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And it was Beautiful: Marcelo Bielsa and the Rebirth of Leeds United Hardcover – 26 Aug. 2021
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The behind-the-scenes story of the Marcelo Bielsa revolution at Leeds United and their first season back in the Premier League after sixteen years of hurt.
FEATURING FRESH PERSONAL INSIGHT FROM MARCELO BIELSA
When Marcelo Bielsa was appointed head coach of Leeds United in the summer of 2018, the club had just finished 13th in the Championship - their 15th consecutive season outside the top flight - and were defined as much by their excesses and disasters off the pitch as their lack of success on it. Bielsa changed everything.
In guiding Leeds back to the promised land of the Premier League, he has transformed the club into a vastly more dynamic, entertaining and professional outfit, fully endearing himself to the Leeds faithful and capturing the imaginations of football fans around the world. With his unique tactical approach, strict diet and body fat controls and a gruelling training schedule - including his infamous 'murderball' sessions - Bielsa has shaped a gang of Championship misfits and journeymen into a team that plays breathtakingly relentless attacking football and is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the game's established heavyweights.
In And it was Beautiful, Phil Hay documents the fortunes of Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa during their return to the Premier League for the 2020/21 season. By weaving in stories of crises from the club's purgatory in the English Football League, he presents a comprehensive and compelling portrait of an enigmatic manager whose values are the antithesis of everything that has previously gone wrong at Leeds during the dark days of Ken Bates, Massimo Cellino and GFH. Phil pulls back the curtain on Bielsa's innovative tactical methods, his unconventional yet highly productive relationship with owner Andrea Radrizzani and Director of Football Victor Orta, his intensely loyal backroom team and the extraordinary cultural impact Bielsa has had on the city of Leeds - from murals and songs to cult fanbases in the provinces of Argentina. The result is a unique and beautiful love affair that has made dreams come true.
About the Author
- Publisher : Seven Dials (26 Aug. 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1841885169
- ISBN-13 : 978-1841885162
- Dimensions : 24.13 x 5.46 x 16.38 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 10,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from United Kingdom
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There are surprisingly no new insights from the players, and, not unsurprisingly, none from Bielsa's backroom staff (due to NDAs), nor the great man himself who remains enigmatic.
It is a reprise of certain stories that are already well written about from the Championship (Spygate, Murderball, Derby play off defeat, promotion), but the first season with the big boys is written in an aloof manner, similar to what watching the games on TV without crowds was like. It was all matter of fact in style.
One day I hope some of the squad write their autobiographies and provide fans of Bielsa with first hand insights into life behind the scenes with the great man.
Only they could provide the crucial ingredient missing from this book.
As I finished this book Bielsa was sacked at Leeds after heavy losses to Spurs, Liverpool, Man Utd and Everton.
He will always have a place in all Leeds' fans heart for bringing us back to The Premiership an developing a team that played attacking, attractive football.
Adios and thank you Marcelo.
What this is, is a superbly well written snapshot and summary of a remarkable man and 36 months in the history of Leeds United. Something that is so beautiful that it deserves documenting to this quality.
It carefully brings together the story of our 1st season back in the Premier League after a 16 year hiatus, with thematic chapters that provide the context and depth needed to explain the enigma of the two protagonists.
For Leeds fans this is the type of book you’ll happily reread every few years to help illicit the emotions you felt living through it. For those new to Bielsa you will surely fall in love with him just as Leeds fans have.
or how Stuart Dallas could play in so many positions , Bielsa has made them the players they are. I for one am enjoying the experience of watching Leeds play under his coaching, to me he's been the best thing that has happened to this club in the last 20 years. Credit must go to Andreas and Victor for securing his services. I fully recommend this book.
Hay's new Bielsa book joins a trio of top Leeds United books for grown-ups:
* Anthony Clavane,
Promised Land: the Reinvention of Leeds United, Yellow Jersey Press, 2010
* David Peace,
The Damned Utd, Faber, 2006
* Rob Bagchi and Paul Rogerson,
The Unforgiven: the Story of Don Revie's Leeds United, Aurum Press, 2002.