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Stewart Coggin

Bielsa’s Amazing End Of Season Speech

By October 28, 2012

Marcelo Bielsa is a coach well known for his alternative approaches, obsession with tactics and bizarre quotes.

But even by his standards, a sensational eight-minute speech to his Athletic Bilbao players at the end of last season, takes some digesting.

The Argentinean was unhappy at the manner of his side's two cup final defeats, the Basques losing 3-0 to Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the Europa League and Copa del Rey finals.

In a speech leaked to the press last week, Bielsa sensationally reveals before the players go off on their holidays that they may not be seeing him again before claiming they have let their supporters down.

"In the next few days the club and I will decide if I am going to carry on working here at Athletic next season," he said.

"The holidays must begin and I don't know if I will see you again.

"I will say to you briefly that it was a season that ended very badly; it ended extremely badly...seriously, it was awful. I take full responsibility of how we concluded...

"I find it unacceptable, guys, to build up the hopes of the people, to disappoint people, to not meet the standards that they expect because I was truly ashamed to have let down the supporters of Athletic Bilbao...because if you play two finals, you can lose them - not 3-0 but 5-0. But to lose the two finals in the manner in which we lost them, guys!

"I am sorry for that, but don't ignore the fact that you cannot let the fans down.

"They are such an extraordinary people, guys, so extraordinary, and you are an extension of these people. You are these people. You are from the same class as the people we are talking about. Extraordinary people, guys but, lamentably, we weren't up to scratch. I am ashamed, ashamed...

"You are very young, you are premature millionaires. You have no problems. You are not generally worried about what will happen in the future because all your futures are guaranteed, and some of you are laughing."

Bielsa was angered when he saw players seemingly unaffected by the two defeats and getting ready for their summer holidays.

The former Argentina and Chile coach, who remained in his job, has attracted much praise for his words at a time when the country is struggling with high unemployment levels.

If fans can grudgingly accept the astronomical wages players earn, they see no excuse for a lack of application on the pitch, and Bielsa summed up the opinions of many with these forthright sentiments, seemingly leaked by a player who wanted to show up the Argentinean.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images


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