Leeds star Rodrigo admits doubts about Bielsa tactics

Leeds attacker Rodrigo has said so BBC Radio Yorkshire that Marcelo Bielsa’s man-to-man tactics only handicapped the Whites – he admitted Jesse Marsch’s style allows Leeds to play with more energy.

Bielsa was sacked towards the end of February after a dismal run of results – and many goals conceded. Since then, American gaffer Marsch has joined and changed the system, playing more zonal in defense.

He has more structure but still has the freedom of a Bielsa side in attack. Leeds have suffered losses to Leicester City and Aston Villa but secured crucial late wins over Norwich City and then Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Spain international Rodrigo, who was signed during the Bielsa era, talks about the difference in style and believes Bielsa’s head-to-head sapped the Leeds players’ energy and hurt them going forward.

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“We had this one-on-one display that maybe punished us too much, especially in defensive moments because our position is always a function of the opponent.” Rodrigo told the BBC about Bielsa’s tactics.

“I think now the methodology is changing, the way of playing and because everyone occupies the zone and shares spaces on the field better. So maybe [it] gives us more energy to defend and also to attack.”

Rodrigo on Bielsa: Did the tactic actually prove ineffective at Leeds?

There is no doubt that Bielsa’s tactics worked wonders in the first three years. It took Leeds to the Championship play-offs and then rose by some margin as Championship winners. Then the Premier League.

Finishing ninth, pundits and fans alike named Leeds as their second favorite team. But this season everything came to a halt. Injuries played a part but Leeds lost the energy and enthusiasm of 2020-21.

They had to be more cautious, but Bielsa’s stubbornness ensured the formation stayed. Tactics did not change, casualties followed and confidence plummeted. Marsch changed tactics and reinstalled the momentum.

Photo by James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images

In other news, ‘Intense’: Lascelles claims the £10m Newcastle man works hardest in training, Howe rarely plays him

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/03/31/leeds-star-rodrigo-admits-doubt-over-bielsa-tactics/ Leeds star Rodrigo admits doubts about Bielsa tactics

Brian Ashcraft

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