Former Leeds United defender Alex Bruce has claimed that the players may be suffering from fatigue under Marcelo Bielsa, as their form continues to slump in the Championship.
A concept that has followed Marcelo Bielsa everywhere in his managerial career is the idea that his teams suffer from both physical and mental tiredness in the latter stages of the season, as the players struggle to cope with the demands of playing regularly in his system.
Leeds are the latest team to have struggled in the business end of the season under the Argentine, as they fell short of the automatic promotion places last season despite being second with just three games to play.
While tiredness is being attributed to last season’s failures and this season’s slump in form over the last two months, Bielsa remains adamant that the opposite is the case, as running figures show Leeds are remaining in top physical condition heading into the final 14 games of the season.
However, former Leeds defender Alex Bruce has claimed that it would be a logical answer to why the Whites are falling off a bit. When asked if he believes the players are suffering from his methods, he had this to say to Football Insider: “Well that’s the natural thing to think, isn’t it?
“When you consider what people say about his training techniques, he works them really hard, double sessions, this, that and the other.
“Are they getting to the point of the season now where you’re seeing the players are tired? If he was sat here he’d probably say: ‘No, this is the way I’ve always managed, this is the way I do it so you like it or lump it.’
“Who would I be to sit here and say his beliefs are right or wrong, it’s the way he wants to do things but that would be the natural thing to point at him at the moment.
“Well, are your players shattered?”
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It’s a very weak and lazy claim to indicate that Leeds’ current poor form is down to the players being ‘shattered’, given the performance against a Brentford side top of the form table on Tuesday night.
There is a correlation between the teams that Bielsa has managed in that they struggle in the second half of the season, but this can be down to a number of factors beyond being tired.
Experience is one thing, with the teams he typically manages, they are never the table-toppers expected to be up there, so the players might suffer from a lack of experience in the crunch games, as Leeds did.
It is yet to be seen whether Bielsa will fall short again with Leeds but they are still in the top two heading into the weekend and the midweek performance against the Bees showed great signs.