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Benjamin Mendy's Account Of Marcelo Bielsa Will Excite Leeds Fans

Benjamin Mendy's Account Of Marcelo Bielsa Will Excite Leeds Fans
By Eoin Lyons Updated

Benjamin Mendy is the latest footballer to have his writing published in the Players Tribune, and the Manchester City full back's piece is well worth a read, especially if you're a Leeds fan.

Mendy starts off with a delightful anecdote about growing up in France, dreaming of becoming a footballer. One day the young footballer was playing football on the streets, came to a crossroads and, not paying attention, was hit by a car:

 I wasn’t paying attention and I pushed the ball a little too far ahead of me. I ran into the street to get it and I got hit by a car. Well, actually, that sounds dramatic. In reality, the car was not going fast, but it was going fast enough to knock me over. I was fine! No hospital, no scars. But my parents, of course, were very worried.

At home, my dad, said, “Now is the time to stop football and focus on your studies.”

My mum put it another way. She said, “Your head is in the clouds.”

But the headstrong Mendy has a different solution:

I disagreed. The solution was more football, not less. With better ball control and vision, I could’ve avoided the car.

The next day, I was outside — dribbling again.

The France international also waxed lyrical about newly appointed Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, the pair worked together when Mendy was at Marseille:

From the day he arrived in Marseilles, I learned why they called him El Loco. He was very professional, very serious. When he addressed the players the first time, he didn’t smile once. But when he talked about strategy, you could see the madness coming out. You could see his passion. You could see that he lived for football, for every detail. After the meeting, a teammate looked at me and said, “He is not normal, this one!” He was right. Bielsa is not normal. Who wants normal?

I learned a lot from him by focusing on what others might say is “boring.” That is how Bielsa thinks about football: What if boring is where you gain the most advantage?

Mendy also explained how that the defender didn't take watching back video analysis seriously, that he would fall asleep during video sessions, but under Bielsa's tutelage he learned to appreciate that side of the game:

With his help, I learned how to watch video for the details. I became very interested in video and tactics. That was his effect on me. I always tell people: Bielsa woke me up.

Perhaps the most exciting part, for Leeds fans anyway, is the impact Bielsa made on the people of Marseille:

And if you ask Marseille supporters, I think they would say that he woke them up, too. They are people who respect what is simple — working hard and doing your best. They are not arrogant or flashy. Bielsa was a famous man but he could walk the streets without being bothered. Everybody felt like he was part of the Marseilles family.

Good news for the long suffering Leeds fanbase.

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You can read Mendy's full article here.

See Also: Watch: Christian Eriksen Gives Denmark The Lead With Gorgeous Volley

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