‘Naïve’ Bielsa ‘needs to change tactics’, says pundit

Toby Bowles
Bielsa Man United

Gabby Agbonlahor has urged Marcelo Bielsa to adopt a more pragmatic approach when Leeds United face the Premier League’s better sides.

The Whites were crushed 5-1 by Manchester United on Saturday in their opening game of the season, falling victim to a Bruno Fernandes hat-trick and four Paul Pogba assists.

They were easily torn apart by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who responded to Luke Ayling’s second-half equaliser with three goals in eight minutes.

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The nature of Leeds’ performance has brought Bielsa’s tactics under scrutiny, given they suffered a 6-2 defeat in the same fixture last season.

Agbonlahor, the former Aston Villa striker, has called on the Argentine to rethink his gung-ho approach, particularly against the more dangerous sides when Leeds’ defence is easily exposed.

“Leeds need to change their tactics for different games and they’ll get better results,” he said on talkSPORT. “How can you lose 6-2 last season and have the same tactics this season?

“It’s naïve from Leeds. Pushing too many bodies forward, allowing Manchester United to have that many players go forward.

“You have a Mason Greenwood one v one, Paul Pogba one v one, Bruno Fernandes running through the midfield with no one following him.



“It doesn’t make a lot of sense and Leeds are going to get a lot of these defeats this season if they still play like that. You have to change your tactics for each game.

“It’s different if you’re playing Norwich, they’d probably get away with that. When you’re playing Manchester United, the first home game of the season, they’re always going to be on the front foot.

“Leeds need to change the way they play against bigger teams.”

Bielsa said of the defeat: “It was difficult for us to recover the ball and difficult for us to create danger. The succession of goals after we equalised we could not react.

“In general, they were superior to us clearly. To have lost the way we lost can’t be described as just a blip.”

On Pogba’s performance, he added: “It [the defeat] was for a number of reasons, one of them – more than them – was the individual performance of a certain player.”