Pep Guardiola’s famed press conference speech about John Stones having big balls made it clear the kind of player the Manchester City boss likes.
He doesn’t want footballers who are scared of making mistakes and who subsequently play within themselves. Of course, that doesn’t mean those on the pitch can do what they want, just that they should know they won’t be punished for trying something risky if it doesn’t come off.
Mateusz Klich, currently away on international duty with Poland, has explained that Marcelo Bielsa is the same and likes an element of risk at Leeds United.
Should that risk fail then he’ll want the entire team working running like dogs to retrieve the ball, but the actual act of losing it isn’t something which provokes fury as long as the intentions were right.
Klich has been quoted by Poland’s Interia Sport as saying: “He is one of a kind and I have not seen a coach who would live football like him, the ball completely absorbs him, he even analyses my games in the (national ?) squad, if he sees that someone wanted to pass well and he lost the ball, he never complains about the risk and even encourages us because he thinks that without risk it is impossible to play football at the highest level.
“The best teams in the world are constantly taking risks, but they make few mistakes. In Germany I had such trainers that I knew that if I made mistake, in the next match I will end up in the stands, that’s why I was playing in a protective way.”
It’s different now for Klich and the second stint of the player’s Leeds United career is going much better than the first time around. In the Poland squad again, Klich wants to make sure he gets in the team and stays there, not wanting to go into the international wilderness again.