The BBC have reported that Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has decided against travelling with the rest of the squad on their pre-season trip to Australia. With the BBC understanding that the Argentine has stayed back in England to ensure that new signings, as well as returning international players, are put through the same gruelling fitness regime that their teammates have already endured.
Marcelo Bielsa has a reputation for being incredibly hard on his players in preparation for the new season, putting them through double and sometimes even triple sessions as he prepares them for the upcoming season. His pre-season training is the stuff of legend and has seen players drop to the ground in exhaustion following intense sessions.
But as outlined by David Prutton, once the initial fatigue from the conditioning fades, it puts the players in a great position to be ready for the start of next season.
The regime doesn’t stop there though, Bielsa has previously had living areas built at training grounds of his former clubs, so the players sleep at the training ground, as well as this the Argentine has the players rigorously review video footage in preparation for the upcoming season.
Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich has described pre-season under Bielsa as “like being in the military”, with the players staying together the night before a match and individual sessions for each player to review their training footage, so they are well aware of their role on the pitch. The players have also previously been instructed to walk around the Thorp Arch training ground for three hours collecting litter so they can understand the amount of work that a fan would have to put in to be able to afford a ticket to watch them at weekends.
It is clear that the Leeds manager is intent on being successful at Elland Road with his radical approach, but his latest move takes the biscuit. It is relatively unheard of for a team to go on a pre-season tour without the manager, and even more so for the reasons why Bielsa remained at Thorp Arch.
With the club recently selling Pontus Jansson to Brentford it could be that the Argentine is busy running the rule over potential incomings and can only do so from the club’s training ground. But one thing is for sure, whether any new players come in or not, the Leeds squad are going to be insanely fit come the first game of the season.