Frank Lampard believes the Premier League’s top managers would not behave like Marcelo Bielsa as the spying row between Leeds and Derby rumbled on.
Leeds head coach Bielsa gave a lengthy presentation to journalists on Wednesday while making the frank admission that he had “observed all the rivals” in training sessions prior to playing them in the Sky Bet Championship this season.
It comes after a staff member of Leeds was caught by police at the Derby training ground attempting to gain information ahead of last Friday night’s fixture, which Leeds subsequently won 2-0, and prompted accusations of spying.
Rams boss Lampard, who has been critical of the Argentinian, does not believe the likes of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham would conduct themselves in such a manner.
Speaking after Derby’s FA Cup third-round replay win at Southampton, Lampard began his press conference by jokingly saying: “Ready for my presentation, everyone? We do analysis, too.”
He continued: “I haven’t seen it (Bielsa’s presentation), I’ve heard about it obviously.
“It’s certainly a league issue now. It’s our league, it’s every team, so it’s up to them to decide what goes on from now.
“He gave an impression of himself. I haven’t seen Pep Guardiola give that, I haven’t seen Jurgen Klopp give that, Pochettino give that. They do it behind closed doors, definitely. But they don’t do it to the public.
“It’s probably a nice eye-opener for the fan to see it, because most of these things are done behind closed doors. They’re done everywhere. There’s no amazement from anyone who works in football, they won’t be amazed in the slightest. It’s par for the course.
“I’m surprised definitely. It’s incredible.”
Bielsa went to extreme lengths on Wednesday to show all the detailed analysis he does of opponents aside from covertly watching them train.
Former England striker Alan Shearer, working as a pundit ahead of Derby’s game at St Mary’s, admitted that sending in people to watch training sessions was not a new thing, but claimed it was “wrong” to do so.
He said: “It’s very open and honest from him (Bielsa). Watching teams on the sly is nothing new to football.
“When you go away into European games and you train at the stadium the night before, you are almost certain that there is someone from the opposition watching.
“It is nothing new but it is slightly different when it is not an open training session and there is no privacy and anyone can watch you.
“I don’t think it is anything new but it is definitely wrong. You can’t go into someone’s private training ground when you are not invited, and then take information from that. It is different in an open session.”
Ex-England international Jermaine Jenas, who had called for Leeds to be deducted points in the immediate aftermath of Bielsa’s initial comments, added: “It is wrong, as simple as that.
“In terms of punishment, those players are there (top of the league) by merit and have played brilliantly all year. Should they be punished on the basis of what the manager has done?
“We are not all naive but it doesn’t feel right.”