Noel Whelan has remarked on the improved performances of Adam Forshaw, and he believes Marcelo Bielsa is mainly responsible.
The ex-Leeds man has been impressed with the midfielder’s start to the season, particularly when compared to his inconsistency last season; a campaign in which he struggled for form in part due to injury.
With pre-season under his belt and confidence from the manager to start on a regular basis once again, Forshaw is beginning to play some of his best football, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan commented: “I thought Adam Forshaw had an excellent game against Forest. He was on the ball, winning his battles in midfield, he was pretty much everywhere.
“His passing was neat and tidy, he’s getting forward into areas more often now because I think Marcelo Bielsa’s told him to play a little bit more forward.
“He looks a lot fitter, a lot stronger in the last couple of games and it’s nice to see that.”
In his two Championship appearances Forshaw has a pass accuracy of 90%, and made a total of 102 passes, which if he maintains could make him key to Bielsa’s midfield plans.
Whelan suggests Bielsa has influenced his game since last season and that could lead to Forshaw to become more adventurous and get forward more frequently, which could result in more goals and ultimately more wins for Leeds.
Forshaw has indeed looked impressive in his opening games but the fact he played a full part in pre-season could be the biggest reason behind that, although Bielsa has likely had some influence too.
He is brilliant at improving players and identifying minute aspects of players’ games which could be tweaked to better their performance, and it appears he has done the same with Forshaw.
Like Whelan says Forshaw is a tidy player but he can also be apprehensive in his play and opt for the safe pass and limit himself when venturing forward.
It appears this season that he will be bolder in possession and as a result Leeds should be better placed to unlock tight defences than they were last season.