Kalvin Phillips admits his stories of former Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa were met with disbelief while on international duty. As one of Leeds’ most successful and high profile academy products in recent years, Phillips features in Amazon Prime’s new documentary ‘Academy Dreams: Leeds United’, which was released this morning on the streaming platform.
The series, split into six episodes, tells the story of the last season’s Under-23 side as the Whites’ young stars looked to work their way into the first-team picture at Elland Road. Phillips, who has since joined Manchester City, was still at the club when filming was taking place and he is interviewed during the second episode of the series.
The midfielder can be seen playing pool with Charlie Cresswell at Thorp Arch and the pair discuss what it’s like to train and work under Bielsa, who was Leeds’ boss at the time.
“Even the lads at City, who have got one of the other best managers in the world in Pep Guardiola, who I think he said that he idolises Marcelo, they ask what he’s like,” Phillips says on Academy Dreams. “I tell them some of the stories and they can’t quite believe it.
“It is weird when you hear about other managers and what they’re like and how different it is there. The way that our manager works is working for us, I can’t really complain.”
Phillips spent three and a half seasons working under Bielsa in West Yorkshire before the Argentinian coach was dismissed in February due to the club’s perilous position in the Premier League table. However, in the documentary, the midfielder speaks about the impact he had on him as a player during his time at Leeds.
“Working under the manager is hard, very hard,” he said. “Obviously the demands with the weights and the physical aspect of it are tough.
“The manager is the best manager I’ve had, he’s the best manager for the young kids that want to grow in football and take the step that they need to take. It is very demanding but you have to be confident in yourself, believe in yourself and you’ve got to listen to what the manager says really.”