TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Premier League club Leeds United announced the surprise decision that they have officially sacked Marcelo Bielsa from the position of coach on Sunday.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani called the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa the toughest decision he has made since taking ownership of the club in May 2017.
“This is the toughest decision I have had to make since I was at Leeds United, given Marcelo’s success at this club,” he was quoted as saying on Leeds’ official website.
“With Marcelo as head coach we have had three great seasons and happy days are back at Elland Road.”
“It’s just that I have to take steps in the best interest of the club and I believe changes are needed now to maintain our status in the Premier League. Recent results and performances have not met expectations at all,” he added.
Leeds’ performances this season are in stark contrast to last season, when Bielsa for the first time brought the atmosphere of the Premier League and the highest caste to Elland Road after 16 years missing.
The certainty of Bielsa’s dismissal comes just a day after Leeds were beaten 4-0 by Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road on Saturday (26 February), which exacerbated the negative trend of winless and only one point from the last five matches.
Leeds currently sit 16th in the standings with 23 points and are only two points away from the red zone, where Burnley are in 18th place with two games to spare.
The condition was clearly inversely proportional to when Leeds competed for a place in the European zone last season, although they eventually finished in ninth position.
Leeds’ poor performance this season cannot be separated from the storm of injuries that plagued their squad. Their top scorer last season was Patrick Bamford just six games this season, as was captain Kalvin Phillips who is still sidelined through injury and has made just 12 league appearances.
The club said it would pay tribute to Bielsa and in the near future announced his successor.
Bielsa overall became the ninth coach to be kicked out of his seat in the Premier League this season. Last month, Everton sacked Rafa Benitez and Watford cut their relationship with Claudio Ranieri.
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