Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United methods cited as inspiration as German coach tackles new challenge

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has admirers across the footballing world and it appears Torsten Lieberknecht is one of them.

The German manages SV Darmstadt 98 in his homeland’s second tier – 2. Bundesliga – and was asked about which coach he would like to learn from in a matchday programme yesterday.

Lieberknecht insisted he would be keen to have a discussion with Bielsa, whose methods have made him one of the most revered coaches in world football.

Lieberknecht said: “Marcelo Bielsa of Leeds United, I find him very exciting. I would really like to have a discussion with him. He is a coach who has unique concepts in training. There I could definitely get some inspiration.

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“But of course, the pass-and-play forms in the training then have to fit your own game. The players on gameday should then manage the transfer of knowledge. Therefore it is a challenge for the players to derive something for their own training out of the seen content.”

The 47-year-old was only recently appointed as manager of the German side having been sacked by MSV Duisburg last November.

Yesterday was his first competitive game in charge of his new club but on the opening day of the season, he could not prevent Darmstadt slumping to a 2-0 home defeat to Jahn Regensburg.

Bielsa has a reputation for inspiring fellow managers, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola amongst the figures who has publicly praised the Argentine.

The former Barcelona boss has conceded Bielsa is the person he admires most in world football and the pair have already met in two Premier League encounters.

Despite his talents, Bielsa seldom settled at a club until he arrived in West Yorkshire in a shock appointment in 2018.

He has now been in charge of Leeds for over three years, overseeing a return to the Premier League and top-half finish in the top flight after play-off heartbreak in his first season.

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