Marcelo Bielsa apologises for not conducting media interviews in English; Leeds have re-emerged as a Premier League force in their first season back under the 65-year-old Argentine after a 16-year absence
Thursday 29 April 2021 18:23, UK
Marcelo Bielsa says his lack of English is one of his "big deficits", despite the language barrier proving no obstacle to his Leeds side in the Premier League.
The 65-year-old Argentine, who was appointed head coach in June 2018, conducts his media interviews with a translator.
Bielsa says it is hard enough to explain himself in Spanish, so he took the decision not to communicate in another language.
"I owe an apology to those who have to listen to me, that I haven't learned English," said Bielsa, who led Leeds back to the Premier League last season after a 16-year absence.
"One of my big deficits through my passage in English football is not to be able to communicate in the language that everybody speaks."
Leeds are unbeaten at home against the 'big six' clubs this season, with Sunday's draw against Manchester United at Elland Road moving the club above Arsenal to ninth place.
Asked how Bielsa, who has been heard shouting instructions to his players in English on matchdays, communicates with his players in training sessions, he added: "In one way it debilitates me, the fact that I haven't been able to learn how to speak English.
"One of the bigger tools that a coach has is to transmit his message through his words.
"One of the things I've dedicated most time to while I've been a coach is to be able to speak well.
"If there's something I like to do, and it's taken me a long time, is to the significance and the definition of words and to say in the most simple way, without losing the richness of what I want to say.
"Because it's so difficult for me to talk in Spanish, to express my ideas simply and briefly, the decision I took not to do this in another language that wasn't mine.
"That's to say, that if I can't say it in Spanish, how can I be able to say it in English? The first one who doesn't believe this explanation is myself, but it's my reality."
Bielsa has signed one-year contract extensions each summer since his arrival, with chairman Andrea Radrizzani saying earlier this week he is hopeful the Leeds boss will extend his stay into a fourth season.
Speaking ahead of Leeds' trip to Brighton on Saturday, Bielsa added: "Any reference to this subject I prefer to make it after the competition has finished. I appreciate the words of the president with regards to my possible continuity.
"But I also agree with what he said that Leeds' prestige is above any others. Due to the solidness of this organisation they have the facility to make correct decisions."