Bielsa’s maiden season in English football may have ended in tears after Leeds cruelly came undone against Spygate rivals Derby County, but the loveable Argentine tactician ensured there was never a dull moment.
But after the torture of play-off defeat comes another kind of torture for Bielsa – a summer without any training grounds to break into or statistics to analyse.
While lesser bosses may be packing their budgie smugglers and heading for Magaluf, it’s safe to assume that Bielsa will be lining up the ultimate busman’s holiday.
So, what do we think is on Marcelo’s bucket list for his summer break?
Doing it all again and again
As soon as he arrived home after the Derby defeat, Bielsa will have fired up his computer and begun watching the entire season again, going through matches back to back to back like a Netflix binge.
A season consists of roughly 75 hours of action, so it shouldn’t take El Loco more than five days to watch it all back, programming in a few toilet breaks and the odd episode of Game of Thrones.
By that logic, Bielsa should be able to watch the whole 2018-19 Championship campaign back roughly 20 times in its entirety before it starts up again and to make enough tactical notes to tile the pavements for the entire city of Leeds.
El Loco’s impressive post-Derby game PowerPoint presentation to journalists revealed that Bielsa knew County’s squad better than Frank Lampard did and in fact knew many of the players better than they knew themselves.
Having seen Richard Keogh sobbing as Bielsa revealed that the true love of the defender’s life was an Icelandic woman he’d met only once 14 years ago at a bar, you can only assume that Bielsa’s talents would also translate to real espionage.
Granted, Bielsa doesn’t exactly have the physique of 007 these days, but MI5 could surely use his attention to detail and his ability to plot counterattacks.
Coach a kids team
Don’t be too surprised if you drop your seven-year-old off at football camp this summer and see a familiar face sitting on an upturned bucket shaking his head in dismay.
It’s rumoured that Harry Redknapp was so addicted to football that he would drop in to his local Sunday League team and coach them between jobs (probably bringing a host of Eastern European utility players with him), so why shouldn’t Bielsa keep his hand in by turning an Under-9s team into a high-pressing, fast-breaking unit?
Marcelo Bielsa's post-match interview yesterday was so brilliantly awkward 😅😅😅 pic.twitter.com/pt684YrqDB
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) March 17, 2019
Talk the talk
Bielsa’s English is definitely improving, but he’s still not exactly mistakable for a Leeds native, but he’s got time to change all that.
Given Bielsa’s meticulous nature, with a dialect coach schooling him daily between now and his first press conference of the new season, he could surely stun journalists with a broad Yorkshire ‘ow do’ and an entire tactical analysis of the previous season delivered in Yorkshire slang.
Of course this newfound skill would make Bielsa much less intelligible with most players understanding far less than if he spoke Spanish and the media needing to replace his Spanish translator with a Yorkshire translator, but it would be well worth it for the psychological advantage he would get over stunned opposition managers.