With Marseille losing their fourth consecutive Ligue 1 game it seems like an appropriate time to post a link to this excellent Jonathan Wilson piece on Marseille manager Marcello Bielsa from Eight by Eight Magazine. Wilson details Bielsa's obsession with his footballing philosophy and how that philosophy has brought early success in his club jobs before exhaustion, both physical and mental, sets in among players as a result of Bielsa's obsessive personality. Marseille started the season brilliantly winning 8 straight from late August to mid October but have won just 4 of 15 in 2015.
"Bielsa, seemingly exhausted by the strain of coaching the team he supported to play in the style for which he was an evangelist, resigned. “We tried to convince him to stay,” said Llop, “but the process was worn out. He wanted to quit before then, and with Martino we went to his home and convinced him to stay a little longer, but after a month or two, he resigned. He probably understood that his era had ended. When he left, we ended playing to avoid relegation. It was terrible.”
For Bielsa, the template was set. The pattern has continued at every club he has been at: The intensity bringing stunning results, then exhaustion. It happened at Vélez and at Athletic, which played stunning football at times in Bielsa’s first season, particularly in their victory over Manchester United in the Europa League, before it fell apart in the second season as some players left and others proved unable to cope with their coach’s intensity. "