‘I love to see Leeds play, it’s extraordinary’ – Henry reveals admiration for Bielsa’s style of play

The Yorkshire side have taken the Premier League by storm and the former Arsenal forward is glad to see the Argentine stick to his philosophy

Thierry Henry has revealed he is enjoying watching Leeds United playing in the Premier League under the management of Marcelo Bielsa.

The former Arsenal star, now manager of MLS side Montreal Impact, says he likes to watch Leeds as often as he can and is attempting to take tactical tips from the Argentine’s style of play.

Henry is managing in North America but keeps an eye on the English and French leagues, and he was full of praise for two underdog Ligue 1 sides as well as Bielsa’s team.

In an interview with So Foot , Henry said: « I love to see Leeds play, it’s extraordinary. I also continue to watch Ligue 1, whether it’s Brest, Lens – I’ll watch everything I can. »

The former Monaco coach also praised Bielsa for not forgoing his philosophy. He added: « The game is an alternation: you can’t always play long and you can’t always play short. You have to vary.

« When you look closely, how many teams in history went down because they were playing long balls and how many teams went down because they were trying to build from the back? It is not that clear.

« You can win a championship by playing counter-attack, or by having 80 per cent possession in the opposing half. The same goes the other way. I just wish all philosophies were respected. »

Henry began his coaching career with a short and unhappy spell at Monaco, although he did bring through a number of young players and says he has no regrets about his time at Stade Louis II.

He said: « Sofiane Diop, Benoit Badiashile, Romain Faivre – the success of these players does not mean that I was right or wrong. These are players that I helped to mature as best I could and I’m happy for that, because you tell yourself that you saw something, and that was not wrong. 

« I thank Monaco again for giving me the opportunity. Yes, I like to take risks, build from the back, and yes, sometimes it can look silly when you lose the ball.

« The important thing is to keep your philosophy. You can change your system, make it evolve, but the important thing is it is to be in agreement with its ideals.

« Look what Marcelo Bielsa is doing in the Premier League: he can win 4-0 or lose 4-0, but ultimately everyone is watching Leeds. This is also what I like. But be careful, you will never see me criticise the approach of another coach. »


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