Bielsa coy on Leeds future and questions ‘desire’ to match Hodgson

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa is unsure that he will manage into his 70s like Roy Hodgson as the “desire” must always be there.

Bielsa, 65, is eight years Hodgson’s junior and will face the Crystal Palace veteran at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Having moved to Elland Road in 2018, the Argentinian tactician guided his charges to promotion last season. Confidence was high heading into 2020-2021 and they have made a decent start to life back in the top flight.

Wins over Fulham, Sheffield United and Aston Villa have helped the Yorkshire club into 12th spot in the table. However, they will be looking to bounce back from a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Leicester City last time out.

Bielsa has already become a cult hero at Leeds, with promotion etching his name into club folklore. Fans would love him to stay for as long as possible to try and establish the Peacocks in England’s top division.

Asked if he would remain in management for as long as Hodgson, the South American remained cagey. He is ambitious but stressed that he will only continue to work as long as the enthusiasm remains the same.

“There’s still eight years for that to happen and eight years is a long time in a person’s life,” he said, as quoted by Leeds Live.

“What’s admirable is, in this kind of job, you can’t do it if you don’t desire it and to be able to do the job of the manager you need to have a lot of will, a lot of desire to be able to do it.”

Full respect for Hodgson

Bielsa has 30 years experience as a manager having started with Newell’s Old Boys in 1990. Spells at Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, Lazio and Lille have seen his stock rise throughout the years.

He has also taken charge of both the Argentina and Chile national teams and has influenced a number of top coaches.

The Rosario-born tactician will come up against Hodgson in the capital. While praising the former England manager’s longevity, he admitted that other aspects of life are sometimes neglected.

Roy Hodgson Crystal Palace - Bielsa coy on Leeds future and questions ‘desire’ to match Hodgson

“It’s admirable, the enthusiasm he (Hodgson) still has,” he added. “More than a virtue, it’s a defect. The job of a manager impedes you from living out other activities worth doing.

“Sometimes when you are in a job for so long you become a specialist in that subject. It doesn’t let us see there are other things worth seeing, worth doing other than football.”


READ MORE: Pundit expects lower mid-table for Leeds


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