Supporters are football's greatest asset and make Marcelo Bielsa's job at Leeds United so attractive

What makes Marcelo Bielsa's job as Leeds United head coach so attractive is what he calls the best thing in football - the fans.

Friday, 21st February 2020, 11:46 am
The passion of the Leeds United fans makes Marcelo Bielsa's job 'very attractive' (Pic: Bruce Rollinson)

Coming into contact with Whites supporters and their passion is a perk of the job for the Argentine.

He often poses patiently for selfies with well wishers, regularly hands out sweets to youngsters who welcome the team bus to Elland Road, receives letters of support and gifts from his adorning Leeds public and even welcomed a fanatic with a Bielsa likeness tattoed on his leg to Thorp Arch earlier this season.

When he recently suggested that the club's supporters had lost faith in the team during a rocky patch, there was an outpouring of support for him on social media and he was given a rapturous reception by away fans at Brentford's Griffin Park.

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Those interactions, that kind of passion, is nothing new to the 64-year-old, whose CV boasts the Argentine and Chilean national teams, but it's still something he cherishes because, as he explained this week, supporters are the game's biggest asset.

"If there is something that makes me feel that this job is very attractive for me, it is when I am in contact with the passion of the supporters," he said.

"There is a situation that makes a difference between the people who work in football and the supporters. We get paid, to do this job, the supporters the only thing for them is that they love this job. The only thing they receive in exchange is emotions. We receive money and this puts us in another dimension, a different level.

"For this reason the supporters are the best thing in football."

And supporters in Leeds all want one thing from Bielsa, Premier League football.

Their wish has been on his mind since the day he arrived in Yorkshire in the summer of 2018.

"I am aware of this from the first day, that people desire this," he said.

"What I can realise is the wish of the people of Leeds, the desire."

The strength of desire and expectation among United supporters, starved of top-flight football for coming up to 16 years, is driving Bielsa on as he attempts, game by game, to fulful their dream.

"How I manage this situation emotionally, our job has a rule that is common for every situation, we have to win the next match," he said.

"Every match deserves one phrase that is very common in our job - we have to win."