Noel Whelan has insisted he understands why Marcelo Bielsa is “fuming” at Leeds United’s pre-season tour to Australia.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker claimed the Argentine has made his stance clear about the two-match trip Down Under by skipping the first leg of it.
Bielsa was at Bradford City’s Valley Parade ground to watch them in a pre-season friendly against Liverpool on Sunday, while the majority of his Leeds squad were on the other side of the world.
Football Insider revealed last week that Bielsa was at “loggerheads” with Leeds chiefs over the tour and he has made his feelings clear by leaving the new signings and international players back at Thorp Arch to work on their fitness.
“It’s a strange one,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Usually when a club go abroad for a pre-season trip, the manager has to be there. It’s usually a given. You don’t fly anywhere without your manager.
“Australia isn’t what Bielsa would have chosen himself. The tour is a club decision and not a manager decision. I understand why he is fuming at having to travel all that way for two matches in nine days. Man United had a week there before playing to get acclimatised.
“It’s obviously something Bielsa couldn’t get agree with. The club have arranged it, but he is his own man. This is not his plan for how to prepare in pre-season.
“I can understand why he would be angry. You don’t need to travel that far, it’s not good for the players. It would take the players three or four days to get over the flight and, in my eyes, it’s not good preparation.
“I can see why the manager is so miffed. He is making his stance clear behind the scenes by not going.”
There have been suggestions that Bielsa will head to Australia for just 36 hours this week to check up on his squad before returning to Leeds.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have set their sights on three new signings.