Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
The Premier League club, Leeds United have parted ways with the Argentine head coach Marcelo Bielsa after a disastrous campaign that leaves them hovering above the relegation zone.
Bielsa joined the club in June 2018 and was instrumental in the rejuvenation of the club to return to the Premier League after spending sixteen years in Sky Bet Championship.
According to the club, Bielsa who spent three and half years in Elland Road remodeled the mentality of the players to trounce the visiting Stoke City 3-1 at home two months into his first season at Leads United. Also in his first season, Leeds attempted the playoff to gain promotion to Premier League.
Bielsa’s record performance at Leeds did not end there as the Argentine in his second season, won the Sky Bet Championship and gain automatic promotion to the Premier League where they finished 9th, the highest attained position by a newly promoted side since 2000/2001 season.
However, the music has changed for Bielsa whose outing in the 2021/2022 season has been appalling. The Leeds United manager has managed to secure 23 points in 26 appearances in the Premier League with 8 wins and 13 losses.
As a sequel to the disappointing results by the manager, the club issued a statement to relieve him of his duties.
The statement reads in parts: “Leeds United can today confirm the club have parted company with head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
“The 66-year-old was in charge of the team for over three-and-a-half years, having taken the reins in June 2018.
“He transformed the club’s fortunes on the pitch, which began with the 3-1 demolition of Stoke City at Elland Road two months later and he led Leeds to the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs in his first full season in charge,” it said.
Meanwhile, Andrea Radrizzani, Leeds United chairman, divulged Bielsa’s sack was a tough decision to make due to his exceptional achievement in remodeling the mentality and culture of the club into winning ways and his contributions in ensuring the club got promoted to top-flight football competition in England.
Leeds United chairman said, “This has been the toughest decision I have had to make during my tenure at Leeds United, taking into account all the success Marcelo has had at the club.
“With Marcelo as our head coach, we had three incredible campaigns and the good times returned to Elland Road. He changed the culture of the club and brought a winning mentality to us all.
“The moments created, particularly in the 2019/20 season and winning promotion to the Premier League, will of course live long in all our memories, myself and the fans included.
“However, I have to act in the best interest of the club and I believe a change is required now in order to secure our Premier League status. Recent results and performances have not met our expectations.
“We find ourselves in a precarious league position and I feel now is the right time to bring in a new head coach, in order to have an impact in the decisive stage of the season.
“Naturally, myself, along with everyone else at the club would like to thank Marcelo for his efforts and achievements and we wish him the very best for the future,” he added.
Nevertheless, the club are already shopping for a replacement for the sacked Argentine who they intend to announce on Monday.