The end of Leedss promotion chances for another year, the end of the idea that the managers challenging ideas could work at this level, the end of the Bielsa experiment.
In the aftermath of the defeat, suggestions that Bielsa will depart if not given sufficient reassurances by the clubs board added to the feeling that a dream had just evaporated into the Yorkshire air.
Leeds then are at a crossroads, facing possibly their biggest decision since Peter Ridsdale thought: "Can I justify spending £240 of the clubs money on goldfish for my office?"
ByMathew Nash Published on May 15, 2019 Share Tweet Aston Villa are heading to Wembley once again. They beat rivals West Brom on penalties last night to book their place in the final of the playoffs against either Leeds United or Derby County.
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If the Ridsdale years were defined by profligacy, Andrea Radrizzanis era cannot be defined by parsimony. Bielsa has already worked wonders with a meagre transfer budget, but understandably he will not want to carry on if he has to sell players to balance the books.
And though Radrizzani denied reports he would put Leeds up for sale if they have missed out on promotion, the uncertainty about the clubs finances is hardly going to help in convincing Bielsa to stay.
After the season just gone, Leeds must do everything in their power to keep Bielsa. They may have missed out on promotion, but the manager has achieved something even more powerful – he has got the city and the club believing again.
Then came the dressing-room scenes, complete with Rams boss Frank Lampard rubbing his eyes in full, faux-crying flight (to be fair, there may have been a few tears of joy at some point)…
After years of stagnation and disillusionment, this season has been one of revitalisation. As my colleague Rob Bagchis excellent special report illustrated, formerly disgruntled supporters are engaged again – a love affair has been rekindled.
"The style of football is a joy to watch compared with some of the stuff weve seen over previous seasons… you see more stickers in cars, more people wearing hats or badges on their coats," one fan told The Telegraph.
ByLee Clarke Published on May 15, 2019 Share Tweet Leeds United head into tonights play-off contest with Derby County with one foot already in the Championship play-off final. A clean sheet at Elland Road will see the Whites take on Aston Villa for a place in the Premier League.
It hasnt just been the brilliant results, but the way Bielsa has trusted a group of players that had finished mid-table in the Championship the previous season to execute his demanding, high-energy style. That they have been able to carry out his instructions so effectively was testament to Bielsas motivational and tactical skill.
As for Bielsa, this summer also presents a conundrum for a manager with a recent history almost as volatile as his current employer. Leeds are his fifth club in five different countries since the start of 2013, a period during which he has not lasted longer in one job more than a couple of years.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Gaetano Berardi lunges at Bradley Johnson for a second yellow card that proved to be a turning point in the tie. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Plenty has been written in the last few days about the role momentum and confidence play in comebacks and Derby needed less than a minute of the second half to offer the latest evidence. Completely undaunted by the rousing rendition of Marching On Together that greeted the resumption of play Richard Keogh drove forward to find Mason Mount, who made room inside the area for a shot and scored only 38 seconds after the restart. He somehow produced an effort on target despite appearing to stumble in the attempt. Tellingly that was Derbys second attempt on target of the evening, yet both had produced goals.
In fact in two of those jobs, Bielsa lasted a total of six months, cementing his reputation as a coach who was too wild and demanding to last for any length of time. There might be success early on, but the players will quickly tire of Bielsas methods became the conventional wisdom.
This season at Leeds has upended that theory. Yes, Leeds could not maintain the momentum of the first half of the season, but the players are still fully bought into his philosophy, and were undone by a lack of composure rather than energy in Wednesdays play-off semi-final.
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The supporters meanwhile remain largely in thrall to Bielsa. Where some of his previous clubs have quickly turned on his eccentric methods, Leeds have delighted in his exceptionalism. The chemistry has been such that there is a sense of kindred spirits meeting, of two outsiders finding one another after a series of failed romances.
In sport, as in life, these couplings are rare. Leeds must ensure Bielsa was no fling; this should be a story that is only just beginning.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa will “listen to proposals” for him to stay at the club after a “painful” play-off semi-final defeat by Derby.
Following the loss, Bielsa said: “If the club offers me the possibility to carry on I will listen to this proposal.
Derby equalised, before taking the lead on the night after half-time and in the tie with a penalty just before the hour.
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Leeds brought the aggregate scores level again before substitute Jack Marriott became the hero for Frank Lampards side with a composed finish in the 85th minute to seal a trip to Wembley to face Aston Villa.
For Leeds, who finished third in the table, defeat means their spell outside the top flight will stretch to a 16th year.
But Bielsa had no complaints about his players throughout the campaign, saying: “What they have offered to the club during this season will be valued with time.
Bamfords clash with Villas Anwar El Ghazi, who had a red card rescinded, followed the controversial Leeds goal scored while Villa had a player down injured. Leeds then allowed Albert Adomah to walk in an equaliser from the kick-off.
“The fact that we couldnt reach goals that were so close leaves a feeling of disappointment, but you can have another perspective about it.”
It has been an eventful first season managing in England for Bielsa, as the Whites spent most of the campaign in the top two before a late-season slump meant they had to settle for a place in the play-offs.
Before the two-legged tie with Derby, he had said he would not speculate on his future: “I would never say that if we stayed in the Championship I wont stay here, otherwise you say the importance of this club is linked to the division in which it plays.”
Bielsa, who signed an initial two-year deal when he joined Leeds last summer, revealed earlier in May that he personally paid Leeds £200,000 fine for spying on Championship opponents.
The EFL punished Leeds in February after a member of Uniteds staff was seen outside Derbys training ground.
The former Argentina and Chile manager, 63, subsequently admitted he had sent someone to watch training sessions of every team they had played this season.
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Then, in their league match against Villa in April, Leeds allowed their opponents to walk in an equaliser unopposed after the home side scored while a Villa player was down injured.
Derby star Craig Bryson and Niall Horan poke fun at Leeds on Twitter
Bielsa also accepted that Leeds striker Patrick Bamford was correctly suspended for “successfully deceiving a match official” in the melee that followed the controversial goal, with Villas Anwar El Ghazi later having his red card for violent conduct rescinded.