Jermaine Beckford has spoken in admiration of Leeds United head-coach, Marcelo Bielsa.
Leeds made quite the coup last summer by appointing Bielsa as a Championship side, and despite remaining in English football’s second-tier, they’ve tied the Argentine down to a second season.
This week, Football League World’s Chief Editor, Sam Rourke, caught up with Beckford, who was full of praise for the job Bielsa has done at Leeds.
“I think he’s been phenomenal,” Beckford stated. “I really do, I think he’s been amazing.
“He looks like he’s a very intense man, I like that he crouches down quite a lot – I tried it once when I was playing football with the kids and I couldn’t get back up again!”
Over the course of his managerial career, Bielsa has built a meticulous reputation in Argentina, France, Italy and Spain, as well as having relative success on the international stage.
An intense style of play has been on show at Leeds throughout Bielsa’s time as coach, whether in attack or defence.
All of that, to Beckford, is positive.
He continued: “He’s brought something to this Leeds United team that has been missing for a little while.
“He’s brought the intensity, and when people come to Elland Road now, they’re scared of how long they’re going to last because they know the intensity of the Leeds United players.
“It’s ruthless, it is ruthless pressure, whether that’s in the defensive third, the middle third or the final third. There’s no rest for the opposition teams and that’s all come from him.
“It’s easy for managers to say ‘I want you to be intense, I want you to put pressure on them, I don’t want them to have any moments’, but when you actually implement those plans on your team, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
“You can say it, but you can’t get every single player, do every single thing all the time, but he’s managed to do that.”
Last year, Bielsa’s first in England, he led Leeds to third in the Championship, with their automatic promotion hopes fading in the final four fixtures of the season.
Leeds would then go on to lose a dramatic play-off semi-final to Derby County, leaving Bielsa facing another campaign outside the Premier League.
Beckford concluded by stating that first year in England will have taught Bielsa a lot.
“He just missed out last season (on promotion), which was super frustrating because the whole season had been amazing,” Beckford admitted.
“Along with the players, I think he will have learnt a lot about his players over the season and the summer.
“He just needs to fine tune the final bits to get promoted and put Leeds where they deserve to be.”