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What Next For Leeds United And Marcelo Bielsa?

Marcelo Bielsa: 'If the club offers me the possibility to carry on I will listen to this proposal'
Marcelo Bielsa: "If the club offers me the possibility to carry on I will listen to this proposal'

In a few months time Leeds United will start their 16th successive season outside of the Premier League.

But will Marcelo Bielsa still be at the helm of the Yorkshire club following the heartbreaking play-off defeat to Frank Lampard’s Derby?

Bielsa, one of the most influential and respected managerial pioneers working in the game today, sent shockwaves around the footballing world when he agreed to take charge of the Championship club just over a year ago.

The Argentine may have fallen agonisingly short in his quest to lead sleeping giants Leeds to promotion to the Premier League, however it’s been a season to remember for everyone at Elland Road.

There’s the implementation of an engrossing style of play, his legendary meticulous attention to detail, the integration of youngsters, installation of a bed in his office, and the highest finish since lost their top-flight status in 2004.

Towards the start of his tenure he even ordered players to collect litter so they could understand the principles of hard work. Then there was Spygate, and THAT mesmerising Powerpoint presentation. But above all, it’s his electric connection with the fans that has taken top billing.

He’s become a messiah of sorts.

"If the club offers me the possibility to carry on I will listen to this proposal,” revealed Bielsa in the aftermath of Wednesday’s loss Derby. Leeds fans will be hoping this results in an extended stay.

It’s likely to be a nervous wait.

Bielsa doesn’t tend to stick around too long at clubs. In his previous job at Lille he oversaw just 19 games, prior to that he spent all of two days at Lazio. At Marseille, America, and Velez Sarsfield he lasted a single season, then there was a nine game stint at Espanol. In fact, the only club where he’s amassed over 100 matches is Athletic Bilbao.

A few weeks ago Bielsa raised fears that it will be difficult for the current Leeds squad to mount a promotion push next season.

“Remember what I say now because you’ll be able to verify it,” he told Yorkshire Evening Post.

“You won’t find a single player in our team who would be able to reproduce the same level of performance in another season because we’ve been very demanding with them.

“They’ve given everything and they have figures I’m checking all the time which show what I’m saying is true. The players won’t be able to reproduce the levels they have shown in another season.”

If Bielsa does depart, he could be thrust into the mix for the Brighton vacancy after the Premier League club axed Chris Hughton, whereas the futures of Rafa Benitez at Newcastle and Neil Lennon at Celtic have yet to be decided.

Meanwhile, Leeds U23 manager Carlos Corberan is the bookmakers favourite to replace Bielsa should he call it quits, although fans may not like the look of the likes of Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, and Nigel Pearson in the upper echelons on the betting.

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