Leeds United has a new coach: Jesse Marsch has been chosen to replace Marcelo Bielsa on a hot bench. After his stints at RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg, the American will have an acid test in the Premier League.
By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).
Marcelo Bielsa is already history at Leeds United and the club is thinking ahead. The Argentine coach made a sporting and emotional mark on a team he brought back to the Premier League in 2020 after a 16-year absence, but poor results took him out of the way.
After four consecutive defeats and a run of six games without a win, Leeds is sixteenth, two points above the relegation places, which Burnley occupies with two games in hand.
In addition, they are the highest-scoring team -60 goals conceded– in the Premier League and third in the major European leagues.
They have a hole at the back that hampers their attacking and possession soccer. And to plug it they have turned to Jesse Marsch.
OFFICIAL: American Jesse Marsch is the new head coach of Leeds United pic.twitter.com/cfjSrfyxpD
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 28, 2022
The new American coach came to Leeds more as a gamble than a good time: his recent spell at RB Leipzig lasted only four months and was 20 games where he has not done well.
The logical step within the Red Bull factory from Salzburg to Germany was a false one. His previous move to Austria had paid off and promised a lot, but it didn’t work out as expected and this move to the Premier League may be related to the 49ers administration at Leeds.
? "I have a lot of similarities to the playing style of Marcelo Bielsa in terms of the aggressiveness, intensity and run performances. I am not man to man, more zonal or ball orientated."
Jesse Marsch goes into detail the style that he hopes to bring to Leeds United pic.twitter.com/7qJ0WlBgAv
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 1, 2022
Marsch was assistant to Ralf Rangnick in the 2018-19 season at the Bundesliga side and knew the squad, the city, the facilities, the players, and everything involving Red Bull well.
Now he will have a huge challenge in the best league in the world and Victor Orta, Leeds’ director of soccer, officially welcomed him with a contract until 2025:
“He is someone we have followed since his time at RB Salzburg. We believe in his philosophy and his style of soccer aligns with that of the club. He will fit in very well with the players. We have a long-term plan and we firmly believe he can take Leeds to the next level”
Jesse Marsch had his presentation at the club and did not miss the opportunity to vindicate Marcelo Bielsa’s work at Leeds and his landing in the Premier League:
“I’m excited. I know Leeds is a great club. I know some of the ex-players and I have followed the club from afar for many years. How Bielsa has helped transform the team in the Premier League is amazing. Everything that has been done has laid an incredible foundation that, at this point, I want to help take to the next stage”
Marsch, a disciple of former U.S. coach Bob Bradley at Princeton University, traveled to Europe while living in New York to obtain his UEFA coaching license through the Scottish FA and the University of Stirling.
When he made the jump from MLS to Leipzig in 2018 to become Rangnick’s assistant – now at Manchester United – he implemented his knowledge and new methods.
For anyone interested, I put together this small project on Jesse Marsch´s philosophy and tactical concepts in in the autumn, during his time at RBL. Information from various podcasts & webinars, and analysis from matches. pic.twitter.com/GcJrY3rwQt
— Eric Laurie (@EricLaurie) February 28, 2022
Among his new interventions, one striking one stood out: he took out economic fines as punishment and implemented a roulette wheel with different options that could touch the player who had caused a problem.
The players would spin the wheel and they could receive 12 different punishments ranging from blowing up balls to cooking, unloading the bus, working in the team store or showing the fans around the stadium.
Jesse marsch snapping beckham, Leeds that pic.twitter.com/YpvEyfZEXy
— Taylor (@TJPlufc) February 27, 2022
When he became head coach of RB Salzburg, Jesse Marsch became the first American coach to coach and win in the Champions League.
His guidelines at Salzburg, which he placed among Europe’s elite – they progressed to the Round of 16 in the 2019-20 season in a group with Liverpool and Napoli – and with whom he won two league and cup doubles in Austria were clear.
— Leeds Xtra (@Leeds_Xtra) February 28, 2022
Pressure, intensity, aggressiveness, and commitment were the main characteristics of the teams he managed.
He gave wings to an RB Salzburg team in which many young players stood out, with an unknown Erling Haaland standing out. With Marsch on the Austrian champions’ bench, the Norwegian arrived from Molde and introduced himself to the world, scoring 28 goals in 22 games in the five months he was under his command.
He made the jump to Borussia Dortmund with 8 goals in 6 Champions League games and their relationship was extended when they went their separate ways.
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