1. He’s available!
Having taken over as Lazio manager in the summer, he resigned two days later citing broken promises regarding player recruitment. Given his pedigree, someone is bound to step in soon and offer him a deal. In this sense, he certainly fulfils what you’d imagine the SFA’s first criteria is going to be. Would you rather chuck a salary at Paul Lambert or Bielsa?
2. He has pedigree
Bielsa has taken both Argentina and Chile to World Cups, won Olympic gold with Argentina and led Chile to the last 16 in South Africa. It could be argued that his work with Chile was a big part of their two-time Copa America success. Outside of the international game, he’s led teams to national and European finals, including a thrilling display against Manchester United as Bilbao manager. His high-pressing, high energy style turned La Roja and Bilbao into relentless, synchronised machines who out ran, out thought, and out played Alex Ferguson’s charges.
3. He’s a man with a plan
“We are standing before the best coach the planet currently has” – reasonably glowing praise from your man Pep Guardiola, there. Bielsa runs intense, well drilled training sessions. His preparation for jobs is legendary, upon his arrival at Bilbao he had watched all 38 of the previous year’s matches, and began to explain the rights, wrongs and how he wanted them to play differently upon his arrival. He pores over DVDs, screenshots and diagrams, a level of preparation unseen in Scottish football. An intense, idealistic and driven man, he can make the most of what we have, and create a blueprint for our future.
4. He is completely disconnected from Scottish Football
We need a clean break. We need new ideas and a new style. Whether this comes at international, club, or board level, we need something new. An opportunity to have one of the game’s great thinkers at the head of the game in Scotland is something which doesn’t come around too often. His work in bringing younger players through the Chilean national side make the basis of the squad which is successful now. New ideas, new preparation, new techniques, as opposed to another Scottish coach that’s been through the same coaching training, as the previous three.
5. He is box office AF
An end to “Tell Rodney to get a f**king move on”, no more rupturing of cringe glands. No, Bielsa is an altogether more cerebral animal. A man who walks into a press conference and resigns after a match; “I’ve finished my work here. I’m going back to Argentina.” having left his resignation letter on his desk. A man who drew circles on his shoes to show his players where to kick the ball, then continued to wear them for months afterwards is someone the whole of Scotland can get behind. Not just making a point, but thrifty too. A man dubbed ‘El Loco’ is what we need.
Written by Graeme Thewliss