Leeds tipped to emulate Man City after Bielsa latest - Whelan
Noel Whelan has suggested Leeds United could emulate Manchester City and Barcelona after Marcelo Bielsa lifted the lid on his tactical shakeup.
The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, heralded the ability of the Whites’ forwards to rotate positions in attack.
Bielsa started Jack Harrison as a makeshift centre-forward role in the 2-1 win over Norwich City, while Rodrigo and Dan James also found themselves leading the line at times.
As quoted by Leeds Live at his post-match press conference (31st October), the Argentine revealed he used his wingers as number nine to try find space and break through Norwich’s three-man defence.
Speaking at his latest press conference (5th November), Bielsa insisted Rodrigo’s ability to play as both a centre-forward and a number 10 gives the option for rotation between the Leeds attackers.
Whelan insisted Leeds have the players to operate with a main striker or in a more fluid system.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
He pointed to Manchester City and Barcelona as two examples Leeds could follow “if they get it right”.
Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I think you’ve got players that can play either way. Rodrigo can drop into number 10, Raphinha can come in as a number nine.
“Dan James can also come in as a centre forward. We’ve got a front four that can actually rotate in a circle if you like. They can all fit into that role.
“I think if we get it right then it can cause lots of problems. There’s lots of movement and interchanging going on with players. It confuses defenders.
“You’ve got to make sure it’s smooth, that it’s a smooth transition. You don’t leave anybody in one place with two people there. You’ve got to cover the bases right.
“There’s no doubt when it comes to interchanging and that link up play in between four players, they can really hurt teams.
“Getting in behind, the little one-twos and the interchanging that they have. It’s not a bad idea, is it?
“Look at Manchester City, they’ve not had a main striker for years. Barcelona didn’t have a main striker for years. It was always about those runs, the timing, the interchange and little quick passes in and around.
“Players who could adapt to wide roles, number 10 roles, number nine roles. If we get it right, we do have the players to hurt teams in that way.”