It is not often that a coach makes any kind of meaningful commitment to a club amid relegation worries. For one, if you are in a relegation fight most fans probably want a new coach in the first place. Also, most top-flight coaches aren’t really keen on going down a division. In the case of Jesse Marsch, though, the American seems keen to stick around at Leeds United regardless of what happens. With the club seemingly committed to him regardless, the former RB Leipzig coach has been speaking about his plans.
His ambitions for the club are pretty clear, but his commitment to sticking around is quite impressive. Brought in as a late season replacement for the surprisingly sacked Marcelo Bielsa, Marsch has done OK so far. His critics say he has not changed enough; his fans say he has done well to get some kind of balance out of this Leeds team. Indeed, the 4-0 battering by Manchester City was one of the few times they have looked hopelessly outclassed since the American came in.
Ahead of a vital clash with Arsenal this weekend, though, Marsch was quick to lay out his plans for the fans to hear. An excellent communicator in general, Marsch has tried to get buy-in from the fanbase by being honest about what he sees the future of the club looking like.
What did Jesse Marsh say about the future of Leeds?
Asked how big an achievement it would be to keep Leeds up in the first place, Marsh responded by noting that it’s ‘all about the team’, adding: “It’s all about the team. I knew when I came in early, it was an opportunity to evaluate everything for how to help it move forward. Not just to take over from the summer and try to do that. So I think that that part has been great. I’ve gotten to know the people here that work around the team and support the team.”
He continued on the same point, saying: “I’ve gotten to know the players, I’ve gotten to know the academy and so now I have a really good feel for everything that’s going on here and how we can move forward. But again, this is all about achieving our goal so that’s what every day is right now.”
He also spoke about the upcoming match and the importance of being more offensively minded without taking needless risks. Giving an idea of his longer-term blueprint, Marsch added: “Against Man City, I felt like we lacked a little bit of poise when we won the ball. In build up phase we were quite good and we were able to move the ball around and manipulate the opponent and make them defend at certain moments. But a lot of times when we won balls in transition we we gave it back and maybe rushed actions a little bit.”
He also noted that he wants the team to be more intelligent in attack, adding: “So, for me, the key is to understand what moments that we need to be very vertical and attack immediately and what moments we need to have a little bit more patience to control the game a little bit more in possession so we’re still working on that. That’s what I think I said one press conference, the 100 to 70 message so we’re continuing to work with our ability to slow ourselves down and especially in attacking moments and finish off plays.”
For Leeds fans, then, the future does sound bright – the hope is that Marsch gets the time and patience needed to implement his ideas properly.