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Bielsa: Suggestions to change style are destabilising Leeds

Marcelo Bielsa admits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won the tactical battle in Leeds United's 6-2 Premier League defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Leeds United's Argentinian head coach Marcelo Bielsa watches from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on December 16, 2020. (Photo by LEE S

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa launched a broadside at the media on Thursday, saying there were some people attempting to 'destabilise' his squad with opinions on why the club must alter its playing style to succeed.

While Bielsa's attacking philosophy has earned praise in many quarters for being entertaining, it has also been doubted by others, with promoted Leeds conceding more goals than they have scored to sit 14th in the standings.

Leeds were thrashed 6-2 at Manchester United on Sunday, which led to more criticism of Bielsa's style as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side ran riot at Old Trafford. But Bielsa said the scoreline should not be a basis to question their tactics.

"I don't worry too much about what the press think. I always listen, read and try to take the best possible message from what's written," Bielsa told reporters ahead of Sunday's home game against Burnley.

"What does worry me is that what's written does influence the public, they decrease the capacity to understand for the public. Also (they) try to destabilise by suggesting to the players that the style needs to be changed.

"This happens when the results allow. It doesn't matter if in the previous game, prior to the United game, the opinion was completely different. Of course, the substance to try and reach a conclusion is the amount of goals we have been conceding."

Leeds dominating and losing

Bielsa explained how even though United won convincingly, both teams dominated the game but it was the hosts who converted their chances while Leeds did not despite creating more.

However, the Argentine said he had been outfoxed by Solskjaer's tactics to play two central midfielders in Fred and Scott McTominay which threw a spanner in the works.

"With this decision, the manager of United was superior to me in the way I imagined the game," Bielsa added. "It helped balance their defensive system and I didn't think the key of the game would be with the two central midfielders."

Bielsa will stick to his guns

Bielsa had said after the game that he would not abandon his principles and reiterated the need for weaker teams to take risks in the interest of English football.

"I will always gamble for the hurt to be a smaller one even if there's a risk of it getting better," Bielsa said.

"This is why I say English football is one of the few altars where it is valued, in the attempt to be better, even if the opponent ended up being superior.

"Clearly, that stopped being this way. The spectators started thinking this way, which I think will affect English football."


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