Leeds United spent 16 years outside of the top flight.
After struggling and scrapping in the EFL, the arrival of one man gave supporters the hope that they could finally return to where they belong.
Of course we’re talking about Marcelo Bielsa.
The Argentine is as quirky a character as you get, and that only proved to endear supporters to him as he got to work on transforming the Whites both on and off the pitch.
Bielsa has been managing for 30 years after starting his career with Newell’s Old Boys in 1990 and he’s used every ounce of that experience to get Leeds back to the promised land.
But he’s not done yet.
Saturday afternoon sees him face Crystal Palace, a side led by a manager eight years older than him, Roy Hodgson.
The Palace boss is still buzzing with enthusiasm for the job – something that Bielsa says he admires greatly.
Asked if will manage to age of 73 like Hodgson, quoted by Leeds Live, Bielsa said: “There’s still eight years for that to happen and eight years is a long time in a person’s life.
“What’s admirable is, in this kind of job, you can’t do it if you don’t desire it and to be able to do the job of the manager you need to have a lot of will, a lot of desire to be able to do it.
“There’s a lot of jobs you can do without a lot of desire. If you work as a manager and you don’t have any enthusiasm then automatically you are excluded.
“It’s admirable, the enthusiasm he (Hodgson) still has.”
Speaking of management, he added: “More than a virtue, it’s a defect. The job of a manager impedes you from living out other activities worth doing.
“Sometimes when you are in a job for so long you become a specialist in that subject and it doesn’t let us see there are other things worth seeing, worth doing other than football.
“I give a lot of attention to my family life and my married life, but at the same time I have less time for some friends and I haven’t been able to do other things which are worth doing.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Phil Spencer says…
It will be a sad day when Marcelo Bielsa retires from football.
One of the most decorated managers in the game, the Argentine has a glowing reputation among supporters and his fellow bosses.
Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino are among those who owe their careers to him – you don’t get a much higher compliment than that.
It seems unlikely that Bielsa will stay with Leeds United for another eight years but fans will be praying that he can stick around for a couple at least to help them consolidate their place in the top flight.
If he does that then the Argentine will be a Leeds legend for many years to come.
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