Aritz Aduriz has weighed in with his opinion on Marcelo Bielsa’s footballing philosophy after what has been a hugely positive tenure of Leeds United thus far.
Bielsa has been a revelation at Leeds since taking over at Elland Road last season, and looks set to guide the club towards a long-awaited promotion to the Premier League after suffering play-off heartache last term.
Bielsa has had Leeds playing some outstanding football over the past two seasons, and their extremely high intensity with and without the ball has been there for everyone to see.
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Since Bielsa arrived at Elland Road, many Leeds players have commented on how hard and tiring the Argentine’s training sessions can be, with ‘murderball’ being a prime example of this.
One player who doesn’t play for Leeds, but knows Bielsa very well indeed, is former Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz.
Aduriz recently announced his retirement from professional football after an impressive career, scoring 172 goals in over 400 games for Bilbao and playing under Bielsa for the La Liga side.
Speaking to So Foot, Aduriz admits that Bielsa is a ‘football genius’, though his ‘extreme’ philosophy is ‘unsustainable’.
He said: “[Bielsa] is the manager who probably taught me the most. With him, I progressed a lot, but I also suffered enormously. He’s so demanding, so extreme, that he manages to bring stuff out of you you didn’t even think was there. He definitely helped me go up a level. Thanks to him, I became a different player”.
“Bielsa isn’t crazy, he’s a football genius. The problem is that his hardline approach, pushed to the extreme, cannot be kept up forever. At one point, it becomes unsustainable”.
Leeds are a joy to watch under Bielsa and you do wonder how their players can play at full intensity for 90 minutes or more.
Bielsa likes to push his players to the limit, and it wasn’t a surprise when Pontus Jansson came out and said that the coach’s training sessions often left players feeling fatigued.
The return to training will allow Bielsa to put his players through their paces even more as they look to dust off the cobwebs.