Marcelo Bielsa: New Leeds United boss has 'watched all 51 games' from last season

Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa spoke to the media via an interpreter for nearly 85 minutes on Monday

New Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa says he has watched all 51 games the Championship club played last season.

The 62-year-old added that he wants to strengthen "four or five" positions within the team, while 15 players may leave Leeds as he wants a "lean squad".

Former Argentina and Chile boss Bielsa spoke to the media on Monday, 10 days after signing a two-year contract.

"I know everything a foreigner could have possibly absorbed about Leeds and what it means to the fans," he said.

"I have seen all 51 games that Leeds played last season and the two friendlies [in Myanmar in May].

"The players I want to keep are the players I can guarantee playing time to. I like to have a lean squad so everyone is getting regular minutes. So there might be some departures."

Leeds finished 13th in the Championship last season and sacked former boss Paul Heckingbottom on 1 June.

Bielsa's arrival will mean that 2018-19 will be the fifth successive season which Leeds have started with a new manager.

The former Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, and Lille coach - who also spent just two days in charge of Italian club Lazio - had been out of the game since December.

Asked about his style of play, Bielsa said he likes "taking the game by the scruff of the neck" and "playing it on the carpet".

Leeds United's August Championship fixtures
Stoke (h), 5 AugustSwansea (a), 22 August
Derby (a), 11 AugustNorwich (a) 25 August
Rotherham (h), 18 AugustDates are subject to change

Responding to questions about a possible language barrier between himself and the squad, the Argentine added: "I'm confident the message will be conveyed and received.

"I'm very conscious of the use of the spoken and written word in getting the message across. Appealing to players' emotions and getting them to play is what it is all about as a manager.

"The biggest factor in getting players to play is emotion and if you speak sincerely, it is words that can activate those emotions.

"I believe the players will interpret what I say on the field and have ability to take on board what I say to put my thoughts and beliefs into action."

Leeds chairman and owner Andrea Radrizzani said Bielsa will change the mentality of the "whole football department" and the new head coach had other destinations available to him this summer before choosing Leeds.

Their league campaign begins at home to Stoke City on Sunday, 5 August.

'A shrewd operator with good humour'

Analysis - BBC Sport's Ian Woodcock at Elland Road

Bielsa came across really well in his first outing as Leeds boss and said a lot of things the fans will like, while avoiding making any promises about winning promotion this season.

He is a shrewd operator and clearly has a good sense of humour and a demeanour that will endear him to supporters and media alike.

It was impressive (if not surprising) that he had watched all 51 of the games they played last season and he certainly has solid opinions on the group he has inherited.

On that, he was clear to eschew the quality of the current group but also suggested the squad was 15 players bigger than he would like it to be, hinting at quite a large turnover at Elland Road in the next few weeks.

He is confident he will be able to get his new charges to implement the high-pressing, high-energy football he has made his name playing and, if the players buy into his philosophy, maybe the Argentine could finally be the right person to bring an end to Leeds' 14-year Premier League exile.

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