When Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa called an impromptu press conference on Wednesday afternoon, fans of the Championship leaders were concerned.
Bielsa has been a huge success in his first season at Elland Road -- Leeds are four points clear at the top of the Championship -- but last week's "Spygate" controversy, which saw the club apologise after a member of staff was caught observing a Derby training season ahead of Friday's game between the two teams, has led to an EFL investigation.
So, when the media was called to the Thorp Arch training ground, fears grew that Bielsa was going to resign. But after admitting that "we observed all the rivals we played against and we watched all the training sessions of the opponents before we played against them" and insisting nothing illegal had taken place, the former Argentina manager proceeded to break down exactly how he and his staff scout opponents.
With incredible detail...
💬 | Marcelo demonstrates the analysis his team goes through for each opponent, and how it totals more than 300 hours of work pic.twitter.com/asfGA6Wadm— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 16, 2019
💬 | Marcelo now walks the press through video analysis of an opponent's offensive actions, explaining how it totals 40 minutes, which is then broken down into 8 minute clips for the players pic.twitter.com/juLwE0NEGo— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 16, 2019
The media in attendance settled in for what amounted to a 70-minute seminar.
This is what we're looking at pic.twitter.com/YNDnP0arMt— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 16, 2019
At one point, Bielsa recounted a story of coaching against Pep Guardiola, which also explains the limits of thorough scouting.
Great story. Bielsa says he showed Guardiola his analysis after Bilbao lost to Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final. "Guardiola had a look at it and he told me 'you know more about Barcelona than me'. But it was useless information because they scored three goals." #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 16, 2019
Dossiers on display!
The breakdown went into player-specific detail.
All the data on Harry Wilson is laid before us. He knew everything about the player who didn't play— Adam Pope (@apopey) January 16, 2019
Bielsa as planned this superbly. Masterclass in teaching a lot of lessons to a lot of people at the same time. #lufc pic.twitter.com/rNJsQMgWsr
So, why does he do this?
It comes down to anxiety for Bielsa - he says he analyses all of this because he's anxious to make sure he's got all his basis covered. Think the highlight of my time doing this job was his mic-drop at the end. "Thank you." Gone.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 16, 2019
Just in case any Leeds fans were concerned that next opponents Stoke would be an unknown quantity under new manager Nathan Jones...
💬 | "To conclude, as we're going to play vs Stoke, and it is hard for us to analyse them, as they've only played a few games with a new head coach. We analysed the 26 games that he played with Luton, and we also analysed the tactical scenarios he used"— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 16, 2019
And from Argentina, Bielsa's old club weighed in.
It remains to be seen what punishment -- if any -- Bielsa receives from the league for last week's events, but the actions with which he followed up on Wednesday were quite remarkable.