Marcelo Bielsa is a man of principle - I don’t expect that to change

In the first of her new exclusive monthly columns for the YEP, LUTV presenter Emma Jones looks forward to the first match in the Premier League for 16 years.

Saturday, 12th September 2020, 6:00 am
Marcelo Bielsa will take Leeds United to Anfield this afternoon for a long awaited Premier League return. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

It feels like forever ago, doesn’t it?

Meeting at the Peacock for a pint. Strolling past Billy and Don whilst discussing how Leeds will approach what we didn’t know would be the last game of football as we knew it.

Since that game against Huddersfield in March, we’ve secured automatic promotion, brought in a host of exciting new talent, including a record signing, the Yorkshire Pirlo got the England call up and yet the ground is so quiet you could hear a pin drop amongst the crowdies.

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The start of the Premier League season has given us all something to look forward to at a time when we really need it.

Football has a beautiful way of bringing us all together, even when that’s physically impossible.

Despite fans being unable to attend games, transfer speculation and discussion has been rife on social media.

And to be honest, I’ve loved seeing Leeds fans remain as vocal and opinionated as ever about which stars we might be signing.

What’s clear is that Marcelo, Victor, Andrea and Angus have been ambitious with their signings.They’ve observed where we need to strengthen and acted, rightly, as a Premier League club who can attract the finest talent.

Talent who have expressed how honoured they feel to be able to play a part at such a huge club.

Though pre-season has been much shorter than normal, we know that Bielsa has had the team back at it to ensure their short breaks to celebrate and unwind are already a distant memory.

Sealing promotion gave us all the excitement of seeing Leeds United back on the stage we feel it belongs.

However, it’s one thing seeing the team back at grounds like Anfield, but the exciting thing for me is how Marcelo and his team will approach games this season. We know Marcelo is a man of principle. I don’t expect that to change, despite the change in division.

Not for 30 years has there been so much faith and trust in a Leeds United manager, so if there’s one man we believe can navigate his way through the toughest league in the world, it’s Marcelo.

Not even the most optimistic of Leeds fans can expect us to win every game this season, and the challenges ahead are highlighted none more so than the opening fixture.

So while the excitement and anticipation is yet to fade in the short time since winning the Championship, the focus is now on the details of picking up points and how Marcelo and his players will do that.

Liam Cooper told us at LUTV, “We’ll do it our way.”

That’s not arrogance or blind faith, it’s a knowledge and confidence that he and his teammates have the ability and mental strength to cope with the challenges ahead.

Whatever Marcelo has up his sleeve, whether you support Leeds or not, it’s going to be fascinating to watch the season unfold.