Marcelo Bielsa is not approachable, doesn’t do possession drills and delivers meetings in Spanish – but Jack Harrison says working under Leeds manager has been ‘extraordinary’
Ever wondered what it’s really like to play under Marcelo Bielsa? He may be known as ‘El Loco’, but Jack Harrison labelled life working under Bielsa as ‘unorthodox’ as he shed light on what it’s like to be a Leeds player since the Argentine took over in the summer of 2018. Bielsa’s methods have heeded […]
Ever wondered what it’s really like to play under Marcelo Bielsa?
He may be known as ‘El Loco’, but Jack Harrison labelled life working under Bielsa as ‘unorthodox’ as he shed light on what it’s like to be a Leeds player since the Argentine took over in the summer of 2018.
Bielsa’s methods have heeded positive results as Leeds secured promotion back to the Premier League last season, winning the Championship at a canter.
Leeds are currently twelfth in their first season back in the top flight for 16 years which has seen them win over a number of neutrals for their attacking and adventurous playing style.
Yet Harrison says Leeds don’t do any possession drills in training, despite having plenty of the ball in most matches.
The forward also revealed that Bielsa does all his meetings in Spanish and you don’t approach the boss for advice on how you might want to improve your game as you would working for other managers.
Harrison told talkSPORT: “When I first came here it was tough, it was nothing like I had ever experienced before.
“You’d think by watching us we’d do a lot of possession drills, a lot of playing five-a-side and things like that but we don’t do any of that.
“To work on these exercises that are so specific, you have to pass the ball in a certain way and run in a certain direction, it’s very interesting to see how Marcelo sees the game and what he wants from his players.
“It’s been very unorthodox to adapt to this way of training and the style of play but it’s been great for me as a player to develop and work under him because I’ve learnt so much not just on the ball but movements off the ball… coming into this style of play has been really helpful.
“I was really close with Patrick Vieira [at New York City FC]. He really took me under his wing as a player and I had quite a close relationship with the manager – it was my first experience in professional football and experiencing a manager like that.
“Then I came to Middlesbrough playing under Tony Pulis which is a completely different style of play. I was able to approach him and talk to him about things but I wasn’t playing at the time so it was a little bit different.
“Coming here to Leeds to Marcelo where you don’t get that approachability at all. He likes to keep his distance between players.
“I think I maybe struggled with that because I like to talk to the manager and maybe see different ways I can improve on and not having that was a little bit strange for me but over time I’ve learnt to adapt.
“Working under him has been extraordinary. I’ve learnt a lot in different ways.”
On Bielsa addressing the players in his mother tongue, Harrison said: “He’s very passionate in the way he gets his message across in Spanish. He does all his meetings in Spanish so we have the translator to translate the words.
“It gets mixed up at times but I think he’s doing his best to learn some English. A couple of weeks ago he even did his pre-match talk in English, he had it written down. I was really impressed with that.
“I think the players get a general understanding of what he’s saying just by the emotions he’s portraying to the team.”
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