Steven Gerrard gives his verdict on Marcelo Bielsa and Spygate

Friday, 18 Jan, 2019

Days earlier, a Leeds club employee had been spotted outside Derby County's training ground, apparently tasked with a clandestine fact-finding mission.

It appears that Bielsa's argument is that he spies on opposition teams in order to confirm his own team's extensive analysis on them, though that doesn't really make the act any more ethical.

"Of course if you observe something without authorisation of the person involved, we call this spying".

The controversy further escalated on Wednesday when Bielsa called a press conference in which he admitted to having had all of his opponents' training sessions watched.

What I have done is not illegal. They said "no, we want to watch to see what you do". "I think Leeds have overstepped the mark in this case", said the Rangers Manager.

Leeds, who have secured 54 points from 27 games, will next face Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday in the Championship.

Meanwhile, Derby manager Frank Lampard refused to be drawn on Bielsa's latest comments when interviewed ahead of the Rams' FA Cup third-round replay at Southampton last night.

"What amazes me is that he's just come out and said he's done it, said he's been doing for a while and doesn't make any apologies as if he's not going to continue doing it".

"I did it because it was not illegal and it was not violating a specific wrong".

Throughout the briefing Bielsa went into extraordinary detail about how often he and his team watch their opponent to build as complete a scouting report as possible. I don't want to point to any other situation that is not linked to my responsibility.

'They do that sort of thing behind closed doors but they don't do it to the public.

"We need to keep our heads down and keep working - to prepare for the next game just as we prepared for the last one".

"The analysis of each game takes four hours of work. I have to adapt to the rules that are linked to the habits of English football".

"I don't think it's normal practice in this country and I don't think it's sportsmanlike behaviour".

After the press conference, BBC journalist Adam Pope shared a video of stacks of files Bielsa had laid out, filled with data on Leeds' opponents.

The manager added: "I'm going to make it easier for them and I assume my behaviour is observed from the most extreme position".