This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Do you know the saying about ‘those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it’?
Well when you look it up next time, there’s a good chance that you’ll see a picture of Marcelo Bielsa staring back at you.
You’d think that games like the one at home to Wigan Athletic last season, when a team that was fighting relegation and reduced to ten men only to come and win it would have been enough to prove to him that there are no easy games in this division.
However, it looks as if Biela’s stubbornness and refusal to change his style of play have ended up costing him again.
Regardless of whether or not they feel that the red card in the first half was fair or not, if Leeds are a team that have serious aspirations of getting promoted, perhaps it’s time for Bielsa to start taking this league a little more seriously.
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If he and Leeds find themselves in a situation where they cannot beat a team that were near the bottom of the table, who haven’t won a game since the middle of August and who lost their boss two days before the game, regardless of the ‘new manager bounce’, then you have to question just how seriously the Argentinian is taking this division.
Compare Leeds’ performance on the weekend to how Fulham played them a couple of months ago.
Scott Parker and his team saw there was a weak team to be exploited and tore them apart on the night, with 935 successful passes and 84% possession.
He has spoken before about how he likes to carry a thin squad, well this game clearly tells you that when you start a player who is predominantly a full-back at centre-back that you can’t just rely on your attacking ability to get you out of a jam.
Did Leeds need to sign another CB?
This is why you need to have strength in depth, something else he should have learned last year during their injury crisis. Alas, he failed to learn from that this summer as they only brought in six players on loan while losing 31 either on a temporary or permanent basis.
There is still a lot of the season left to play, and whilst they are only two points off the top of the table right now, it will remain to be seen whether or not they have the capacity, both on the pitch and in the dugout, to stay near the top as the season progresses.
Something has to give, and it might just be Bielsa’s methods.