Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa has been linked with the empty Chelsea job following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas. Is he good enough? Would he take it? Could he cope with the demand of English football? Your questions answered (to an extent) in this article.
I must admit, I had never heard of Bielsa since about a year ago when I started to really get interested in Spanish football. The 56-year-old has managed Newell’s Old Boys, Argentina national team and Chile national team and is now at Bilbao leading the side to great successes as they are still in the Europa League, and face English champions Man Utd on Thursday night, plus are doing well in La Liga.
The serious and well respected boss has plenty of experience in coaching, mainly on the international stage, but did well with Argentine outfit Newell’s Old Boys and after impressing with Bilbao – he’s been strongly linked with the Chelsea hot seat following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas on Sunday.
In my opinion, I reckon the time is just about right. Bielsa is getting on, there is no question, and at the end of the season he’ll be 57. If he was to move, surely the time would be right. He has worked wonders at Bilbao and nursed the likes of Fernando Llorente and Iker Munuain so well. Maybe now, it’s time for a new challenge in a new country. A different atmosphere. A different environment. His tactical presicion and eye for detail would bode well in the Premier League and he may just be what the Blues are searching for.
The question is, though, would the Rosario-born ex-defender take the job at The Bridge if offered? Well, I suppose you could say he’s still got ‘unfinished business’ at Bilbao to attend to but when a job offer like Chelsea comes along, it’s hard to reject. He’s shown he’s worthy of credit in La Liga and on the international stage – now he should show his true worth in the Premier League where things are, in my opinion, tougher than in the Spanish leagues.
He reminds me very much of current Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho in the sense that he’s tactically a wizard and can adapt to his players needs very well. But let’s not fool ourselves, La Liga is not as fast moving or physical as the Premier League, so whether his gameplan would work in England is remain to be seen. At the end of the day, results are what counts. And with him in charge, I think Roman Abrahimovic would be one happy man come the end of the 2012-2013 season if Bielsa was in charge as he’s got all the right needs to do a job in London.
Feel free to leave any comments below on if you think Bielsa is the right man to leave Bilbao and take the Chelsea hot seat.