Kalvin Phillips compares Marcelo Bielsa during Leeds spell, to Pep Guardiola
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Kalvin Phillips compares Marcelo Bielsa during Leeds spell, to Pep Guardiola

Kalvin Phillips has told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club that there are similarities between Marcelo Bielsa from his time at Leeds United – to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, having now worked with both bosses.

Bielsa, 67, was relieved of his duties earlier this year and replaced by Jesse Marsch. It comes after taking Leeds from a mid-table Championship reputation, to ninth in the Premier League. When he joined, Phillips was on the fringes.

There was even talk that the England midfielder would leave Elland Road. But he remained, converted into a holding midfielder and he sparkled. He grew into an England international. Bielsa is arguably the reason he earned a move.

Speaking on Monday Night Club alongside the likes of Chris Sutton and Micah Richards, Phillips compared Bielsa to Guardiola. Bielsa is renowned for being a big influence on Guardiola. He says both are incredibly demanding.

“Both very demanding. Marcelo was not only demanding physically, but mentally with all the team meetings. Pep doesn’t have meetings as much, but demanding in training. Differences, Pep is different in the way he wants to play.”

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Phillips: Similarities between Bielsa and time at Leeds to Guardiola

It is nice to hear KP. His time at Manchester City has been a difficult one but he is confident of a place in the England squad after finally overcoming a shoulder injury, which required surgery. He is now fit and could feature this week.

That might be crucial in Gareth Southgate including the Manchester City midfielder in his World Cup squad. In terms of the similarities, there were always going to be certain cross-overs. Given the influence Bielsa has had on Guardiola.

Bielsa remains out of work, since his Leeds sacking. Whether or not, Leeds would have been relegated had he remained in charge is unclear. Jesse Marsch kept Leeds up, just, and has guided us to 12th in the Premier League as things stand.

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