How Marcelo Bielsa Transformed Leeds United Into Premier League Heavyweights
"Players who haven't dealt with it well are no longer at the club," explains Patrick Bamford who has certainly reaped the rewards of the intensity of Marcelo Bielsa's training sessions at Leeds United.
Patrick Bamford has been on fire since both he and Leeds United made their return to the Premier League at the start of the month.
The Whites' striker netted his third goal in as many games in the top flight this season on Sunday afternoon and he says it's all down to the hard work and dedication from the squad under manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Patrick Bamford at the death! :raised_hands:
The Leeds striker rises to nod his side into a late Yorkshire derby lead!
Jack Harrison celebrates before the ball even hits the net! :laughing: pic.twitter.com/teYukyJ07j
- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 27, 2020
"He's demanding but he always wants the best out of you. Even if you are moaning, there's a side of you that respects the fact that there's a reason why he's doing it"
The Whites' Number 9 nodded home a late winner at Bramall Lane to make it two wins from three games in the West Yorkshire club's long-awaited return to the English top flight after a 16-year exodus and it's clear to see why the players respect the manager so much with their recent performances.
"Because of what he's achieved and how highly he's thought of, nobody has ever had that issue that they've wanted to speak to him. What he says, you take and you respect him."
"It's like a second home"@LUFC's training ground is where Marcelo Bielsa works his magic... pic.twitter.com/41VOhSfLae
- Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) September 24, 2020
"He's not the kind of manager that you'd go, sit down in his office and talk to. If he wants to speak to you, he will speak to you. Sometimes he shouts at us when we're not doing what we should but he does it because he wants us to be better"
After 16 years of hurt, Marcelo Bielsa took @LUFC home. pic.twitter.com/RYSIA1zOxh
- Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) September 23, 2020
Many would've seen the heartbreak that both Patrick and the rest of the club had to endure at the end of the 2018/19 season on Amazon's Take Us Home documentary, but those tears of pain have since turned to tears of joy after the club's promotion back to the promised land, which is documented in the recently released second series.
One side of Marcelo Bielsa that many would not have seen before was the love and affection that he has for his players. This was never more evident than when Bamford scored an incredible volley in training after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, which prompted 'El Loco' to run towards his centre forward.
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"I didn't know what to do to start with and then when he ran over the lads were shouting at me to meet him in the middle but it definitely caught me by surprise."
Marcelo Bielsa's squad were constantly under the watchful eye of the Amazon cameras but the players quickly adapted to the added coverage and scruting that came with them.
"When they first come in you're like 'What's This?' but then when they're there for a while you adjust and get used to it."
The underlying sentiment at the start of the promotion season last year was definitely uncertainty, with both the future of Marcelo Bielsa and key players such as Kalvin Phillips very much up in the air.
"There was a little bit of time where nobody really knew what was going to happen with the manager or with various players"
"I think that we believed as a squad that if we stuck together then we'd be capable of challenging again"
Leeds star Kalvin Phillips has recently broken into Gareth Southgate's England squad but 12 months ago he could very well have been representing a different Premier League side with reported bids of around £25m reportedly turned down by United who were then still a Championship outfit..
But Bamford always had faith in Phillips staying put. "Kalvin is Leeds born and raised and ultimately it was never going to be too much of a decision"
Last summer @LUFC were trying to balance the books :bar_chart:- Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) September 18, 2020
They could've done so by selling just one player. But that player was one of their own - @Kalvinphillips
Two new special episodes of #TakeUsHome available on Prime Video now pic.twitter.com/LwG4vg5c4k
"There was a little bit of uncertainty but as we went on, things became more clear and there was never that unrest in the dressing room, we always stuck together"
With Patrick now firing Leeds into the top-half of the table, do you think we could be seeing him joining teammate Kalvin Phillips in the England squad in the near future? Let us know in the comments.
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