Chile legend Marcelo Salas takes aim at Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United critics

Chile icon Marcelo Salas has slammed the criticism directed at Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa, insisting that he’s ‘one of the best’.

The Whites have had a mixed start to the season but did record their first win in a 1-0 success over Watford at Elland Road on Saturday.

That result moved Leeds up to 16th in the Premier League table ahead of their trip to struggling Southampton after the international break.

Bielsa has come under a little bit of pressure after his side’s recent form but still seems the right man to take Leeds forward as they look to replicate last season’s ninth-place finish.

However, he is a manager who firmly splits opinion when it comes to those who’ve worked with him when he was in charge at the likes of Marseille, Athletic Bilbao and Argentina.

There are some that believe he is a legend of the game for the way he has revolutionised teams, whilst others can be dismissive of his methods.

Salas, who played under Bielsa in the Chile national team, has praised the 66-year-old and had stern words for anyone that wants to put a negative tone on him.

“The tactical part that he gave to this generation was fundamental to achieve what was achieved because, in the end, he ordered you,” he told Tribuna Andes magazine, relayed by Infobae.

“Beyond changing your head, which everyone likes to talk about changing your mentality, what Bielsa did is that he gave you order on the pitch.

“He gave you weapons because to all the good things we are, he gave the other part, the physical part, to play and attack without fear.

“In other words, when they say that Bielsa left nothing, it’s because you didn’t have him or you’re out of your mind.

“For me (Bielsa) is one of the best coaches I had. I came from Europe, from being with Lippi and an hour of tactics, from Eriksson, another hour of tactics, with the movement here and there.

“So for me, it wasn’t something new, but if you have to evaluate a coach by his work, he was one of the best. He left me a lot, I learned a lot.”

Salas ended up scoring 37 goals in 70 appearances in a Chile shirt, whilst winning the South American Footballer of the Year on one occasion.

He also represented Juventus, Lazio and River Plate throughout a highly-successful 15-year career.

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