Marcelo Bielsa has expressed admiration for like-minded Burnley manager Sean Dyche’s refusal to compromise his footballing values.
Burnley will embark on a sixth straight year in the Premier League next season and Leeds boss Bielsa, whose side play at Turf Moor in a Saturday lunchtime kick-off, believes Dyche’s blueprint is one to follow.
“Burnley is a team who has their style completely defined and very developed. There are very few times I’ve seen a team who has their style so defined,” Bielsa said.
“Of course, it’s more natural to want to watch (Manchester) City than to watch Burnley, but all the teams that don’t that have such heights football-wise – and Leeds is an example – can’t aspire to create the same beauty aesthetically as the big teams.
“But in the measure of our possibilities, maintaining a style and polishing it, improving it, I think it’s something to merit and is a path to follow.”
Bielsa has vowed never to compromise his own core principles throughout his managerial career and takes heart from Dyche’s longevity as a top-flight manager while sticking to his plan.
“Football at this moment is full of urgencies and any misstep generates the demand for change,” Bielsa said.
“Burnley is an example that when things don’t go as desired, the base of the way the team are playing should not change, but that it’s better to improve the parts of the function of the team that are not working well.
“Famously, this ‘plan B’, is a constant demand when things aren’t going well, but what I observe, is that the good teams and the coaches who manage the best teams, they don’t abandon the style in adversity, but they correct it, they better it.”
Bielsa made reference to Burnley’s promotion as Sky Bet Championship winners in 2016 under Dyche after they had been relegated the previous season.
“Imagine the merit in that,” the Argentinian said. “It’s the same thing that the manager of Norwich (Daniel Farke) has just done.”
Bielsa also highlighted the work of former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, whose side pipped Leeds to automatic promotion in 2019.
“Me, as a fan of football, it is what I would have hoped the manager of Sheffield United could have done,” Bielsa added.
“Now that we’re on the subject, I would like to make a recognition to Sheffield United and a great manager, who produced all of that with them.
“I regretted that he could not continue his job and that he could not attempt a new chapter, a new story with Sheffield United, to have got them promoted after having dropped back down to the Championship.
“(It’s) a description of how unjust or how unfair football can be with regards to what you deserve to get from it.”