Marcelo Bielsa thinks the commercial aspects of football outweigh the welfare of the players


Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa believes player workload is “a second thought” when decisions are made on the scheduling of games.

The Argentine said the tight turnaround between Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Aston Villa and Saturday’s game at Everton meant his players couldn’t recover properly.

After the trip to Goodison Park, Los Blancos also face a tough three-game six-day run against Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham, which could have a big bearing on whether Leeds – currently 15th – get rid of trouble or is sucked into relegation. scrap .

“There is no time for preparation because there is also no time for proper recovery. Games are scheduled clearly ignoring this aspect,” Bielsa said on Friday.

“The commercial aspects and the commitments due to the sales of the games make the decisions depend exclusively on this. Not all of the aspects that make a contest fair for everyone who participates in it are there in my opinion. The teams compete under different conditions.

“The games are planned without the possibility of rest and ignoring potential injuries, but it’s the same for everyone.

“There are aspects that increase the difficulty and complexity, and there are also aspects that can be solved better than the chosen one.

“But the compromises that should be made for the spectacle of the game, and for the fairness of the competition, are second thoughts.”

When asked what he thought the solution might be, Bielsa said: “You guys (the media) know better than us what the best solution is – playing less and admitting that playing less means less revenue. .

“Less income means we are all going to have to earn less.

“All these games are played on top of each other – Chelsea are playing in one competition (the Club World Cup), the Africa Cup of Nations – taking away the nature of all competitions, all competitions are worse because of that.

“And of course the English league suffers these consequences more than any other because it is the best organized and the one with the best players.”

Leeds have suffered more than most injuries this season and head to Merseyside still without Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper and Junior Firpo – all still recovering from hamstring injuries – and Patrick Bamford (foot).

England midfielder Phillips is expected to return in the early days of March, Bielsa said, as he anticipates defender Firpo could be back in action next week.

Frank Lampard is looking to steer Everton away from danger (Peter Byrne/PA)

The match at Goodison Park reunites Bielsa with Frank Lampard again, just over three years after an Argentine staffer was caught observing one of the England boss’ training sessions at Derby in this which became known as “Spygate”. .

Saturday’s game will be Lampard’s third in charge of his new club Everton, and asked if that made it difficult to get a clear picture of what to expect, Bielsa said: “I can’t give a opinion on the development of the team but the more they spend with their new manager the better the ideas will be implemented.”

Leeds head into the contest after earning a draw at Villa Park last time out, having beaten West Ham 3-2 in their previous away outing before that.

“Seasons like the one we are going through where there is constant adversity, it is important to face it with strong mental strength,” Bielsa said.

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