Jesse Marsch Hopes For Long Term Future With Leeds United
Jesse Marsch was hired by Leeds in February 2022 after a calamitous spell with RB Leipzig. Marsch replaced the beloved Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road and guided the club to Premier League safety on the final day.
With avoiding relegation as the lone aim when he took over, it’s safe to say Marsch was a success in Yorkshire, and he’s now got his sights set on a longer-term project with the club.
Collecting 15 points from 12 league matches, Leeds put in some much-improved performances during his stint. There were moments where they looked all at sea, just like the final weeks of Bielsa’s reign.
Marsch’s first months in English football have divided opinion. He got the results required, but he became a David Brent-meme with his JFK and Mahatma Gandhi quotes.
Crucial wins over Norwich, Wolves, Watford and Brentford will be remembered, but there were moments of frustration and disappointment, too.
Keeping Leeds up will earn Marsch another season representing the Leeds United badge (or perhaps less). If relegation proves to be a real threat, he will be out the door in just a few months’ time.
His work with Red Bull outfits in New York and Salzburg provokes an image of what he can build at a club, but there is no margin for error with Leeds only avoiding relegation by three points.
Following Leeds’ dramatic final day win over Brentford, the American spoke publicly about where the club goes from here.
“It’s been a stressful time but we’re going to have a meeting in the next couple of days and we’re going to talk about how to build this roster and continue to build this club in a way that we want to represent moving forward.
“I think there’s still so much potential and teams always change, that’s a fact, but from the academy all the way up, we need to focus on the infrastructure and maximise the potential of what we can become every day. Now we have an opportunity to do that.
“It’s almost been a BAND-AID project, more than it has been a project about style of play and identity and developing an academy.
“There’s so much to do. I think we’ve started the process and invested in each other and what we have from a resource and people perspective but I think we’re just scratching the surface of the potential of what we want to become.
“There’s a lot to do, it’s almost everything but I am so thankful to work with the people I work with every day and I know that, regardless of the outcome, that we have a big future because of the people involved, that’s from a player perspective, worker perspective and support staff, everything.”
There are rumours Raphinha is on his way out. Injuries struck down key Leeds players, exposing a very thin squad.
Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford combined for just 25 league starts, and the team’s lack of overall quality was exposed at times. Leeds are clearly under no illusions that this needs to be a busy summer window.
Phillips, like Raphinha, has been linked with a move away with both Manchester clubs reportedly interested. Not only do Leeds need new talent, they might be searching for replacements for some integral players, too.
Micah Richards emphasised the importance of backing Jesse Marsch this offseason.
“Maybe Bielsa thought what he needed from his players was time. It’s easier saying they should’ve had this player. They should’ve got a striker in January.
“It depends on the finances, I think Marsch will be open-minded (to signings) for what Bielsa did all the fans still love him.
“In terms of Marsch, he’s done a brilliant job but can he get the players in that can take the team forward, he’s going to need backing and that’s what they need.”
The Phillips question is a big one for Marsch and the club’s hierarchy. It will be almost impossible to keep the England international if one of the top clubs comes in for him, and his limited availability was a significant factor in their struggles.
Losing Phillips and Raphinha would leave the club needing to pull off a near-perfect transfer window to nail the replacements and other signings.
Ally McCoist spoke on TalkSport about the risk of Phillips departing, with Leeds vs Chelsea and the other English powerhouses likely to end one way.
“I don’t know if it’s the right time for him to be looking for a move, but certainly if Manchester City come calling, I would imagine it will be very difficult to turn it down.
“I feel disappointed for the Leeds fans, who haven’t had a great season but they ended it sensationally with that win at Brentford. The spine of their team has been out with [Liam] Cooper, Phillips, [Patrick] Bamford have been out.
“Personally, I would love to see Leeds stay together with one or two additions, but if you’re asking me if Manchester City come calling, is he going to be interested? You better believe it. He’s an excellent player, clearly.”
Transfer experts have tipped an exciting window for Leeds. They were ambitious in their recruitment last summer, and similar can be expected with Marsch.
That excitement will be tempered if they lose the very core of the side that earned promotion and has maintained their Premier League status.
Leeds are going all-in on Jesse Marsch. Keeping Leeds up has quietened some of his sceptics, but they will quickly reappear if the club underachieves to start next season.
The three-time champions of England are going to be must-watch on and off the pitch for the rest of 2022.
Jesse Marsch Clubs Managed
- Montreal Impact 2011-12 (33%)
- New York Red Bulls 2015-18 (50%)
- Red Bull Salzburg 2019-21 (68%)
- RB Leipzig 2021 (38%)
- Leeds United 2022-present (33%)
- MLS Supporters’ Shield – 2015, 2018
- Austrian Bundesliga – 2019-20, 2020-21
- Austrian Cup – 2019-20, 2020-21
- MLS Coach of the Year – 2015