Writer: Adam Jones
This month’s Leeds United spying scandal has created headlines all over the country in several different publications. This story has gone on for quite a long amount of time, and could be a matter that leads to conduct changes. Whichever side of the argument you are on, I think that a lot of people can agree that we should not let this issue overshadow the fantastic season that
the Yorkshire side have had.
Marcelo Bielsa’s transparency about the whole situation was very refreshing, and something that could help his case when facing possible EFL sanctions. His analysis which he presented to journalists was also very impressive, despite being quite unethical. Although I should not be praising Bielsa for this, you can’t help but admire the Argentine.
One of the things that has impressed me with Leeds over this season is the fact that they have performed very well without having to bring in a huge amount of players. Even though Barry Douglas and Patrick Bamford have come in for two six-figure fees, they have not added a huge amount of quality to their squad.
They have sprinkled their team with a few loan signings and that is about it in terms of incomings. However, they have managed to change their philosophy and increase their performance levels to a point where they are pole position to gain promotion to the Premier League.
You also have to consider the fact that United also lost one of their key players in the summer transfer window. Central midfielder Ronaldo Viera moved to Italy to join Serie A side Sampdoria for a large fee.
To compensate for many of the departures, Mercelo Bielsa has used young players to his advantage. One revelation of this season is Jack Clarke, who has had a positive impact for the Yorkshire side this season. This faith in youth is something that manager Bielsa has rightly been praised for.
Many of the departures mentioned in the paragraph above included loans. The higher profile loan departures include midfielder Eunan O’Kane, attacking threat Samuel Saiz and Dutchman Vurnon Anita. The fact that a lot of players have been loaned out has paved a way for squad unity to be formed between Bielsa’s players, and it has clearly helped the side this season.
Coming back to the spying scandal, I feel that the EFL are to blame for neglecting this issue. In my opinion, it should be made explicit whether spying is allowed or prohibited. Personally, I think the move was unethical, but I appreciate the fact that Bielsa did not understand this was not a great move to make whilst managing in England.
As a Reading fan, I’m fascinated to see what happens with Leeds United in the business end of the season.