Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Repeat: Off The Ball


'Leeds United in mourning over Marcelo Bielsa's departure' | Adam Pope

Leeds United supporters will take a long time to get over the heartache of losing Marcelo Bielsa ...

Leeds United supporters will take a long time to get over the heartache of losing Marcelo Bielsa as manager, says Adam Pope.

The Argentine manager was dismissed by the club following a dismal run of form but he will always be remembered for returning Leeds to the big time after 16 years outside of the Premier League.

Former RB Leipzig coach, Jesse Marsch is to take charge at Elland Road, however, the American has a huge job on his hands stepping into Bielsa's shoes.

"There is a very clear sense of mourning from the fanbase," Pope said of Bielsa's departure.

"You have got to be careful in these times when so much is going on in the world not to overstate it but people do feel that someone very special has been lost.

'It is not the way it should have ended. Many feel he should stayed until the end of the season or at least maybe until the end of these next three games where there is a real chance of getting back on track.

"He leaves with his legacy intact and untarnished by what has happened in the last few games. People are just sad that they have not had the chance to say goodbye to him properly."

Marcelo Bielsa Credit: Sipa USA/Alamy Live News

Bielsa leaves the club having won 81 games during his tenure from a possible 170 games during his tenure. After a brilliant first season back in England's top flight, Leeds have struggled this year, shipping goals in recent weeks as injuries have taken their toll on the squad.

Marsch has a huge job on his hands replacing Bielsa

They are currently hovering just above the relegation zone and Marsch has a huge job on his hands to keep them in the Premier League.

On that note, Pope believes the supporters will get behind the new man in due course as anger over Bielsa's sacking subsides.

"He is literally putting his feet into the shoes of a living legend that has gone against the will of much of the fanbase," Pope said of Marsch.

"That makes it [the job] extra hard. The anger will subside about the Bielsa dismissal. The mourning will continue and they will sing his name no doubt.

"It is probably helpful for Marsch that Leeds are away at Leicester rather than being at Elland Road first. Come Saturday, [people will realise] they have got to get behind him because the team is in a difficult position. Obviously, Leeds want to stay in the Premier League.

"They have to stay up. For that reason alone, Marsch will get the support of the fans."

Leeds face Leicester at the King Power Stadium at 12:30 PM on Saturday 5th March.

Football on Off The Ball, brought to you by Sky.

All the football you love in one place across Sky Sports, BT Sport & Premier Sports.

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

Read more about

Bielsa Bundesliga Elland Road English Football European Football Jesse Marsch Leeds Leeds United Premier League