Irish Daily Mirror
THE OLD GREY and WHISTLE TEST
It’s Roy ( 73) v Marcelo ( 65) but Bielsa admits longevity means you give so much to the game.. and miss out on life
MARCELO BIELSA claims he has paid a personal price for his long managerial career.
Bielsa has coached for 40 years since starting out with the youth team at his beloved Newell’s Old Boys and he has managed 10 clubs and two national sides in seven countries.
But the Leeds head coach says there is a downside to his longevity b e c ause h e has had t o make personal sacrifices.
Bielsa, 65, spends months away from wife Laura Bracalenti and daughter Ines and says his personal friendships have suffered.
Laura splits her time between t heir hometown of Rosario i n Argentina, and Leeds.
“More than a virtue, this longevity i s a defect because the job of a manager stops you from doing other things that are worth doing,” said Bielsa. “Sometimes when you are in a job for so long, you become a specialist in that field and it doesn’t let you see that there are other things worth doing other than football.
“I gave a lot of attention to my family life and my married life but I have less time for some friends, and I haven’t been able to do other things which are worth doing.”
Today’s adversary Roy Hodgson has been managing for even longer than Bielsa and the much- travelled Crystal Palace boss has clocked up 44 years as a coach. Bielsa g r e a t l y a d mire s Hodgs o n
( a b o v e) a n d b e l i e v e s hi s enthusiasm explains why he is still coaching at 73.
“What’s admirable is that you can’t do this kind of job if you don’t desire i t,” said f ormer Argentina and Chile boss Bielsa ( right). “To be able to do the job of the manager, you need to have a lot of will and a lot of desire.
“There are a lot of jobs you can do without a lot of desire, but if you work as a manager and you don’t have any enthusiasm, then automatically you are excluded.
“The enthusiasm he has i s admirable. I respect him a lot.
“I ’m not the best person to speak about him because I’ve only been here for two years but I have the opinion that he’s a very valued member of the English football community given his career and his behaviour.”
Bielsa laughed when asked if he wi l l manage L e e d s i nt o hi s seventies. He takes his career one season at a time, reviewing his future every summer.
“There are still eight years for that to happen and eight years is a long time in a person’s life,” he said, smiling.
“It depends how l ong y ou imagine I am going to be here – and that I am going to last rather than go.”
FIRST COACHING JOB: Halmstad, 1976 YEARS IN COACHING: TEAMS MANAGED: 21, in including England, Sw Switzerland, Palace, Live Liverpool and Inter