Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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News Article Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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Filling Marcelo Bielsa’s shoes was always going to be a big job, whoever replaced him but there were always questions around whether Jesse Marsch was really the man to take Leeds United forward, to that next level. Sure, there were successes at New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg, but the MLS and Austrian Bundesliga sit comfortably outside the best ten leagues in the world and his time at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga wasn’t exactly marked with success.

When Marsch arrived at Elland Road, Leeds were without a win for six games, on a losing streak of four having been battered by Liverpool and Spurs, the fans desperately needed some hope. Whilst Marsch’s first game in change against Leicester ultimately ended in defeat, the performance was one of the best witnessed by the Leeds faithful for some time. There was a renewed confidence about the team. There was free flowing football and lightning-fast counterattack, if they continued to play like this surely Leeds would stay clear of the bottom three!

But everything positive from the Leicester game evaporated for the visit of Aston Villa who cruised past a clueless Leeds with little more than a wimper from the hosts. At times the football from Leeds was more reminiscent of an U9's game, with ten players chasing the ball around the pitch. Even with possession, bad decisions and wayward passing cost them, as an average Villa team were made to look like World beaters. The Norwich game became a must win.





With Leeds leading Norwich thanks to Rodrigo’s early goal, fans hearts were broken when Kenny McLean slotted home Teemu Pukki’s cross to silence Elland Road. Leeds United’s Premier League status was hanging by the barest of threads. But three minutes later Elland Road would erupt with joy as a long hopeful ball from defence was flicked on by Gelhardt towards Raphinha. The Brazilian beat his man, rounded the keeper, and cut the ball back for Joffey to blast the ball first time into the roof of the net. It would not be the first time Marsch was bailed out by a teenager.

Three wins and two draws in five would steer Leeds towards safety, only for three straight losses to put them bang in trouble again. Going into the final game of the season against Brentford it looked like Jesse Marsch would need to rewrite the Great Escape going into the final game of the season. They needed to better whatever Burnley were able to muster at home against Newcastle, and with one foot already lodged in the relegation trap door, their plight looked perilous. In the end Jack Harrison's effort from the edge of the area ensured the nightmare of the 21/22 campaign had a happy ending.

With Premier League safety secured, Marsch will always have that to his credit, it was time for him to stap his own personality on the side. In came Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen. All former Marsch players, all well versed in the Red Bull style. The 22/23 season started well, victory against Wolves followed, a draw away to Southampton followed by a comprehensive victory over Chelsea. Part of Marsch’s philosophy is that you should celebrate moments and if there is any moment from Marsch’s tenure that I will remember and cherish it is that game.





It felt like the performance Leeds fans had been waiting for. Not just waiting for since Jesse Marsch took over the reins, but for nearly twenty years. It was December 2002 when James Milner’s goal secured Leeds United’s last win against a top four side in front of a crowd at Elland Road and you could feel it inside the ground. I don’t think Elland Road has felt that vociferous, that loud for a good few years. All 33,000 Leeds United were united in their passion for their team and their hatred of Chelsea.

But August was long time ago and Leeds fans would have to wait two months and nine games for another victory. The victories against Liverpool and Bournemouth (bailed out by a teenager once again) surely saved Marsch’s job heading into the World Cup break. Despite the victories, the systems still didn’t seem to be gelling, the games won in a whirlwind of chaos rather than by good management. Points thrown away against Spurs, who came from behind three times, was a frustrating way to head into the break. Leeds would have to improve come the new year.

A result against Manchester City was never likely and a point against an aspiring Newcastle reasonable but errors cost Leeds against West Ham, a game they should really have won. Villa likewise were poor, there for the taking but Leeds’ defensive frailties were exposed after just three minutes. A positive defensive performance against Brentford should have been the foundation to kick on but a poor performance against Forest ultimately cost Marsch his job. No win in 7 league games, nothing to celebrate since November, the writing was on the wall.





Whilst Marsch’s philosophy may have been clear; pressing, swarming, minimal width, he seemed to lack the ability to convey how to deliver that philosophy to his players. For all his talk of tactical clarity there appeared to be little clarity on the pitch as players went for the same balls, overhit passes or continually left opposition player unmarked on the end of the box. Yes, individual errors had a part to play in Leeds United’s failures but when the same errors happen every game it points to systemic issues, issues Marsch seemed clueless to deal with.

As I read back what I’ve just written it feels harsh. Have I judged Marsch’s tenure at Elland Road too harshly? He seems like a nice guy, and I wanted him to succeed, I really did. But if we are honest with ourselves he was never up to the task was he?
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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The problem with that first Leicester game was Leicester were s**t that day, god knows how we lost and it became almost a trope... unable to beat really poor teams..West Ham, Villa and Forest the latest examples
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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I agree JM probably wasn't ever up to the job, I knew very little of him, he wasn't on my radar as a bielsa replacement, he did as was expected, kept us up, it's that simple.
I thought the board got him as an interim to begin with, in the hope he would too work miracles like his predecessor did with a championship side, it never got off on the right footing.
JM looked shot the last few weeks, but I've sat directly behind him at ER, first row behind the dug-out and he never instilled me with any confidence, not that he had to, but if the bench felt the same, then the problems were always there, maybe it's his American lingo that folk couldn't take to, he did prattle on too much didn't he.
But, for all his misgivings, I thank him for keeping us in the PL, confident he would this year also, just needs that spark and a bit of luck, anyway, that's by the by now.
His legacy for me will be taking top of the league Arsenal all the way where we should have won, scoring 3 away at spurs again being unlucky, beating liverpool at anfield, but, mainly walloping chelsea at home to an absolute rocking ER, for those that hated him, you still have your stoke moment I suppose eh !! stoke ffs.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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faaip wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 10:03 pm The problem with that first Leicester game was Leicester were s**t that day, god knows how we lost and it became almost a trope... unable to beat really poor teams..West Ham, Villa and Forest the latest examples
And as is quite often the way the new manager didn't really change much but let the players play the way they knew how so he could have a good look at them close up. The football against Leicester was Bielsa-esque not the type of football Marsch got us to play.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

Post by Tom_Siffringer »

This is just a daft take.

