Marcelo Bielsa is the biggest reason for Athletic Bilbao's recent futility. He can no longer be considered a tactical genius. His club has been pummeled throughout the season, and the defense is getting even worse.
Coming into the match Athletic Bilbao was surrendering 17.3 shots on goal per game. They surrendered 18 more in this match.
Defensive discipline isn't the only control Bielsa's club lacks. Ander Herrera was serving his second suspension in a matter of months for the match. His penchant for fouling out of frustration earned him a suspension, per ESPN.
This type of play isn't uncommon for Bielsa's club lately. They are frustrated by their poor play and their hopeless placement in the La Liga tables. There comes a point when a new voice is needed to improve, and that time has come for Athletic Bilbao.
It doesn't help that Bielsa has been at odds with the club's star, Fernando Llorente, per ESPN. These types of scrapes and internal bickering are easy to absorb when you're winning, but the club is doing nothing of the sort.
They are now 4-2-6 in La Liga.
That's 12 points behind their opponents from Saturday and a full 20 points behind leader Barcelona.
Even though Bielsa has received positive reviews for his management and strategies in the past (per ESPN), his quirky and less-than-conventional style isn't working now.
President Jose Urrutia must take a look at the current state of his beloved club. There is only one move to make to begin repairing what ails them.
Bielsa must be replaced. Urrutia can't allow the club to sink deeper in the La Liga tables. Further damage to the club's reputation could hurt transfer deals, and retaining Bielsa could discourage solid players from entertaining thoughts of playing for them.
Bielsa has cost Los Leones enough already.
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