Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa on Twitter talk, the press and footballing opinions

Marcelo Bielsa's awareness of what is being said about his Leeds United side appears to extend to Twitter, but he urges caution when evaluating opinions on social media.

Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 6:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 6:44 pm

The Whites head coach has displayed a keen knowledge of many of the talking points around his side in recent week, from suggestions that they would benefit from psychological help to calls for Jean-Kevin Augustin to start and accusations that Leeds players have looked tired in games. He also picked up on mockery of the length of time it took him to explain himself when it came to Augustin and the process the RB Leipzig must go through before he can be considered for a place in the starting XI.

And Bielsa, who remains confident in his under-fire goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, addressed the fact that the Spaniard had lost public confidence, at least in the press.

A number of high-profile mistakes have put the former Real Madrid man in the spotlight since mid-December, yet Bielsa is content that Leeds United players still have faith in their stopper, evidenced by their willingness to keep passing him the ball, and that Casilla himself is still confident - evidenced by his willingness to come off his line and play ambitious passes.

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Casilla and his defence enjoyed a clean sheet on Saturday in their 1-0 win over Bristol City.

"Kiko keeps the confidence in himself, he keeps the confidence of his team-mates and of course he lost the confidence that is expressed in the press and the media, that is something we know," said Bielsa last Thursday in his weekly pre-game press briefing.

He is not a man to dismiss analysis of his side from outside the camp, he spoke earlier in the season about the possibility that there might be something to gain from media conversation and midfielder Adam Forshaw revealed that Bielsa gives classroom sessions about articles he has spotted. And he acknowledges that everyone has a right to an opinion.

But the Argentine evaluates the opinions he reads or listens to based on how qualified or prepared those making the statements are to do so.

Marcelo Bielsa has given his thoughts on how to evaluate Twitter talk in football (Pic: Bruce Rollinson)

"The opinion in the press, we know who writes and that is a professional giving this opinion, really prepared to give his opinion," he said.

"After you have other media like Twitter that doesn't offer this possibility, we know who writes this but we don't know if they are prepared to give an opinion.

"It is natural that any person can give an opinion, it is good that it is like that, all the opinions we can listen to, but we cannot evaluate because we analyse the quality of the people who write - it is not the same, the opinion of a professional or the people of another background."

Bielsa says the modern-day discussion of football is open to everyone, the game is a universal language and 'the first thing people talk about' but opinions can have an impact when they are expressed publicly. And that's why analysis is key.

"In these times we are living in, the fact that an opinion is public and the fact that a lot of people have similar thoughts, that makes this opinion have an impact," he said.

"We should consider this particularity in this time. Always the opinion has value, if it is a support for information. You, for your profession, you know that the opinion of one professional who does research [is more important than] the opinion of a professional who doesn't make research. So everyone can give an opinion, but we have to give the right value to one opinion or another.

"Football is a game but we can analyse, interpret it. Analysing football doesn't make football a science that is not accessible. Everyone in the world talks about football, it's the first thing people talk about. And it could be convenient to add analysis in football."