Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has waded into the Leeds spying row, claiming far too much has been made of the incident whilst speaking live to Sky Sports (12th January 10.51pm).
A member of the Leeds training staff was caught outside the Derby County training ground, hours before the two sides met. Marcelo Bielsa admitted he’d sent the spy along to glean some advantage, common practice in his native Argentina.
The row erupted as the police were called, but ultimately ended well for Leeds as they registered a 2-0 win against the Rams to move four points clear at the top of the Championship table.
Wilder, a promotion rival of Leeds United, believes the Whites have received far too much criticism for their role in the saga and even used the ‘Yorkshire attitude’ as part of his defence of the Whites.
“Far too much has been made of it. I think Leeds United have been very, very clever,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s obviously not something that I would do. I think they’ve used it to their advantage. They have this attitude which we understand being in Yorkshire, that nobody likes them and I think that nobody likes them a little more.”
“I think the manager’s been very, very clever in taking full responsibility. I’ve got to say that it’s been going on for 30, 40, 50 years in different scenarios, managers trying to find out the team before the game and I think it’s been blown up a little bit too much really.”
The Blades moved up into second place this weekend after Norwich could only draw with West Brom, pitting the two Yorkshire clubs in direct competition for a Premier League spot.
It seems to be a bit underhand and of course, Frank Lampard wasn’t happy, but what damage has really been done? There’s a cultural difference which Bielsa hid behind but I suspect that was merely a defence he used.
This has surely gone on before, former Premier League star Gary Taylor-Fletcher tweeted about an incident he’d witnessed ten years ago. It’s commonplace, the difference being Leeds got caught.