‘A life that will never be the same’: English journalist fires Marcelo Bielsa with heartfelt letter

Marcelo Bielsa had been in charge of Leeds United since mid-2018 (REUTERS)

After three and a half years, Marcelo Bielsa’s excursion to Leeds United has come to an end. With the historic feat of returning to the team of Elland Road for premier leaguethe team led until last weekend by the Argentine coach does not have a good presence in the highest competition in English football.

Located in 16th place, just two points from the relegation red zone, the board took the decision to dismiss the former Argentina team manager after the 4-0 loss to Tottenham. Beyond doing without his services, the club and the supporters bid farewell to Loco with honors, who arrived in mid-2018 and quickly won the love and respect of his players and the public.

The same thing happened with much of the community in England. This is how a journalist from the newspaper Guardian, James Riachwrote a heartfelt farewell letter for the DT titled: “Marcelo Bielsa transformed Leeds with decency, humility and hard work”. He draws up a more human than sporting assessment of the value of the Argentinian landing in Leeds.

“From the outside, the adoration that Leeds United supporters have for Marcelo Bielsa may seem strange, bordering on fanaticism, even delirium. But for those who have followed his every move for four exhilarating years at Elland Road, his departure leaves a hole not only in the dugout but also in the heart.was the first paragraph of a long article.

Immediately after, Riach pointed out that the process that the fans of the English team are starting to go through, other fans have already gone through with the departure of Bielsa, such as in Chile or in his other stages through clubs in Europe. “In Chile, they are called the “widows of Bielsa”. The same feeling is found in Marseille and Athletic Bilbaoteams watching the Argentine’s stadium with wide eyes and palpable nostalgia. Leeds are at the start of this arguably painful process of assimilating life after Bielsa, a life that will never be the same again“, he added.

The farewell letter to Bielsa in English
The farewell letter to Bielsa in English

In addition to highlighting the importance of Bielsa for the group of footballers with whom he arrived at the club, he highlights the case of Calvin Phillips-, also took the opportunity to highlight the personality of the Olympic champion coach at Athens 2004 and his way of being during his stay in Leeds.

“During the pandemic, when Leeds lost many club legends and the whole world faced a grim new reality, it was a comfort to many that a man of integrity was at the helm of the club. Throughout his tenure, Bielsa has never criticized a referee, blamed VAR or spoken negatively about anyone.. When “Spygate” happened, he publicly berated himself and paid the fine out of his own pocket. He was a man you wanted to have in your corner when life was out of control, ”wrote the journalist in the British media.

For the farewell, Riach left a sentence that defined the meaning of Bielsa’s three-plus years at Elland Road. “It’s rare that there is a greater connection between the fans and the manager. Above all, he allowed the fans to dream again. To fire him does not just feel like the loss of a great manager, it is like losing an old friend.”.

The Argentine coach has stopped being the DT of the Elland Road team (REUTERS)
The Argentine coach has stopped being the DT of the Elland Road team (REUTERS)

A journalist’s farewell letter to Bielsa

From the outside, the adoration of Marcelo Bielsa by Leeds United supporters may seem strange, bordering on fanaticism, even delirium. But for those who have followed his every move for four exhilarating years at Elland Road, his departure leaves a hole not only in the dugout but also in the heart.

In Chile, they are called the “widows of Bielsa”. The same feeling can be found at Marseille and Athletic Bilbao, teams that watch the Argentinian scene with wide eyes and palpable nostalgia. Leeds are at the start of this undoubtedly painful process of coming to terms with life after Bielsa, a life that will never be the same again.

To speak of a football manager in such reverent terms may seem hyperbolic. However, what Bielsa has done for club and city transcends the sport in many ways. He’s a man who sees the modern game of business, greed and dishwashing for what it is, but has managed to navigate it and continue to uphold its principles: decency, humility and an unwavering work ethic. .

Without wanting to be too existentialist, this has got fans wondering why they bother watching football in the first place. Is it for trophies? Unless you follow a cabal of elite clubs. Is it about scoring a goal and clinging to the result? Better go balance the books in the meeting room. Is it entertainment, identity, and holding up two fingers to anyone who calls you reckless? Sure.”

That’s why Leeds fans kept chanting his name even after the poor performances that led to his cruel dismissal. That’s why Leeds fans will continue to sing his name long after he’s gone. That’s why England midfielder Kalvin Phillips wrote on Sunday: “You saw in me what I didn’t even see in me.”

In many ways, Phillips’ rise epitomizes all the hard work that Bielsa has done. Like most of the roster he inherited in 2018, Phillips was adrift, seeking his own role in a team of misfits floundering in the bottom half of the Championship. Stuart Dallas was half the player he is now, Mateusz Klich was considered surplus to the point that he was sent by the previous regime on loan to Utrecht.

In seven weeks of pre-season, Bielsa transformed the group into a whole new team. They felt comfortable with the ball, they played one and two touches all over the pitch and they didn’t stop running. It was as if someone had finally found the power grid on Elland Road, plugging the old field directly into the northern power grid and sending a surge through brains and bones.

New players have been brought in, but the squad currently hovering above the Premier League relegation zone still retain key members from the opener against Stoke City. If loyalty proved to be Bielsa’s downfall, it’s surely a fatal flaw worth celebrating.

For all his idiosyncrasies, his trips to Costa Coffee and Morrisons, his former flat above a Wetherby candy store, it was Bielsa’s humble perspective that shone through. During the pandemic, when Leeds lost many club legends and the whole world faced a grim new reality, it was a comfort to many that a man of integrity was at the helm of the club. Throughout his tenure, Bielsa never criticized a referee, blamed VAR or spoke negatively about anyone. When “Spygate” happened, he publicly berated himself and paid the fine out of his own pocket. He was a man you wanted to have in your corner when life was out of control.

Bielsa was the best possible manager for Leeds at the best possible time. After so many years of stagnation, years of waste and rage, it turned out to be the perfect antidote. At first there was constant fear that he would drift away from him, that the curse of Leeds would catch up with him, but he stuck to his beliefs even after a disastrous end to his first season.

And it was not the Bielsa of his youth, the one with the grenades and the one who invaded the field. He was a man who knew this could be the last big test of his guiding principles, a last chance to show the world how football should be played.

Rarely can there be a greater connection between the fans and the coach. Above all, he allowed fans to dream again. Firing him doesn’t just feel like losing a great manager, it’s like losing an old friend.

Goodbye, madman.

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