Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa has come in for heavy criticism after admitting he was the mastermind behind the spy row that has overshadowed his side’s fixture against Derby.
Ahead of their Sky Bet Championship clash on Friday night, the Rams claimed that a man who was escorted from the perimeter of their training ground on Thursday after “acting suspiciously” was, in fact, a Leeds employee.
Bielsa, who has guided Leeds to the top of the Championship, has taken responsibility for the act, leading former Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews to claim the Argentinian has damaged his reputation.
In his role as a pundit for Sky Sports, Andrews said: “It’s madness, initially there was a comical value to it, someone skulking around the training ground – but it’s disgusting really.
“It’s not how things are done here, it’s not illegal but he (Bielsa) absolutely has to change. Tactically he has had a lot of plaudits, people talking him up big-time, had lots of praise – but he’s got to take this on the chin.
“I don’t think he gives a damn, to be honest. He’s unflustered by it, taken the brunt of it for the football club but the way I look at it…it’s disgusting.
“I think this has damaged his reputation. He’s galvanised this club and transformed the way they played but now his reputation and that of the club has been severely tarnished.”
Former Derby striker Darren Bent accused Bielsa of “cheating” – although he questioned what Leeds stood to gain by the former Argentina and Chile boss’ actions.
He said on Sky Sports: “What more can he get that he’s not seen already this season? I’m not sure what he gets from a training session the day before they play.
“I don’t think he realises the flak he’s gonna take for this. We’re talking about someone cheating, that’s what he’s done, to try to get an edge.”
Joint Chester manager Anthony Johnson defended Bielsa’s conduct, though, writing on Twitter: “Fair play to Bielsa for taking full responsibility when he could have thrown someone else under the bus and played daft!
“Personally I love the way rugby do it by announcing teams up to 48hrs before a game – ‘There you go, there’s our team. Stop us if you can’.”News Now - Sport News