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Do Marcelo Bielsa teams always burn out? 1/

This article is dedicated to our Arsenal friends...

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leeds-united/leeds-united-burnout-marcelo-bielsa-15132995

Leeds United's run of four defeats in their last six games has seen one of the common criticisms of Marcelo Bielsa's methods become a talking point again.

When Bielsa's side were out of the blocks so quickly back in August, rivals and pundits were quick to scoff and insist that the Leeds squad would not be able to maintain this high-octane style all season.

The naysayers would also point to the small squad size that Bielsa said he wanted to take into the new season when he was unveiled at Elland Road in the summer.

But Leeds were able to emerge from the hectic festive schedule at the top of the pile, as those pre-season triple sessions appeared to be paying off.

But recent results have seen some of those doubts creep in again.

While there are a myriad of factors at play, such as injuries, form, opposition, etc, what does Bielsa's history tell us about how his sides cope with his style of play over a whole season?

Does Bielsa really run the risk of burnout?

Do his sides historically fall by the wayside by the spring? Or is the burnout theory built on nothing but assumptions and conventional logic?

We've looked back at how Bielsa's sides have performed over the past 20 years in order to see if we can draw any conclusions about what to expect at Elland Road this season.

A few points of order - we've gone back over the past 20 years, only looking at completed seasons, as the concept behind this exercise will not really work for his time at Lille, Lazio or in his second season at Marseille, where he left after the first game.

Marseille 2014-15

Bielsa led Marseille to a fourth-place finish in 2015

The last season that Bielsa completed in management was a memorable Ligue 1 campaign which saw Marseille finish fourth in the table - but only after setting the pace for much of the campaign.

In fact, Marseille moved to the top of the division in in the sixth week and would stay there for 14 weeks before a run of three defeats in five matches either side of Christmas saw them slip to down to second.

Six weeks in second place gave way to another six weeks in third, before a run of four consecutive defeats in April saw them drop as low as fifth place.

Bielsa's side ended the season with four wins in a row, but it is clear that his side faded badly in the second half of the campaign, especially when you consider they did not have the distraction of any cup competitions, having lost their opening matches in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.

Marseille 2014-15 season league position

2nd
After 5 games

1st
After 10 games

1st
After 15 games

2nd
After 20 games

3rd
After 30 games

4th
End of season

Athletic Bilbao 2011-12 and 2012-13

Bielsa's time in Spain alerted many European fans this his high-octane brand of football for the first-time.

His first campaign saw Bilbao lose in the finals of both the Europa League and the Copa del Rey, to a Radamal Falcao-inspired Atletico Madrid side and an all-conquering Barcelona side respectively, as Bilbao somewhat lost their way at the end of a hectic 64-match season.

While losing to those two sides was perhaps somewhat understandable given the form of their talismen in the shape of Falcao and Messi, a La Liga tailspin saw them drop from fifth place at the start of March to a tenth place finish at the end of the campaign, which saw seven defeats in their final 13 games - including three losses in the final four matches.

But it is worth pointing out that the club played 64 matches that season, including European away days in Russia, England, Germany and Portugal over the final four months of the season as they juggled a league campaign with European and domestic cup runs, something which would test any squad in world football.

Athletic Bilbao 2011-12 season league position

18th
After 5 games

8th
After 10 games

9th
After 15 games

7th
After 20 games

11th
After 30 games

10th
End of season

Bielsa's second season in Spain showed a far more consistent performance in the league - although it lacked the excitement of his initial campaign.

An early Copa del Rey exit and a failure to make it out of the group stage in the Europa League meant that Athletic could focus purely on the league after Christmas, playing just 50 games that year, and this resulted in a much steadier campaign, which saw the side flit around the top of the bottom half of the table for the majority of the season.

The loss of Javier Martinez was keenly felt during the 2012-13 season after his €40m move to Bayern Munich.

Athletic Bilbao 2012-13 season league position

16th
After 5 games

14th
After 10 games

14th
After 15 games

14th
After 20 games

13th
After 30 games

12th
End of season

posted on 4/2/19

Glad we're still friends

posted on 4/2/19

great article

posted on 4/2/19

Have 5 stars

posted on 4/2/19

Disappointed Part 2 wasn't dedicated to us though. Feels like I can only support half the story.

posted on 4/2/19

Why are gooners so interested in this?

posted on 4/2/19

kash still stalking DJ or myself

posted on 4/2/19

All the cricket lads hate me because I always win the Fantasy Cricket games

posted on 4/2/19

Only because we have a life

posted on 4/2/19

comment by D'Jeezus Mackaroni (U1137)

Disappointed Part 2 wasn't dedicated to us though. Feels like I can only support half the story.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Your'e just not THAT special, sorry mate!

Actually, for the point I was trying to make with that tribute, Part 2 should have been the dedicate article.

posted on 5/2/19

Our team hasn't burnt out, in fact we look fitter than ever, just missing the final bit of quality at the moment.

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