EPL

Bielsa's time at Leeds comes to an end after Tottenham defeat

By Sports Desk February 27, 2022

Leeds United have parted ways with Marcelo Bielsa, in the wake of their 4-0 thrashing by Tottenham on Saturday.

The defeat came at the end of a dire week in which Leeds suffered a 4-2 home defeat to rivals Manchester United and a 6-0 hammering by Liverpool at Anfield, leaving them mired in a battle to retain their Premier League status.

Leeds are winless in six Premier League matches since beating West Ham United in mid-January, having lost five of those games, conceding 21 goals, meaning fan favourite Bielsa's reign has been brought to an end, after over three-and-a-half seasons in the Elland Road dugout.

The news was confirmed on Sunday in a statement released on the club's official website.

"This has been the toughest decision I have had to make during my tenure at Leeds United, taking into account all the success Marcelo has had at the club," said Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani.

"With Marcelo as our head coach, we had three incredible campaigns and the good times returned to Elland Road. He changed the culture of the club and brought a winning mentality to us all.

"The moments created, particularly in the 2019-20 season and winning promotion to the Premier League, will of course live long in all our memories, myself and the fans included.

"However, I have to act in the best interest of the club and I believe a change is required now in order to secure our Premier League status. Recent results and performances have not met our expectations.

"We find ourselves in a precarious league position and I feel now is the right time to bring in a new head coach, in order to have an impact in the decisive stage of the season.

"Naturally, myself, along with everyone else at the club would like to thank Marcelo for his efforts and achievements and we wish him the very best for the future."

Bielsa had earlier insisted that he was the right man to keep Leeds in the division despite the run of heavy defeats, telling BBC Sport: "I always have confidence in what I can do."

However, Leeds' dire defensive record, which has seen them ship 60 goals in just 26 league outings, has forced Radrizzani to act, with former RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch widely considered a leading candidate to replace Bielsa, who according to director of football Victor Orta has "created a legacy" at the club.

Leeds are aiming to make an announcement on the new appointment on Monday.

Bielsa enjoyed success in his first three seasons at Elland Road, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2018-19 season, before ending their 16-year absence from the top flight by securing promotion one year later.

Upon their return to the big time, Leeds' swashbuckling style of football saw them secure a surprise ninth-placed finish, but Bielsa's team found the going far harder this campaign, with injuries to key players including Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford not helping.

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