Leeds United must push the boat out for Marcelo Bielsa and bring him back to Elland Road.

No, such a move won’t be an embarrassing admission by the club that sacking the Argentine last term was a mistake in the first place. I’m all for giving managers a fair crack of the whip, but ultimately football is a results business, therefore pragmatism trumps sentiment.

Axe falls on Marsch

BIelsa’s successor, Jesse Marsch, has been sacked after less than a year in the job for the same reasons his predecessor was shown the exit door. The American paid the price for a wretched run of results.

After the euphoria of the final-day escape, when Leeds snatched their top-flight status from the jaws of relegation, fans had every reason to look forward to the new season with a renewed sense of optimism.

Unfortunately, optimism has quickly given way to despair and Marsch leaves the club in an almost identical position to the situation he inherited from Bielsa – with Leeds staring down the barrel of relegation. It’s déjà vu and another firefighter must be found.

Bielsa’s second coming?

The club could do worse than bring back Bielsa in a reversal of roles with Marsch.

The Argentine would be a popular choice. Returning to the club and helping Leeds preserve their Premier League status would enhance his legend and otherwise unsullied legacy.

I would be surprised if Bielsa’s name is not being mentioned in the club’s boardroom as the search for a new manager begins in earnest. He wouldn’t be the first manager to be sacked and then rehired in less than a year.

In fact, for a club fighting for their top-flight survival, I can’t think of a more suitable candidate. Bielsa is a perfect fit for the job at hand.

He has the charisma to come in and galvanize both the players and the fans. He also has the added advantage of being familiar with Leeds; understands the culture and structure of the club, therefore best placed to hit the ground running.

But will the powers that be have the courage to send an SOS to their erstwhile manager?

Reports claimed Bielsa was amenable to the idea of joining Everton when the Toffees sounded him out after sacking Frank Lampard. However, with all the upheavals at Goodison Park, the Argentine was reported to have instead expressed a desire to come in and work with the Under 21 squad with a view to taking over the senior managerial reins next season.

Jesse failed to launch

I have some sympathy for Marsch. You don’t always get the results you deserve. Some performances deserved more than they earned, although these were few and far between. And we all know the score – in this league performances are secondary to results.

On the whole everything went pear-shaped under Marsch, who struggled to get any sort of momentum going. Yes, Raphina was a big loss, but I think the players the club brought in more than compensated for the Brazilian’s departure to Barcelona.

The new manager bounce

The timing of Marsch’s dismissal, two days before the first match of the double header against our traditional Northern rivals, could not be any worse.

Hopefully we will already have a new manager lined up by the time we go to Old Trafford on Wednesday, if only for the new man to keep a watching brief before taking his seat in the home dugout for the reverse fixture of the Roses rivalry at Elland Road on Sunday.

While it’s important to get the next managerial appointment right, Leeds do not have the luxury of dragging out the process. Time is of the essence.

If we can’t bring back Bielsa, then I hope the “new manager bounce” factor is more fact than myth. My ticker can’t take another coronary-inducing season finale like the last, when the club’s Premier League fate was decided by the last kick of the match, literally.

The situation is desperate, but by no means not unsalvageable – United we stand!


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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