Lille sack Bielsa to end failed experiment

Lille have called time on Marcelo Bielsa's ill-fated spell in charge of the Ligue 1 club.

The 62-year-old former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao coach, who is acclaimed by the likes of Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Jorge Sampaoli as a coaching visionary, was appointed by Lille amid great fanfare this May.

Biesla was installed as head coach as Les Dogues underwent a huge squad overhaul, with former Barcelona vice-president Marc Ingla and ex-Monaco technical director Luis Campos brought on to the board by ambitious new owner Gerard Lopez.

But a 3-0 victory over Nantes on the opening weekend of the Ligue 1 season proved to be a false dawn as Lille took three points from nine subsequent winless matches.

Back-to-back wins against Metz and Saint-Etienne followed, although Bielsa was suspended by the club two days on from a 3-0 loss at Amiens.

A week later, the coach was summoned to a meeting with Lille officials for "an interview prior to a possible dismissal".

Bielsa's lawyer confirmed his client did not attend that meeting and the club finally confirmed his departure via a brief statement on their Twitter page on Friday.

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"Having come to an end of proceedings against Marcelo Bielsa, LOSC announces that it has terminated the contract with the coach," the statement read.

Following Bielsa's initial suspension, Lille appointed a four-man "technical coaching unit" of Fernando Da Cruz, Joao Sacramento, Benoit Delaval and Franck Mantaux.

They have won two and lost two of four Ligue 1 games in charge, remaining in the relegation zone, and were knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue on penalties by Nice in midweek.

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