‘I don’t think I have triumphed in this job’ admits Marcelo Bielsa on his Leeds United milestone

HUMILITY has always been one of the endearing traits of Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The Elland Road outfit have had plenty to savour during the Argentine’s momentous time in charge thus far – which reached the 1,000-day milestone on Thursday – with the move to appoint him back in June, 2018 going down as one of the best decisions in the club’s history.

A venerated footballing Svengali who lives a modest lifestyle, Bielsa, 65, ranks his achievements thus far with typical self-deprecation and is steadfastly in the here and now.

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Bielsa said: “I don’t think I have triumphed in this job, I think the word triumph is something that evades me.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Picture: PA.

“To have been promoted (last season), it was very difficult not to have achieved this because the level of the team deserved it. Once we were in the Premier League, if we had come to the Premier League in position 10, nine, eight, seven or six or five to 10, to have achieved this would have been a valuable achievement.

“But we are not in these positions. We haven’t regularly been in these positions, so I don’t think anyone can describe it is successful and I don’t think there are many managers in football that have the legitimacy to stay in a job as long as they like.

“There may be other coaches that have more merit than I do to aspire to that level, but it’s not my case, sincerely not my case.”

A footballing idealist he may be, but Bielsa has learned to be realistic when it comes to the notions of managers sticking around for indefinite periods, even if there are scores of Leeds followers who would be happy if he remains in Yorkshire for many years to come, having given the club the ultimate on-pitch style makeover.

He continued: “I always think that I am going to stay forever in all the jobs that I take and I go from day to day thinking I am going to be there for the rest of my life.

“But at the same time, it is a profession that usually has interruptions. It is far more common that a manager is fired that he stays in a place for a very long time.”

Leeds will again be without Pascal Struijk and Pablo Hernandez for Saturday’s home game with Chelsea, but Jamie Shackleton is available.

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