During his presentation with the EFL, Marcelo Bielsa revealed the time when Pep Guardiola recognized his capacity to store knowledge after a game.
After knowing how obsessive Marcelo Bielsa can really get with studying his rivals, it’s fair to say that this is a special kind of manager and it’s easier to understand why Pep Guardiola keeps the Argentine in such high regard.
There have been countless times in which the Manchester City manager has spoken about how amazing Marcelo Bielsa really is as a football scholar, but nobody had a clear idea until what we all found out today in regards to his methods.
Making his players study each and every one of their rivals match by match, in a four-hour session per video analysis is something that only Marcelo could come up with.
These practices are not new for him, as he did the exact same thing when he faced Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona when he had the opportunity to coach Athletic Club Bilbao.
When Bielsa’s boys faced the mighty Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, the Argentine manager made them study the Catalan club thoroughly but they still weren’t able to crack the code.
Guardiola’s squad defeated them 3-0, which in Marcelo’s eyes meant that all that information was completely lost.
Marcelo Bielsa es tapa en Inglaterra. "Vive y deja espiar", dice The Daily Telegraph. pic.twitter.com/saiIdrjRLy
— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) January 16, 2019
During that long press conference in which Bielsa revealed his methods to prepare matches for their players, he dropped that anecdote in which he spoke with Pep Guardiola after losing 3-0 in the Copa del Rey final.
The response from Pep after realizing how much time Marcelo had invested in studying the Catalan club, was something that not even the Argentine was expecting.
“When I was a coach of Athletic Bilbao we played Barcelona in [the Copa del Rey] final and we lost 3-0,” said Bielsa via Four Four Two.
“[After the match] I gave all the information I had on Barcelona to Pep Guardiola. Guardiola had a look at it and he told me ‘you know more about Barcelona than me!’.”
“I do this analysis to ease my anxiety, but it was useless information because they scored three goals.” “We watch all the games of 2018-19 of each opponent,” he added.
“We watched the 51 games of Derby County. They’ve played a 4-3-3 [formation] 49.9 percent of the season… we use this to understand the system and why and when they change the system during a game.”
“The analysis of each game takes four hours of work. Why do we do that? Because we think it is professional behavior.”
Marcelo Bielsa no renuncia. Llamó a esta conferencia de prensa para que “el tema del espia no acapare la conferencia de mañana previa a la fecha del fin de semana”. “Tal vez no sepa ingles pero se todo de cada uno de nuestros rivales”. pic.twitter.com/WrE5DDTawg
— Christian Martin (@askomartin) January 16, 2019
To be fair, when the Leeds United manager called for a press conference, most of the media believed it would be to present his resignation and apologize for the acusations made against him.
It’s fair to say that absolutely nobody expected the surreal explanation he offered, and nobody thought he would confess to even more cases of football espionage on his behalf.
Marcelo does claim that these practices may been regarded as wrong, but he also claims that he doesn’t consider them to be illegal in any way.
Recording full matches of their opponents is in no way prohibited by the EFL, if they act against Bielsa with this basis, the manager should be okay and no sanction should come his way.
In a sense, all Bielsa did with this presentation was to brag about his very meticulous methods to prepare his players for matches.
They don’t call Marcelo Bielsa “El Loco” for nothing, the man does have a loose screw on his head as he proved it today with these new revelations.
¡No tiene desperdicio! Marcelo Bielsa habló con determinación en la conferencia al explicar las razones por las que mirá las prácticas de los rivales. pic.twitter.com/kvnFn6OsKJ
— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) January 16, 2019
What do you think about Marcelo Bielsa’s methods to study his rivals, to you agree or disagree and why? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.