David Moyes issues huge praise for Marcelo Bielsa and lifts lid on copying Leeds United boss as Whites head to West Ham

David Moyes has served up huge praise for Marcelo Bielsa and his Leeds United side, the West Ham boss revealing he has previously attempted to copy Bielsa's methods.

By Lee Sobot
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 1:24 pm

Moyes and Bielsa will lock horns for a fourth time in Sunday afternoon's third round FA Cup clash at the London Stadium in which Moyes will seek to maintain a perfect record against United's Argentine head coach.

West Ham completed the double over Leeds upon United's first season back in the Premier League last season and then took a 2-1 victory from September's clash at Elland Road in the first meeting of the two clubs of the current campaign.

The Hammers are flying high in fifth place in the top-flight table, 11 positions and 15 points above fifth-bottom Leeds, but Moyes has hailed both Bielsa's work at Leeds and the South American's previous coaching at his former clubs.

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THUMBS UP: For Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United from West Ham boss David Moyes ahead of Sunday's third round FA Cup tie at the London Stadium. Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images.

"Marcelo Bielsa is a manager I have huge respect for," said Hammers boss Moyes at his pre-match press conference, as quoted by whufc.com"I’ve admired him for so long.

"I used to watch his teams when he was at Bilbao and I remember going to Old Trafford to watch them beat Manchester United in a Europa League game and I actually based one of my team’s performances on what I saw watching them there.

"I just think that he’s unique, there are a lot of things he does which are different and I think the Premier League needs different styles, different managers, different systems and I think he brings that.

"He brings an excitement to the Premier League in the way they play and I think Leeds have been a really good watch over the past two or three years."

Reflecting on the challenge that would present itself in facing Leeds in the third round, and the draw his side were handed at this stage, Moyes pondered: "You know you’re in for a hard game when you face Leeds.

"You need to play really well to beat them.

"There are so many good things about them and the manager has done a good job over time.

"As everyone is aware, every game against Leeds is played at full-tilt, is one end to the other, and we need to make sure that when we get to the end we score more goals than they do.

"It’s always a hard game against Leeds."

Moyes added: "The draws have not been kind to us in the cups this year, but we have done well.

"The first game you go into hoping you get through and the more you get through [going all the way] becomes more realistic.

"It’s an obvious thing to say but we’ve been given a tough third round draw. Saying that, we had Manchester United and Manchester City in the Carabao Cup before we played Tottenham, so we’ve had a real tough go in the cups.

"But we did well in those games and we hope we can do well against Leeds United."

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Thank you Laura Collins