Marcelo Bielsa explains why fan who punched Grealish highlights a problem wider than football 11 months ago

Marcelo Bielsa explains why fan who punched Grealish highlights a problem wider than football

Obviously Marcelo Bielsa had the most measured reaction to the Grealish incident

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has linked Sunday's assault of Aston Villa player Jack Grealish, which occurred during their 1-0 win in the second city derby against Birmingham City, to problems that extend beyond football.

Speaking at Thorp Arch training ground ahead of Leeds' game against Reading on Tuesday night, the Argentine explained that he sees Paul Mitchell's assault of the Villa captain as 'not necessarily linked to football' and therefore part of wider social conditions.

Bielsa said: "The person who does the thing we saw yesterday expresses a series of frustrations which are not necessarily linked to football. Because the more satisfied you are with your personal life, the less you need to do this kind of act."


Mitchell, 27, pleaded guilty to assault and will be sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates' Court later this afternoon. During the prosecution, the court heard that he was unemployed and had previously been the manager of an unnamed pub.

Solicitor Jonathan Purser also stated that ”Mitchell claims he was not intoxicated and was with his father and did it as a joke. He did say he was remorseful.”

Bielsa's response to the incident won't surprise anybody who is familiar with the idiosyncratic manager's life and career to date, although it does beg the question: why is he managing Leeds United Football Club when he could quite clearly be doing a job running the entire United Kingdom?