Cody Drama’s direct message from Marcelo Bielsa needed a little reading between the lines – Beren Kroos

The confusion seemed to be the sentiment Marcelo Bielsa was conveying in his long attempts to justify Cody Drama’s exit from Leeds United, but there was plenty between the lines.

The head coach delivered one of his most lively and informative press conferences in recent weeks at his weekly pre-match briefing on Friday.

In a slot dedicated to the West Ham United building, the issue of drama quickly came to the fore and became a thread drawn by the press group over and over while Bielsa let his feelings flow.

Cardiff City have been one of the championship clubs interested in the right-back, and on Sunday evening, with the team returning to West Yorkshire, there was no decision on his future.

The club and Bielsa were clearly aware of how tight the squad was and how many chances the 20-year-old would have in the coming weeks.

In the end, as we’ve seen with the likes of Samuel Saez in the past, once you go to Bielsa and tell him you want a new challenge, you’re done.

“When a player wants to leave, there is no point in trying to keep him,” he said. “What is necessary is for it to show, and if it shows, then the part I have to play is over.

“After that, if the club wants to give up the player or not, in what circumstances does he leave, my position is if he wants to leave, I will not oppose him and apply that to any player who wants to leave.



Cody Drama has had chances this season

“Any player who comes to me and says they don’t want to continue here, they are counting on me to leave, but I’m not the only one who decides.”

Leeds were not willing to risk dramatic anger by keeping him or Bielsa by ignoring his position. The move was made and is clearly paid for by the player and his representatives.

This is confusing for Bielsa. Without any hint of acrimony or antipathy towards Dramatic, the 66-year-old couldn’t see a better opportunity for a young player than Leeds United is now.

A club with a really small squad, plagued by injuries, managed by a coach without reservations in youth play in the most watched, if not the most competitive, league in the world.

“No, I didn’t think he needed to play matches elsewhere,” he said. “He was a very necessary player with all the absences we had, but he preferred to go and play outside Leeds in a situation where opportunities for youngsters have clearly increased.

“In this case, Drame prefers to test outside of our team. I consider this position to be correct and I do not think it makes sense to oppose it.

“What I imagined as a great opportunity, imagine it differently and what he thinks of is more important than I think.


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“I don’t think it is appropriate to impose in a situation where the player wants to belong or does not want to belong.”

Time and time again, Bielsa crafted his thoughts on his mistakes, doubts, and mistakes in building the perfect framework for youngsters to grow into Eland Road.

There have been reflections on the former young players who chose to go forward despite the opportunity to play for Leeds.

“Having said that, a lot of the young players who accompanied the first team showed a desire to go elsewhere,” he said.

“Other than what I have suggested to them, it is not what they desire, so I neither criticize it, nor condemn it, nor be disappointed, but I have obviously got things wrong because what I consider is a great opportunity. [is this].

“Very few teams, or no team, have had the same number of youngsters on their squad in the Premier League.

“Those who have taken advantage of this position, prefer to abandon the club, and look for another type of competition. Obviously, what I imagine is a great opportunity, they do not.”

“Maybe I’m exaggerating the fact that you’re part of a team of 20 players in the best league in the world,” he added.

In other words, Bielsa does not understand why matches in the lower reaches of the tournament would be better for a player than matches in the lower reaches of the Premier League.

Pascal Stregic is seen as the perfect example of a young Leeds player on the sidelines who seized his chance when it came and established himself as a top-flight player.



Pascal Streak has thrived

Bielsa’s mention of the Dutchman was almost shown to Drama as something he could have won.

The under-23 setup was addressed at Thorpe Arch and despite their comprehensive and comprehensive approach to player development, a dramatic departure only told Bielsa that he made a mistake in his interpretation of what young footballers needed.

“Pascal made himself a player in the Premier League by taking advantage of opportunities and that’s all there is to it,” he said.

“The time we spend preparing the young players is very, very big, not just the people who work directly with the under-23s.

“They are doing a great job, they are here all day, but all the technical staff in the first team, we see every game we play, everything that happens and we comment on it for the players, but there is clearly something wrong with how we interpret our work.

“If not, the players will not leave or will be grateful when they leave [for] What has been done for them.”

For both of the players who have moved from Leeds in recent years, the likes of Jordan Stevens, Bryce Hosanna, Robbie Gotts and others, Bielsa has always felt like a failure.

The coach blamed himself for not providing the opportunities they needed. But the case of his drama is different. The right-back has had chances this season and is on the cusp of having more in the coming weeks.

“We work hard for every player,” he said. “We want the tournaments to be done, but as I said there is not a single player who does not want to leave, for me I live that as a failure.

“What we want is for every player to win instead of leaving.

“When a young player who receives chances wants to leave, what other reading should I do even if we make a mistake?”

Time will tell if these errors are fixed within the next two years of Drameh’s Leeds United contract.

The right-back will undoubtedly read Bielsa’s comments with interest and take his own opinion on the coach’s tone.

On the face of it, Bielsa’s thoughts point a finger at himself only for his misjudgment and misreading the wishes of a young player, but his bewilderment only underscores how strange and unwanted this entire episode has been for Leeds.

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