Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United was having a tough win but a 2-0 win over Frank Lampard’s Derby County saw them give the only breath-taking moment in the week. This match saw Bielsa’s one of the greatest secrets revealed in which he claims that he has spied on every opponent he has played till today. Bielsa confessed to spying on Derby after one of his staff was caught at the Rams’ training ground on Thursday. Bielsa has been accused for cheating by covertly monitoring opposition teams, but he insists that none of his methods of unethical.
“I observed all the rivals we played against and watched the training sessions of all opponents,” he said.
Bielsa announced a press conference on Wednesday in which the media prepared to tear him up with controversial questions on his act. But instead of succumbing to the pressure, Bielsa turned the 70 minute conference into an analysis section in which he describes his whole analytics and preparation after gathering information.
He embarked on a PowerPoint slide to explain the whole process step by step and the journalists sat there without having the slightest chance of edging towards a controversial question.
Bielsa has been a popular figure in Leeds. He has not merely taken Leeds four points clear at the top of the Championship guaranteeing a Premier League return, not merely got his side playing thrilling football with a raft of exciting young players, but he has rejuvenated the whole club. His humility, honesty and passion have made people fall in love with the man and Leeds again. “What I have done is not illegal. It is not specified and it is not restrained. We can discuss about it. It is not seen as a good thing but it is not a violation of the law.” Bielsa said.
The English Football League has asked Bielsa and Leeds to explain the “spygate” scandal, while Derby boss Frank Lampard remained highly critical of the incident. However, The EFL have made no immediate comment in response to Lampard’s allegations on Bielsa’s revelations.
Some have been far less critical with Southampton boss, Ralph Hasenhuttl admitting of sending German spies over his rival team in Germany. Some have claimed that the philosophy he is sharing is unprecedented. A story came up among the newspapers that Bielsa showed Pep Guardiola his analysis after Barcelona lost to Bilbao earlier this season. Guardiola took a look at it and exclaimed “You know more about Barcelona than me” but that was useless as they scored three goals.
BBC reporter, Adam Pope, from the press conference room says, “His diligence and dedication to improving Leeds United was measured in the classroom on Wednesday, and it is reflected in the respect he has for the competition and his opponents by the extra homework he is prepared to do.”
Leeds, meanwhile have gained the services of Real Madrid keeper, Kiko Casilla as they look to make a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2004. The signing could be a huge boost for them and their ambitions of securing qualification to the top flight of English football.