Leeds boss Bielsa says he wanted to learn from Wilder before facing Sheffield United
Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images

Leeds boss Bielsa says he wanted to learn from Wilder before facing Sheffield United

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa says he wanted to learn from Chris Wilder and Sheffield United as soon as he arrived in England.

Bielsa took charge at Elland Road in the campaign that the Blades were promoted from the Championship. The Yorkshire rivals battled for a top-two finish for much of the campaign.

Leeds won the title the following year and have returned to the Premier League this term for the first time in 16 years.

The two teams meet in the top flight on Sunday lunchtime for the first time since 1994. The Whites have made an explosive return to the division.

Both of their league games so far have finished 4-3. They lost by the score-line to Liverpool on the opening day and then beat Fulham last weekend.


While Leeds have hit the back of the net seven times already, the Blades are yet to score a league goal. They have lost both of their outings, beaten 2-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers and then 1-0 at Aston Villa.

What Bielsa thinks about Wilder and Sheffield United

(Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images)

With his implementation of overlapping centre-backs and a wing-back system that has achieved two promotions and a top 10 finish in the Premier League in the past four years, Wilder has earned many admirers.

Bielsa is clearly one, despite the fact the Argentine is himself considered a coaching pioneer. Managerial greats from Pep Guardiola to Diego Simeone have named the 65-year-old as an inspiration.

Yet he too is always keen to learn it seems.

“The way he manages to set up his team awakens a lot of interest in me to learn from him. This thought I expressed in the first season before we faced them,” Bielsa said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Leeds Live.

“It’s very clear the importance of what Sheffield United have done in the past two seasons, first with promotion and then in the Premier League.

“It’s a particular style of play which is well-oiled. They have a very good manager who has been able to ingrain his ideas into his players.

“It’s a practical team, very difficult to face. We feel the game on Sunday is a big challenge for us.”

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know