'100%' - Exclusive: Leeds board have maybe now forced Bielsa U-turn, says pundit
Gabriel Agbonlahor is adamant the Leeds United board have told Marcelo Bielsa not to name his starting XI before a game again.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former Aston Villa and England striker claimed the Argentine was “silly and naive” to name his team before the West Ham game last Friday.
Bielsa was asked by the media at his pre-game press conference about whether he would keep the Hammers guessing about how he was going to solve his defensive injury crisis before naming his starting XI.
Reporter: Are you going to keep West Ham guessing?
Marcelo: No, here's my Starting XI… pic.twitter.com/xoCGD4JvyU
— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 9, 2020
The 65-year-old insisted yesterday he would not do the same again to avoid a backlash and not because it gave West Ham an advantage.
“I don’t see why people find it funny or clever,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“If I’m a manager, David Moyes, and I see Bielsa name his team I’m doing three days of shape, non-stop. Whenever we played, you were guessing, you couldn’t really do shape against teams.
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“For him to come out and name his team was silly and naive and he’s admitted that he won’t do it again.
“I 100% think that’s what lost him the game. You can’t name your team.
“He named Rodrigo and Bamford so Moyes knew straight away you’re playing two strikers. If he didn’t do that, you’d be guessing. It’s not something you can do.
“I think he’s been advised not to do it by other people at Leeds, the board maybe said ‘don’t do it because you lost when you did it and there’s going to be a backlash.’
“It’s not something you have to do. Deep down he’ll know it’s something you need to do.
“You wouldn’t see Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp naming a team. Managers don’t even name the formation, they wait until the game kicks off before you find out. That’s how managers should be.
“I was baffled by it so I think it’s a good thing he’s not doing it again.”