Marcelo Bielsa could ruffle Premier League feathers with Leeds United 'when' they promoted - David Healy
The former Whites striker moved back to his native Northern Ireland in 2015, initially to do some coaching with the Irish Football Association, and had it in mind to return to England when a role came up.
But when a job did come up, that year, it was a lot closer to home.
He took charge of Belfast club Linfield, whose Windsor Park stadium hosted some of the Northern Ireland international’s career highlights, and has already won two league titles, an Irish Cup and a League Cup.
When the Irish Premiership season was suspended with seven games remaining due to the pandemic, Healy’s men, like Bielsa’s Leeds, sat top.
Like his former club, Linfield had won their last five games straight.
Healy does not yet know when or if Linfield will get the chance to finish the job they have started, unlike Leeds, who resume their title bid on Sunday at Cardiff City.
It is no surprise that as a player who enjoyed his time at Elland Road and still enjoys popularity with supporters, he’s a Leeds fan. But he’s also a Bielsa fan.
“I have his coaching manual,” he told the YEP.
“I don’t think I could coach the way he coaches.
“Anyone who ever talks about Bielsa talks about how good he is. Pep Guardiola, one of the top coaches, he’s basically a protégé of Bielsa. That shows how highly respected he is.”
Healy believes Bielsa, for whom today marks two years in the Elland Road job, will take Leeds up.
The Northern Irishman hopes the Argentine will stay put to ruffle some Premier League feathers, like he did when Leeds gave Arsenal a torrid time in the FA Cup earlier this season.
Their performance at the Emirates prompted Gunners boss Mikel Arteta to liken a game against Bielsa's side to a trip to the dentist.
“Obviously they had their little blip in and around new year which can be expected in a Championship with so many games,” he said.
“When they do get promoted – I saw the game against Arsenal – if they go up and have Bielsa in charge, I would imagine some of the managers coming up against him will be wondering what’s hit them, that’s for sure.”