Paul Merson outlines 'massive advantage' that could flip misplaced Leeds United criticisms on their head

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has suggested that Leeds United’s superior fitness levels should give them a “massive advantage” as the season progresses.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 2:09 pm
Marcelo Bielsa with assistant Pablo Quiroga. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

One of the biggest accusations wheeled out against Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa is that his notoriously rigorous training regimes tend to lead to a slump in results as his squad tires over the course of a campaign.

Leeds actually picked up more points in the second half of last term, however, accruing 33 of their 59 points in their final 19 games.

And Merson is of the opinion that they should replicate that kind of upwards trajectory this time around too.

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Speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday ahead of this weekend’s clash against Burnley, he said: “If you’re a neutral fan you love watching Leeds play. They open the game up and you know you’re going to see goals.

"You’re not going to get too many 0-0s. That’s the way they play.

"I know people tend to go, ‘Oh Leeds will fade’. I think Leeds should get better as the season goes on.

"At the the start of the season everybody’s fit. Everybody’s done their preseason. It’s a bit of a leveller.

"Later on in the season, when teams start getting tired, I think Leeds have a massive advantage.

"They are a fit team. Their aim is to run you into the ground – with skill, with movement, with pace and the way they play.

"The problem is that everybody is sort of catching on. Everybody is changing their team to face Leeds.”