Jesse failed, but did so in part because Patrick Bamford is an awful footballer and Leeds did little to rectify the scoring problem.

I will be supporting from afar despite what I believe was a poor decision here. As an American, I hope Wes McKennie is played in a role in which he can thrive. He and Adams can be difference makers, I think we've all seen that Aaronson has talent but needs a bit more seasoning.

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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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Tom_Siffringer wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 11:39 pm This is just a daft take.

Jesse failed, but did so in part because Patrick Bamford is an awful footballer and Leeds did little to rectify the scoring problem.

We’re not in the position we are because of a ‘scoring problem’, we’re in this position because of the goals we gave away, the same goals time after time.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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faaip wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 10:03 pm The problem with that first Leicester game was Leicester were s**t that day, god knows how we lost and it became almost a trope... unable to beat really poor teams..West Ham, Villa and Forest the latest examples
Are West Ham really that poor, they just put up a really good fight against Newcastle. Villa were in the top 5 for form before the Leicester beating and we should of really have beat Forest if Gnoto, sinni or Lord had of took there easy chances.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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Guest wrote: Tue Feb 07, 2023 8:26 am Are West Ham really that poor, they just put up a really good fight against Newcastle. Villa were in the top 5 for form before the Leicester beating and we should of really have beat Forest if Gnoto, sinni or Lord had of took there easy chances.

West Ham were poor against us, we gifted them two goals
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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YorkshireSquare wrote: Mon Feb 06, 2023 11:58 pm We’re not in the position we are because of a ‘scoring problem’, we’re in this position because of the goals we gave away, the same goals time after time.
It's always fine margins.
Their keeper made 3 or 4 saves in the first half when really we should have scored. Bamford gets put clean through on goal but his first touch was abysmal and Forest get back to clear it.
Had we taken just two of those chances JM would probably still be in a job.
But we didn't and its time to move on. Let's hope they get the next appointment right.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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Chilli D wrote: Tue Feb 07, 2023 8:57 am It's always fine margins.
Their keeper made 3 or 4 saves in the first half when really we should have scored. Bamford gets put clean through on goal but his first touch was abysmal and Forest get back to clear it.
Had we taken just two of those chances JM would probably still be in a job.
But we didn't and its time to move on. Let's hope they get the next appointment right.

One whole year of fine margins though, at some point you have to stop blaming individual errors and look at the systemic issues. Every team misses chances.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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YorkshireSquare wrote: Tue Feb 07, 2023 9:00 am One whole year of fine margins though, at some point you have to stop blaming individual errors and look at the systemic issues. Every team misses chances.
I don't disagree but JM can't be blamed for people missing chances. It's more of an issue if we're not creating any.
All I'm saying is, we had enough chances to win that game and had we done so Marsch probably wouldn't have been sacked.
I'm not questioning the decision to sack him, it was the right one based on results and the obvious issues that had appeared in the dressing room.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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Chilli D wrote: Tue Feb 07, 2023 9:18 am I don't disagree but JM can't be blamed for people missing chances. It's more of an issue if we're not creating any.
All I'm saying is, we had enough chances to win that game and had we done so Marsch probably wouldn't have been sacked.
I'm not questioning the decision to sack him, it was the right one based on results and the obvious issues that had appeared in the dressing room.
The trouble is that with those chances being early there is a long time left to play and as we saw against Fulham and Bournemouth we took early leads before conceding 3. That maybe happens if we take the lead as we have shown several times that we can't hold onto leads. Forest had the 2 best chances in the second half.

I don't think it was a sliding door moment in the way Dan James missing a chance to put us 3-2 up against Man U when we'd got it back to 2-2 and MU scoring just a few seconds later was as we'd have been in the ascendancy there. Or even when Dan James hit the bar in our 3-3 draw with Villa when we were already 1-0 up and completely steamrollering them at that point.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

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weasel wrote: Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:05 am The trouble is that with those chances being early there is a long time left to play and as we saw against Fulham and Bournemouth we took early leads before conceding 3. That maybe happens if we take the lead as we have shown several times that we can't hold onto leads. Forest had the 2 best chances in the second half.

I don't think it was a sliding door moment in the way Dan James missing a chance to put us 3-2 up against Man U when we'd got it back to 2-2 and MU scoring just a few seconds later was as we'd have been in the ascendancy there. Or even when Dan James hit the bar in our 3-3 draw with Villa when we were already 1-0 up and completely steamrollering them at that point.
There's no denying we were extremely poor in the second half on Sunday. Forest got loads of men behind the ball and we didn't know how to break them down.
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Re: Let's be honest, Marsch was never up to the job

Post by The truth is »

Our defense is dismal at best! The link of the midfield is relegated to one man, Tyler Adams. McKinny may help but God help this team as it eases into the Championship ranks again. The personnel is simply not available, especially in the back line.
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