They were made for each other. A perfect society. An indestructible society that had been forged by the force of a miracle. The return, after 22 years in the dark, of Leeds United to the Premier League. It seemed that Marcelo Bielsa would stay to live in the Yorkshire club, the place where he became a myth and also a city postcard. That’s why he made noise when the owner of the club, the Italian Andrea Radrizzani, decided to kick him out. They all wanted to know why. And only this Friday, in an extensive interview on the site The Athleticthe reasons for a divorce that seemed impossible were known.
“I never thought about firing Bielsa. I never thought that situation would happen, ever. He was a legend and it is because of what he achieved, but I felt that something was broken and that’s when you have a turning point”, recognized Radrizzani about the decision made in the final stretch of last season, when the results were complicated and the team was playing for permanence in the Premier League.
But there was a time when patience ran out. “I started to have doubts in the match against Aston Villa, when we drew 3-3. I remember that the media spoke positively of our performance. The reality for me, at the break I almost wanted to leave the stadium because I was so disappointed with the lack of discipline on the pitch, how easy it was to score goals for us. That was the first moment I realized that maybe something was wrong. and the computer can no longer execute what it has been asking for for the last few years. They had begun to tire, mentally more than physically. I felt that something was broken and that’s when you have a turning point, but it was too early to make a decision, ”he recalled.
Andrea Radrizzani, the owner of Leeds. Photo: AP
In that sense, Radrizzani pointed out that it was then that he realized that he needed to change something to impact a group that was no longer responding. “In the end, I realized that Marcelo only had one path, that he could not commit to this path. We needed to change, we needed something that would impact the group. He was risky both ways. It was not easy to decide whether to potentially die with him or die with someone else.a”, the leader told by way of defense and justification.
And sentenced: “His strength is discipline and a way of working. But his strength is also his weakness. The lack of adaptation and flexibility decreed his end.”
The Italian businessman then decided to hire the American Jesse Marsch, who finally managed to avoid relegation on the last day of the season. “The players supported Marcelo. They were after him, mainly because of the legacy of what they had done together. They would go with him. But the next day when we arrived with Marsch, I had never seen the atmosphere so changed and so happy. Something had gone wrong inside and we didn’t realize until the moment we changed things“, he emphasized.
The owner of the club, Andrea Radrizzani and Marcelo Bielsa in the presentation of Rosario as coach of Leeds.
On the other hand, Radrizzani revealed that he has decided “build a football university” with the name Bielsa. “I have an idea that I shared with him, which is that one day I would love to build a football university with his name,” said the businessman. It will come true? Time will tell.
The concrete thing is that Bielsa said goodbye to Leeds with 170 games directed, with 81 wins, 30 wins and 59 losses, with an effectiveness of 53.5%. And taking it from the depths of the Championship to go toe-to-toe with the giants of the Premier League.
Leeds United, already with little to do with the mystique of Loco de Rosario, will begin their third consecutive season in the elite of English football against Wolverhampton on Saturday 6 August.