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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

15/12/2019 - 20:30 BST

Tactical Error, Don’t Do It – Former Leeds United Star Critical of Marcelo Bielsa


Noel Whelan has criticised Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa for bringing Gaetano Berardi off during Saturday's 3-3 draw at home against Cardiff City. 

Leeds pulled 3-0 up by the 52nd minute and looked to be cruising to another win in the Championship, with Neil Harris' Bluebirds offering little resistence.


Cardiff though had pulled the scoreline back to 3-2 by the 82nd minute, meaning a nervy finish for Leeds at Elland Road.

Bielsa opted to bring centre-back Berardi off in the 84th minute, bringing on young defender Pascal Struijk, and the Dutchman was caught flat-footed as Cardiff levelled two minutes from time.

Whelan is of the view that Bielsa, who wanted Struijk on to add extra height, made a tactical error with his substitution and believes Berardi should have been kept on.

"You can't take a player off who's been playing all game at centre-half and expect a young lad, who's flat footed, he's cold, he's not got into the game, to come and fill such an important position on the field", Whelan said post match on BBC Radio Leeds.

"I'd have rather kept Berardi on – play three at the back, really secure it up then and have the height as well.

"You've got three centre-halves then, five at the back with your two wing-backs, four in midfield, you can still hit them on the counter. They were chasing to get that third and get back into the game; we could definitely have done it with five at the back and four in midfield and one up front.

"Yes, tactical [error]. Don't take a centre-half off."

Leeds are set to have a full week to now lick their wounds before their next game, which sees the Whites take a trip to the capital to take on Fulham.