STEVE Morison was surprised how “open” Marcelo Bielsa was about trying to gain an advantage by sending spies to opponents’ training sessions – but dismissed the notion Leeds do more analysis than anyone else in the Championship.
Leeds were fined £200,000 by the EFL for sending a member of staff to spy on a Derby County training session.
In a 70-minute presentation in which he admitted to spying on other Championship sides, Leeds boss Bielsa detailed the depth of analysis of opponents, including four hours video work on each game.
But he also admitted the information he needed on rival clubs he had “without having the necessity [to] watch the training session”.
Morison, who played 42 times for Leeds between January 2013 and his move to the Lions in the summer of 2015, is critical of Bielsa’s approach.
Millwall travel to Leeds next Saturday.
“I don’t think it’s right,” Morison said. “He tried to smokescreen it a little bit by saying he does more analysis than anyone else. It’s common knowledge everyone does exactly the same stuff. If he had that much info then why did they need to then go and spy as well?
“He hasn’t got any more information than anyone else does. He doesn’t put any more hours in than every other football club does, everyone does the same thing. Everyone in football knows that.
“The media and the fans were like, ‘wow’ about [the presentation] but as Frank Lampard said that is just common practice from every single football club in the league.
“We all have analysts. We have Dan McLoone [Millwall video analyst] here and the people under him. The gaffer watches games, Dave [Livermore] watches games, Adam [Barrett] watches games.
“All that stuff about him watching more games and knowing more stuff about all the players is a load of nonsense. If he did he wouldn’t need to send someone to the ground to watch someone training.
“If it were right then we’d all be inviting people to come watch our training sessions. But when you’re working on specific things for a specific game – you might have a player injured, you might be working on a certain tactic to target an area of the pitch – if you spy on that it gives you the opportunity to change your game plan and to negate what someone else has worked all week on.”
Morison acknowledges opponents’ team sheets are often leaked, but he doesn’t believe that gives a side a major advantage.
He said: “All of this about players asking for someone’s line-up on a Saturday, knowing someone’s line-up and knowing someone’s actual specific tactics and what they’re going to do is a completely different thing.
“That stuff goes on all the time. There are a lot of people in football, people talk too much, there are always friends so everyone always has an inkling what the other team is going to be, whether it’s from media reports, from asking someone you know from the other team.
“I’ve never known individual tactics to be leaked.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever come across someone being so open about how they do it, but I think he was just doing that to make it look like it’s not as bad as it is.”
Image: Millwall FC