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#Spygate : Bielsa admits keeping tabs on ALL of Leeds' rivals in 2018-19 season

January 16, 2019 By Oscar Rojas
The Argentine boss tried to ease a possible sanction from the FA by showing what his team of analysts does to prepare for each game.

Leeds United's run in the 2018-19 Championship seems destined for success, but their form has been harshly criticized by Marcelo Bielsa's way of preparing for each game.

Before last weekend's clash between Derby County and Leeds, Frank Lampard's team reported a man that was "acting strange" near their training ground. That man was part of Marcelo Bielsa's staff and had the duty of spying on the Rams' final training session ahead of the game against the league leaders. Bielsa came forward after the game to admit his "guilt", but things escalated as Bielsa called summoned journalists for a press conference.

Most members of the media expected Bielsa to step away from Leeds' coaching job, but no one saw what was coming. In today's presser, Bielsa admitted to spying not only Derby County, but all of Leeds' opponents this season. Even so, Bielsa defended his actions, mainly because he had to study his rivals in order to lead the Peacocks back to the Premier League.

"I'm going to make it easier for the EFL investigation. I'm going to make it easier for them and I assume my behaviour is observed from the most extreme position.I observed all the rivals we played against. We watched all the training sessions before we played them," Bielsa stated.

Bielsa, known around the world for his passionate approach on football, assured that he meant no harm while doing this, while also understanding why some people might be offended by his staff's actions.

"It's not seen as a good thing, but it is not a violation of the law. Although not illegal it's not necessarily the right thing to do. I did not try to get an unfair sporting advantage. But I did it because it was not illegal or violating specific laws," Bielsa added.

What followed next was an example of how much Bielsa knows about his team's rivals.

"We saw all of Derby County's 51 games from last season. We spent four hours breaking down each game. Why? Because we're professionals. This is how we avoid being ignorant about the league we are playing in. I may not speak English, but I can surely speak about each and everyone of the 24 teams playing in the Championship," Bielsa said.

"I don't need to go out and spy my rival during the day before a game. I have all the info I need from their games. When you go out and watch your opponent's training session the day before a game, you are trying to confirm your previous findings about their tactics and their lineup," the coach revealed.

Bielsa looked back into a similar incident when he coached Athletic Club, where he shared his findings with none other than Pep Guardiola.

"Right after we lost the Copa del Rey against Guardiola's Barcelona, I showed him our analysis on his team. He told me that I knew more about his team than he did. In the end, it didn't matter, because they scored three goals,"

Before he left the team's press room, Bielsa asked to be held accountable for this incident, but he asked everyone to understand why he chooses to study his rivals in such detailed fashion.

"Thank you all for coming. I feel a bit stupid for having to do this analysis for you, but it's a need I have to know everything I can about my opponents," Bielsa concluded.

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