Carlos Corberan is the latest disciple of Marcelo Bielsa to make waves in football management after Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino
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Diego Simeone, Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, Jorge Sampaoli. Only four of the managers who say they were heavily influenced by Marcelo Bielsa throughout their coaching career.
Another that many outside of Yorkshire may not have heard of is Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan – but that may soon not be the case, with the Terriers targeting promotion to the Premier League under his leadership this season.
Having been manager of the Leeds Under-23 side a year before Bielsa’s arrival, the world-renowned boss immediately wanted Corberan in his coaching staff when he arrived ahead of the 2017/18 campaign .
He spent two years working under the Argentine, before leaving after the Lilywhites finally won promotion to the top flight in 2020, looking to launch his career as a No.1.
The former goalkeeper, whose playing career in Spain ended at 23, started coaching at Villareal and was part of the LaLiga club’s journey to the Europa League semi-finals in 2011.
More than happy to venture out of his comfort zone, a move to Saudi Arabia followed, ahead of his first managerial roles in Cyprus in 2016/17.
Few would choose to swap Cyprus for Yorkshire – but that’s exactly what Corberan did after being named the club’s Under-23 boss in 2017.
He helped develop Jack Clarke (now at Tottenham) and Tyler Roberts (a current Leeds first-team member), before eventually working with the first team when Bielsa arrived.
His work with the Under-23 team didn’t end there, however, and Corberan continued his work with the youth team during his second and third years at Elland Road, helping with the transition from young players to the first team.
Bielsa described him as “very talented” and once even said he valued Corberan’s opinion “more than his own”.
Having left Leeds after their promotion, Yorkshire clearly felt at home for Corberan, who took up the managerial job at Huddersfield – just a 20-minute drive from his former employers.
A club that had been in the Premier League for two seasons between 2017 and 2019, they were in a bit of a bind when the Spaniard arrived, having sacked Danny Cowley after a 19and-arrival point.
Just a three-week pre-season before the 2020/21 campaign and a year without fans in stadiums made things difficult for Corberan, who struggled in his first season at the club.
Conceding 71 goals in 46 league games in the Championship – the most in the division – didn’t help either, and there was some pessimism from supporters heading into the new season after finally finishing 20and.
However, this year has been completely different for Huddersfield, with the players beginning to understand the head coach’s methods and good recruitment they currently sit sixth in the division.
A calm figure, the 38-year-old, who is one of the youngest managers in the division, played his side in brilliant football, encouraging his players to be brave with the ball and patient with passing.
Corberan’s work with young players continued during his time at John Smith’s Stadium, with the likes of Levi Colwill, Josh Koroma, Lewis O’Brien, Scott High and, in particular, Josh Koroma all flourishing under him. .
Thomas, who has been called up to the Wales national team since joining Huddersfield from Boreham Wood in January 2021, has been one of Corberan’s key players this season.
The 23-year-old is one of the top creators in the division, ranking fifth in assists and sixth in key passes per game.
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O’Brien, who has been linked with Corberan’s former club Leeds, and Colwill, another who would be wanted by Premier League sides when his loan expires at the end of the season, have also been key players.
Not only can he seemingly get results, but the 38-year-old is also capable of developing young players – something the managers mentioned at the start of this article, including Bielsa, are also proud of.
Promotion is in sight this season but, with Bielsa’s long-term future at Leeds uncertain, could Corberan ever return to Elland Road as manager?
They could certainly do much worse.
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News Today News Today Carlos Corberan is the latest disciple of Marcelo Bielsa to make waves in football management after Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino