Marcelo Bielsa not exempt from questioning after Leeds United decisions at Brighton - David Prutton
Matters will become worrying for Leeds United if displays like Saturday’s at Brighton become the trend.
We are now thoroughly beyond what you would class as the start of the season; we are getting very much into the meat of it and Leeds are still searching for real consistency.
We are not used to seeing this recent variation of Leeds given what levels have been set by Marcelo Bielsa and his players so far.
We are used to seeing them play well more often than not but they have not really hit upon that.
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You could look at it in the convoluted way of who has been available and who has not but Leeds had a couple of their big boys back in Raphinha and Rodrigo at Brighton and so you expect them to be lifted and to perform.
There were boos from the Brighton fans at the final whistle and I don’t know whether that was a reflection of what they had seen from their side, whether they were disappointed they had not put Leeds to the sword or whether that was a reflection of where they see themselves above Leeds in the table.
The reality is that it is going to be a battle all season, as we always thought, and that feeling is just reinforced in games such as the one at Brighton.
Some of the recent Leeds displays have been uncharacteristic but you get that in seasons and eras in football clubs.
That’s not to say that Leeds have got a squad that is completely out of form because there are bright sparks within that but, if the form is down as a collective, then this is the situation that they find themselves in.
A lot has been pegged on players being unavailable but that’s the very nature of what the Premier League is.
You have just got to get on with it and get through the games.
It wasn’t an easy game at Brighton and nor is it a case of easy games coming up and there can’t be an arrogance to think that you can pick and choose which games you go through the gears in, especially with the way Marcelo wants the team to play.
He wants them to go hell for leather every single game, regardless of who they are playing because every single game is very, very tough.
Do we look at this as a confidence thing? Leeds don’t strike me as a side that should be low on confidence or prey to confidence but every football club and side is.
Marcelo decided to start Kalvin Phillips at centre-back before moving him into midfield and later taking him off whilst Joe Gelhardt didn’t even get on the pitch.
And what Marcelo has achieved before does not mean that he is completely impervious to any form of questioning about his decisions.
This is the funny thing when we are discussing a man such as this who has restored so much pride and love in the jersey that he has done.
That’s wonderful but there are questions to be asked, definitely.
In the past, you can also talk about Pep Guardiola in the Champions League and decisions that he has made regards to selection that has the person in the street and the football fan in the terrace scratching their head.
Then there can be a school of thought which is ‘but you are not a manager’ but I think that is rubbish as there are questions to be asked.
If Gelhardt causes Spurs problems then why the hell is he not good enough to cause Brighton problems? And, also, you get the best out of Kalvin Phillips in midfield.
Marcelo has been superb in what Leeds have done, he has been an icon in what is a very iconic and historical football club and will always be remembered as that and this is not me signing him off.
But it’s in situations such as this that he should very much be questioned because that is his job and that is the nature of the PR side of it as a manager.
If it was played in front of nobody and nobody turned up and nobody cared about football then fine.
But people pay good money and will have paid good money on Saturday evening to get to Brighton to watch that so absolutely, yes, Leeds fans are entitled to ask questions.
Yes, it is in that mantra of ‘in Bielsa we trust’ but, sometimes, to us mere mortals it almost feels like there is an element of something being completely over-thought to the nth degree.
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Thank you Laura Collins