Sheffield United boss Wilder plays Bielsa at own game ahead of Leeds clash
Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Sheffield United boss Wilder plays Bielsa at own game ahead of Leeds clash

Chris Wilder might be using Marcelo Bielsa’s own mind games against him ahead of Leeds United v Sheffield United.

Aside from how well his team are performing in the Championship, the thing Bielsa is probably most famous for since arriving in Leeds is ‘spygate.’

By sending staff to watch Derby County train, the Whites incurred a £200,000 fine.

Bielsa revealed the club had spied on all of the teams in the division. Wilder said the whole thing had been blown out of proportion.

Yet now his Blades side face Leeds for the first time since the scandal.


Shortly after ‘spygate’, Bielsa revealed his starting XI to face Norwich City two days in advance. It was dubbed mind games; perhaps stating that it shouldn’t matter if the opposition knows your tactics ahead of a game.

Wilder is different, preferring to give away nothing until teamsheets are announced an hour before kickoff. Until now.

“One thing I can say is that Billy (Sharp) will be captaining our team,” Wilder told the Sheffield Star.

“We’re not giving any top secrets away. We felt it was the right time to pull him out, so we could plot our way through this little period which we have successfully.

“Billy has played for that club, his scoring record is great and we feel he’s fit and refreshed to lead us from the front.”

Wilder mind games

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

The United boss is relatively blase about the fact that Sharp will be recalled from the bench to start at Elland Road. But this is uncharacteristic and seemingly has a purpose.

The cynic would say it is playing Bielsa at his own game. Showing the Argentine that he doesn’t need to spy because I will reveal my team to you anyway.

It is an interesting move by Wilder and while he hasn’t gone as far to name his entire XI, shows he’s ready to take Bielsa on.

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