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Leeds want to return to ‘high intensity’ playing style in Championship, clarification surrounding club ownership crucial – Graham Smyth

Leeds United are understood to be keen on returning to the “high fitness and high intensity levels” put into practice by former head coach Marcelo Bielsa, Graham Smyth of Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

The Whites swiftly created a reputation for being one of the fittest teams in the whole of English football under Bielsa, an aspect of the side which went hand-in-hand with the high-press, offensive-minded playing philosophy of the Argentine.

The 67-year-old’s famous ‘murderball’ sessions – matches of football in which no stoppages in play were allowed – became staples of training at Thorp Arch, and generated a clear sense of the levels of intensity Bielsa expected from his players.

It was playing in this distinct style which helped secure Leeds promotion to the Premier League in the 2019/20 season, garnering widespread admiration for the attractiveness of their football as they did so.

It is no wonder then, that many amongst the Elland Road faithful regard Bielsa’s tenure at LS11 as one of the greatest in the club’s lengthy history.

Now, it appears as if staff at the West Yorkshire outfit share this sentiment, and are going to focus on a return to the type of football played during Bielsa’s time at Leeds following their relegation to the Championship over the weekend.

“The club wants to return to the high fitness and high intensity levels seen under Marcelo Bielsa, with an aggressive style of football that will excite the fans. To that end the players will return for pre-season early and they have been sent away with stringent fitness programmes,” wrote Smyth.

“But the appointment of a manager is key to finalising a good number of plans and ideas. Equally the addition of a head of recruitment is key to completing the necessary signings.

“Neither appointment can be made until it is known for certain whether the status quo will remain with Radrizzani as majority owner, or if 49ers Enterprises will buy him out.”

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11 months ago

Well that’s Gerrard out of the equation then. His brand of football is inept and boring. Bring back Carlos I say. He knows how that style should be implemented, he knows the youth players coming through and he is now an experienced Championship manager. He would reconcile the fans with the club and have a great chance of bouncing back at the first attempt. And with a release clause of just £2m go get him and back him to the hilt

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