Marcelo Bielsa launches a 41-minute monologue to explain why Leeds was superior to Man United


Question: How will you improve your defense without affecting the attack?

Bielsa: We have to analyze the last game in a very detailed way in order to draw accurate conclusions from the game. The only conclusion I heard from last game is that we need to change our style of play. Player-centered questions try to weaken the style of play we have. Suggesting them if they would ask me to change my style of play.

After revising the game and the real reasons why we lost this game, they were not taken into account. This is not something new because media platforms, journalists, can only analyze the results. Usually, when there are adversities, what you do is try to weaken those who are facing trouble or make fun of the team’s style of play. I look back at the commentary on Leeds ’style of play is attractive, especially to their opponents, but what really happened in the game has nothing to do with what is being said in the press.

Some voices have the ability to analyze beyond the results that offers some interpretation of what is happening on the ground. I don’t worry too much about what journalists think. I always listen, read and take the best possible message from what is written. What worries me is what is written affects the public, reduces the ability to understand for the public. Also, try to destabilize yourself by suggesting to players that the style needs to change.

Of course, this happens when the results allow it. It doesn’t matter if the opinion was completely different in the previous game. Of course, the substance of the attempt to draw a conclusion is the amount of goals we have received. The context in the way we receive these goals is not revised.

Question: What individual improvement do you ask your players to be solid?

Bielsa: To answer, I have to take the basis of the last game. I can tell you the data we collected from last game. From a physical point of view, Manchester United played their best game of the season and Leeds were superior in this aspect. We were superior in possession, which means nothing, but in context it begins to take on some value. There was no clear dominance in the game. We dominated and dominated in a similar way.

Players unbalanced by opponents were 17 Fred and 39 McTominay. Neither Rashford nor Bruno Fernandes nor James participated mainly in the defense. With this decision Man Utd was superior to me in the way I envisioned the game as it helped balance Manchester United’s defense system and I didn’t think the key would be with the two central midfielders. If you look at the game in detail, the imbalance comes from those two players. The offensive production of both teams was quite similar.

We created 11 chances on goal, scoring two. Man Utd created eight goal opportunities and scored six. It took them 14 chances to score six goals, us 13 to score two. The mistakes Man Utd made in defense were the same as those made by Leeds. It would probably be honest and fair to say that the sense of danger from Man Utd was greater than from Leeds, but what is true is that we created the danger in proportion to Man Utd.

They managed to finish better than we did. Duels and disputes should be highlighted as another aspect. In duels, disputes and once against them, we were not superior to them. We can read this in two ways, in the physical aspect where we were better than them, you have to assess concentration, explosiveness and aggression where we were not overtaken by a big difference. Also the technical aspect that was superior to us in certain situations. What you are looking for or looking for is not the dominant factor.

You asked how we attack, but we defend better. What you are proposing is to abandon ingenuity and allow them to be superior to us. This is not something new, because it has always been an idea that the media presents to the public. That evolution only works if it gives immediate results. It forces us to improve, it never tolerates or follows. Leeds was consistent for two years in the championship. There were few opportunities for the press to demand change because everything was going well. In the championship whenever there was turbulence, you wrote that.

You have to understand that the procedure for equal competition is the same in every league. As for my mention, it took them 14 chances, and for us 13, five of their situations were generated in three minutes, the 84th, 85th and 86th minutes, when we generously tried to switch 6-2 to 6-3. I feel it was less humiliating to lose 6-3 or 6-4 instead of 6-2. I will always gamble to make the injury smaller, even if there is a risk that it will get better. That’s why I say English football is one of the few altars to appreciate, in an attempt to be better, even if the opponent was ultimately superior. It is clear that this was no longer the case. The spectators started to think this way, which I think will affect English football.

Given the 14 chances our 13 had as well, football has a lot of casual stuff. If you look at the penalty that Pascal received and look at the intent to pass into James ’goal, McTominay’s effective pass was aimed at him or not, as it’s very easy to say it could have been 10-2 instead of 6 -2, but whoever says this ignores what happened to [?]. To complete this analysis so that it does not sound offensive, frustration and injury defeat have nothing to do with the messages we receive from our environment. Especially if the messages are affected by what is written in the press, which affects people.

The press has no influence on the team I manage. More than you suggested leaving the style, I don’t feel weakened by what you suggest. It would be stupid of me because I have all the resources to give my opinion to my players. This means that the responsibility is mine and no one else’s. What I am doing is signaling a poor interpretation of what happened on Sunday. To finish with an explanation, 13 chances for two goals and 14 chances for six goals scored: if you look at the way they were scored. The sets were better than Manchester.

We created four chances from the sets and scored once, they created three from the sets and scored one. That way we can see the evolution of the team. Cooper has lost the most in aerial duels in these last 14 games. This is because he always defends against the best opponent’s header. In this match he scored and neutralized Maguire, who is a very good header. It’s a process I’m looking for, to get closer to the best, taking advantage of the mistakes we make to improve them without trying to keep up.

No one analyzes the amount of blocks created in set parts, and these are fouls that are very visible and never whistled. We don’t want to use it and say nothing about it, but it’s very easy to say how badly the settings are defending or how much they have improved, and without observing the process there is an improvement. When Cooper was not on the field, Maguire missed two chances. Pascal marked him on both of these and competed, but could not win. Cooper had a lot of chances to fix it, and Pascal still needs them. The desire is to be better than Man Utd right away.

Insertions are another form of creating danger, there was only one action of them and none of us created this resource. Score in McTominay’s second goal. The passage that Martial gives to McTominay is almost impossible. Reading this move we produced was almost perfect. Having said this, Martial was the most influential of their four strikers. Long balls and jerks, common in English football, did not cause any danger in this game. There are three great episodes we need to watch to analyze the game. The ones I have already mentioned are understandable actions in football. Easier to analyze. Situations that produce when a team causes an error due to high pressure. Near the opponent’s area when trying to build. Goal actions produced through the proximity of the goal of the team from which it is played. This is also written as something naive, played from behind.

In that sense, we were better than Man Utd. In this way, we provoked four chances and scored one goal, and Man Utd three, scoring once. Two scenarios that characterized the two teams, their counter-attack and us who are trying to build the game to create danger. A counterattack happens when a team that has the ball loses a ball with many players in the opponent’s half, and there are not many players in its half. The transition of those who recover the ball is faster than those who return to the goal. They had four of them and scored twice. This way we didn’t create any chances.

Obviously I did all this to feel that what I was telling you was true and I was not trying to tell you a lie. There is no action when they have more players than us in the counterattack. It wasn’t like Newcastle when we faced that there were more of our players than theirs. The truth is, even though we had a lot of players in their half, when we came back, we couldn’t neutralize them. This indicates that we were attacking with a lot of players and I will now explain why we are attacking with so many players and the fact that we could not counter. We failed to finalize the attacks to avoid counterattacks. In building an attack this is not due to errors in moving the ball. In this way, they created three situations with one goal. The difference in the game.

I get the resources to build attacks that allow us to create five goal opportunities in this way in every game. The demands we have in every game. We don’t have a single player who could handle the attacks on his own so we need many. This sometimes triggers counterattacks. Counterattacks are triggered when we attack. Of course, there is a way you can do that. Don’t take risks, don’t take any chances, but this has little to do with the attractiveness of football. The real difference in the game was that through our best resource we failed to score a single goal, and they had to use their best resources, a counterattack. In this aspect, the two players who defined it were the central players. That was a big mistake on my part, because I never thought about this. I reacted too late to the changes I made. I hope the explanation was enough to end this contact. ‘