Marcelo Bielsa kicks off a 41-minute monologue to explain why Leeds were superior to Man United


question:: How can you improve defense without compromising attack?

Bielsa: We have to analyze the last game in great detail in order to draw the right conclusions from the game. The only conclusion I heard from the last game is that we need to change our style of play. The questions to the players try to weaken our style of play. They suggest if they would ask me to change my style of play.

After the game overhaul and the real reasons we lost this game, they will not be considered. This is nothing new as media platforms, journalists, can only analyze results. Usually when there is adversity you try to weaken those facing adversity or ridicule a team’s style of play. I’m referring to the comment that 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 outcome, which provides an interpretation of what is happening on the pitch. I’m not too worried about what the press thinks. I always listen, read and take the best possible news of what is written. What worries me is what is written affects the public, it diminishes the ability to understand for the public. Also, try to destabilize yourself by suggesting the players that the style needs to be changed.

This, of course, happens when the results allow. It doesn’t matter if the opinion was completely different in the previous game. The substance for reaching a conclusion is, of course, the number of goals that we have admitted. The context in which we receive these goals is not being revised.

question:: What is the only improvement you can expect from your players when you are solid?

Bielsa: To answer I have to take the base of the last game. I can tell you the data we gathered from the last game. Physically, Manchester United played the best game of the season and Leeds were superior in that regard. In possession we were superior, which means nothing, but in a context it begins to take on a certain value. There was no clear dominance in the game. We were dominated and dominated in a similar way.

The players unbalanced by the opponent were 17 Fred and 39 McTominay. It wasn’t Rashford, or Bruno Fernandes, or James who attended mostly on the defense. With that decision, Man Utd was superior to me in the way I envisioned the game because it helped level Manchester United’s defensive 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 these two players. The offensive production of both teams was pretty similar.

We created 11 chances and two. Man Utd created eight scoring chances and scored six. It took them 14 chances to score six goals, it took us 13 to score two. The mistakes Man Utd made on defense were the same as the ones Leeds made. It is likely to be sincere and fair that Man Utd’s sense of danger was higher than that of Leeds, but what is true is that we created the Man Utd danger proportional.

They managed to finish better than us. Another aspect that should be highlighted are the duels and disputes. In the duels, arguments and one-on-one battles, we were not superior to them. We can read this in two ways: in the physical aspect in which we were better than them, you need to evaluate the focus, explosiveness and aggression in which we were not exceeded many times. Also the technical aspect, which they were superior to us in certain situations. What you are asking or claiming is not the dominant factor.

You asked how we attack, but better defend. What you are suggesting is giving up on ingenuity and allowing them to be superior to us. This is nothing new as this has always been the idea that the media are presenting to the public. That evolution only works if it produces immediate results. Forces us to improve, it never tolerates or accompanies. Leeds was constant in the championship for two years. The press had few opportunities to demand change as everything was going well. In the championship you wrote whenever there was turbulence.

You need to understand that the process of insisting on an even keel is the same in every league. In relation to my mention, they took 14 chances and we took 13, five of their situations were generated in three minutes, 84th, 85th and 86th minutes, when we tried generously to convert 6-2 to 6-3. I find it less humiliating to lose 6-3 or 6-4 than 6-2. I will always gamble to make the pain go away, even if there is a risk that it will get better. That is why I say that English football is one of the few altars where it is valued in order to get better even when the opponent has been superior. Obviously that wasn’t the case anymore. Audiences started to think this way about what I think will affect English football.

In terms of the 14 chances they had, and our 13, football has a lot of casual things. If you look at the penalty Pascal conceded and see the intent of the pass in the James goal, McTominay’s pass was effectively aimed at him or not because it’s very easy to say it was 10-2 instead of 6 could have been -2, but whoever says that is ignoring what happened on that [?]. To end this analysis so that it does not sound offensive, the frustration and pain of defeat has nothing to do with the news we receive from our surroundings. Especially when the messages are influenced by what is written in the press, what influences people.

The press has no control over the team I led. More than you suggested abandoning the style, I don’t feel weakened by what you suggest. It would be stupid on my part because I have all the resources to give my players my opinion. That means, the responsibility rests with me and nobody else. What I am signaling is a bad interpretation of what happened on Sunday. To explain this, if you look at the way they were scored, 13 chances to score two goals and 14 chances to score six goals. Leeds was superior to Manchester.

We created four chances from standard situations and scored once, three from standard situations and one. This way we can see the development of a team. Cooper has lost the most in dogfights in the last 14 games. It’s because he always defends against the best opposing header. In this game he scored and neutralized Maguire, who is a very good header player. This is the process I am looking for to get closer to the best and capitalize on the mistakes we make to improve without trying to leave a mark.

Nobody analyzes the number of blocks created in the set pieces, which are fouls that are very visible and never whistled. We don’t want to use and say nothing about it, but it’s very easy to say how poorly they defend set pieces or how much they have improved, which leads to improvement without observing the process. When Cooper wasn’t on the field, Maguire missed two opportunities. Pascal marked it on both and competed, but couldn’t win. Cooper had many chances for him to improve and Pascal still needs them. The desire is to be better than Man Utd right away.

The interjections are another form of hazard generation, there was a single action by them and none of us created in this resource. McTominay’s second goal. The pass Martial McTominay gives is almost impossible. Reading this step produced by us was almost perfect. Even so, Martial was the most influential of their four attackers. The long balls and flick-ons that are common in English football did not cause any danger in this game. There are the three great episodes that we need to watch in order to analyze the game. The ones I mentioned earlier are understood actions in football. Easier to analyze. Situations that arise when a team provokes the mistake due to the high level of press. Close to the opponent’s area when he tries to build up. Actions at the gate that are scored near the team’s goal. This is also written as something naive to play from behind.

In that sense, we were better than Man Utd. We provoked four chances and scored one goal that way and Man Utd provoked three and scored once. Two scenarios that distinguished the two teams, their counterattacks and us trying to build the game in such a way that danger arises. The counterattack occurs when the team that has the ball loses the ball with many players in the opposing half, with not many players back in their own half. The transition of those who reclaim the ball is faster than those who return to goal. They had four of them and scored two goals. That way we didn’t create opportunities.

I’ve obviously done all of this to feel that what I’m telling you is the truth, and I’m not trying to tell you a lie. There is no action in which more players than us are counterattacking. It wasn’t like Newcastle when we countered that there were more players than theirs. It’s true, even though we had a lot of players in half, we couldn’t neutralize them when we got back. This indicates that we attacked with a lot of players and now I’m going to explain why we attacked with so many players and that we couldn’t counter. We couldn’t complete our attacks to avoid counters. In building up the attacks, this is not a result of mistakes in moving the ball. You have created three situations with one goal in this way. The difference in the game.

I am being given resources to develop attacks that will allow us to create five chances to score in each game in this way. Requirements that we have in every game. We don’t have a single player solving the attacks on their own, so we need many. This sometimes triggers counterattacks from the enemy. Counterattacks are triggered when we attack. Of course, there is a way you can do this. Don’t take chances, get no chances, but that has little to do with how attractive football is. The real difference in the game was that we couldn’t score goals with our best resource and they should use their best resource, the counterattack. In that regard, the two players that defined it were the mids. That was a big mistake on my part because I never thought about it. I reacted too late with the changes I made. I hope the explanation was sufficient to end this contact. ‘