the automatic promotion places for much of the campaign, but tailed off towards the end of the campaign. It saw Leeds finish in the play-offs, before the club suffered defeat to Derby County.
Former England, Everton, West Ham and Newcastle manager Allardyce claimed the pressure is on Bielsa to keep his players calm in the club’s bid to end their 16-year wait for Premier League football.
TBR’s view – Allardyce has missed the point, Leeds must be more clinical
Allardyce has completely misjudged the reason why Leeds failed to gain promotion. It had little do with pressure of nerves, but it was more to do with a lack of depth in the squad – and the inability to put chances into the back of the net.
Bielsa likes a smaller squad, but a whole host of injuries thanks to a demanding Championship campaign halted Leeds momentum. The Whites were the side to make the most chances last term, but were nowhere near as clinical as they should have been.
But this season, Bielsa looks as though he has solved those issues. The squad boasts more depth, with plenty of options out wide and Under-23 stars coming good. Meanwhile, Patrick Bamford has three in three.