Noel Whelan has been left baffled after Jack Harrison claimed Leeds United do not work on possession in training.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites forward and boyhood Elland Road fan suggested Marcelo Bielsa’s famous murderball sessions are a possession drill.
Harrison told TalkSPORT earlier this week he was surprised by Bielsa’s “unorthodox” methods when he first moved to Leeds in 2018.
He added: “You’d think by watching us we’d do a lot of possession drills, a lot of playing five-a-side and things like that but we don’t do any of that.”
Asked by Football Insider what he made of Harrison’s comments, Whelan said: “I do find that strange because most teams do work on possession.
“There are a lot of possession-based training that you do and drills. Even before the game you have your little box – that’s possession-based.
“I do think they use possession drills, murderball where they do the closing down – that’s possession-based.
“So you can’t really say it’s not possession because it is. There’s another motive for it, absolutely, winning the ball back. But bear in mind the whole point of winning the ball back is keeping the ball and possession from the other team and working your way out of difficulty.
“I don’t believe that. Possession is very important in the game and controlling games is all about possession and being patient at times. That is possession-based, working your way through the thirds.
“Being a coach and being there and doing it myself I know what certain drills are, whether you’re winning the ball back high you’re still asking your defenders to keep possession and work your way out.
“It’s strange because we are probably one of the better sides in possession on the ball.
“I don’t believe that at all, I think everything you do on the football field is based on controlling the game which is possession-based.”