Bielsa explains exciting Leeds philosophy but insists he is no demagogue

Marcelo Bielsa Lille Ligue 1
The Argentine is looking forward to working in the English Championship, with a proven coach at the highest level ready to turn words into action

Marcelo Bielsa is pleased the time for talking is over, as he prepares to open the 2018-19 Championship campaign, but has once again outlined his exciting vision for Leeds United.

The Whites pulled off quite the coup when luring the Argentine to Elland Road, with a proven performer at the very highest level boasting stints at Athletic Bilbao and Marseille on an impressive CV.

He is now hoping to work his magic during a first foray into English football and big things expected of Leeds with the 63-year-old at the helm.

Bielsa is aware of the pressure he is under, but maintains that he will remain humble and insists he is not looking to be “a demagogue” despite vowing to instil a positive philosophy into a promotion-hunting side.

He told reporters ahead of a season opener against Stoke City on Sunday: “I think that I am in a place that is bigger than what I deserve.

“I hope you don’t take this as a compliment for the owners of the club. My goal is to show I deserve this opportunity I was given, but to show you I’m not a demagogue, think about the manner to make this successful project. Think about the big challenge I have this year as a head coach and you will easily understand I can’t think about my future.

“When I speak I try not to please people. When I speak I try not to lie, I try to tell the truth and sometimes it’s hard not to be ‘something’.”

Bielsa has been an outspoken figure in the past, with a larger-than-life character seeking to mould Leeds in his own image.

Pressed again to outline his vision for the Whites, the South American said:  “I already explained them, but not very well because I already answered this question. I will try again.

“I want to be a protagonist and I don’t want to speculate. I want to play in the opponent’s side. I like my team to attack, not defend. I take the risk to attack in small spaces and defend in big spaces.

“I prefer players who have creativity rather than players who don’t have this profile. I accept the risk you take when you build from the back, but for each of my affirmations there is an opposite possibility. I accept it and understand it is a valid one.

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“I wouldn’t criticise a team that would clear the ball, play long balls, I wouldn’t criticise teams who play speculating, I wouldn’t criticise other teams for waiting and not attacking, I wouldn’t criticise any team that plays hard instead of creating, but what I like is what I just said. It doesn’t mean my philosophy is the best one.

“It’s the philosophy I can transmit. Of course this has to be deeply rooted in respect for the rules. Sometimes the rules offer some aspect you can use to the advantage. I would rather consider the rules as a protection for creative football. My first answer would have been enough, but I explain this as a special attention for you and I apologise for all the people who had to listen again.

“The rules say we have to end after half an hour because after 30 minutes the attention decreases, so please don’t feel bored.”