Michael O’Neill was effusive in his praise of Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa after Stoke’s 5-0 thumping at Elland Road last night.
As per FourFourTwo, O’Neill called Bielsa ‘amazing’, and hailed the work he has done in Yorkshire over the past two seasons.
Bielsa has faced the Potters twice at home during his Whites reign and both matches capture a neat snapshot of Leeds’ progress under El Loco.
The Argentine’s first league match was against Stoke when they were a recently relegated side, with parachute payments and Premier League players making them favourites to go straight back up.
Leeds ripped them apart 3-1 on the opening day of last season, showcasing their intent with their clear direction in stark contrast to Stoke’s decline and drift.
Then, just under two years later, Bielsa watched his side take their biggest step yet towards promotion by once more outclassing the same opponents.
Those two games provide a neat snapshot of how Bielsa transformed a mid-table squad with relatively little investment into title challengers with a vivid identity, while Stoke have slid in the opposite direction.
Now, Bielsa must make sure his men finish the job, while O’Neill’s charges are fighting to avoid relegation to the third tier.