Bielsa Has Revolutionised The Club, The City And Anything Connected

Ahead of the first trip to Elland Road for Palace since November 2012, TEB had a chat to the guys at LEEDS THAT PODCAST about their first season back in the top flight for some time, thoughts on the game and much more.

Q. Welcome back to the top division – how did it feel after such a long wait?

A real outpouring of emotions. Relief, it has been such a long exile. Sadness, we have waited 16 years and still can’t get to games. Mainly excitement to see how we stand up against some of the biggest teams in the country.

Q. How has the campaign been for Leeds so far?

Fantastic. To be just be over half way through, 15 points clear of relegation, having played some eye-catching football it has been a real treat.

Q. What were the hopes of fans going into this season?

To stay up, or to be able to actually attend a game in the Premier League! It has been so long that to arrive in these circumstances is better than nothing but eager to preserve the status to hopefully return en mass later in the year when it is safe to do so.

Q. There has been a lot said about the impact of Marco Bielsa at Leeds but perhaps you could share exactly what he has done for the club from a fan perspective?

He has completely revolutionised the club, the city and anything connected. On Sunday against Leicester we finished the game with all 11 players who were available to us in the Championship two seasons ago. To be able to do that, and turn them into an exciting, front foot brand of football, he has really united Leeds right now.

Q. How was your business in the January transfer window and do you have needs that have not been addressed?

Given our lack of success in January and the time it takes players to become embedded within Bielsa’s methods we were never likely to make a move. In the summer should we stay up we will need a top class left back (easier said than done), central midfielder and somebody to challenge Patrick Bamford. We have been desperately unlucky to never have all our Premier League signings available at the same time.

Q. Who has been the stand out player for Leeds so far this season?

Very hard to pick just one, but I will go with Bamford. He has had huge critics and his doubters didn’t think he would cut it in the top division. To have this goal and assist return so far and to be spoken of in the same breathe as an England call speaks volumes.

Q. What do you make of Palace this season?

Palace have a frightening front line when all on song. I am not hugely surprised that we have similar points on the board, because the 4-1 didn’t fully tell the tale of the first fixture (cough, cough, VAR), but it probably shows the inconsistencies of form that both sides have that have led to solid looking mid-table positions.

Q. It has been a tough time for everyone but football fans and clubs have certainly played their part during the pandemic and pulled together which has been particularly pleasing, right?

Yes absolutely. We were very fortunate to be able to raffle a signed Kalvin Phillips England shirt for a local food bank and raised over £6000. Football fans have been dipping in their pockets, supporting each other when the way we normally can support the team isn’t necessarily available.

Q. Name one player from each team that you believe will be a threat to the opposition in this match.

If fit, Raphinha has really come into top form for Leeds. I always found Eberechi Eze one of the brighter prospects in the Championship so it was great to see him hit the ground running for Palace.

Q. …and finallly, your all important prediction?

Going to go optimistic and a 3-1 win for Leeds, not quite avenging the 4-1 reverse from earlier in the season, but hopefully we will show that some lessons have been learned from that day.

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