Jesse Marsch’s methods are already showing despite just four days with Leeds squad after replacing Marcelo Bielsa – the American coach looks like he is going places and could help them avoid relegation
- Jesse Marsch’s Leeds side played well despite a 1-0 defeat against Leicester
- It was the American’s first game as boss after replacing popular Marcelo Bielsa
- There were plenty of positive signs and it looks like Marsch can keep Leeds up
The American accent is rarely taken seriously in English football. Fans just don’t seem fond of managers who have spent their life calling the game ‘soccer’.
And yet they might learn a thing or two from Jesse Marsch, so long as they don’t lump him in with Ted Lasso, the fish-out-of-water American coach played by Jason Sudeikis in the comedy series.
Ultimately, Marsch must do his talking on the pitch. And though the result was not the one he wanted on Saturday, Leeds’ performance at the King Power Stadium said plenty.
Leeds played well against Leicester despite defeat in new manager Jesse Marsch’s first match
The American consoled his players at the final whistle after a narrow defeat at the King Power
Match Facts & Ratings: Leicester 1-0 Leeds
Leicester City (4-3-3): Schmeichel 8.5; Choudhury 6.5 (Lookman 61min, 6), Amartey 6.5, Soyuncu 6.5, Thomas 6.5; Tielemans 7, Ndidi 6.5 (Mendy 76), Dewsbury-Hall 7.5; Albrighton 6, Vardy 6 (Iheanacho 61, 6), Barnes 7.5.
Scorer: Barnes 67.
Manager: Brendan Rodgers 6.5.
Leeds United (4-2-3-1): Meslier 6; Dallas 6, Ayling 5.5, Struijk 6, Firpo 6.5; Koch 6.5, Klich 6.5 (Forshaw 70, 6); Raphinha 6, Rodrigo 6 (Gelhardt 63, 6), Harrison 7 (Roberts 76); James 6.
Booked: Struijk, Forshaw.
Manager: Jesse Marsch 6.
Referee: David Coote 6.
It said that Marsch is already getting his ideas across, despite only four days with the squad.
It was an impressive display, given this is a group that have been taught to play a specific way under Marcelo Bielsa.
The supporters sang Bielsa’s name at the King Power. They aren’t going to forget the contribution he made.
But it was good to hear Marsch’s name chanted, too, when Leeds were dominating the game midway through the first half.
That came as the new 4-2-3-1 system imposed itself on Leicester.
Whenever Leeds won the ball, their first thought was to play it forward and create a goalscoring chance.
Were it not for Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, the man of the match, Leeds would have marked Marsch’s debut with a win.
In the end, Harvey Barnes’ sucker-punch defeated the visitors, who had 17 shots to Leicester’s four at that point.
‘I’ve learned, and maybe this is the American in me, that sometimes our sport isn’t the fairest, but that doesn’t matter,’ said Marsch.
‘You’ve got to do what you can in this sport to manage. In a sport like basketball, you score a lot more points and usually the better team manages to emerge.’ Not so in the Premier League, as evidenced here.
On his players, Marsch added: ‘What I learned was how intelligent they are — how they were able to take a lot from our video sessions, some of the work we’ve done on the pitch in segments and, after four days, put in a performance like that. I’m very positive, even though we’re disappointed with the result.’
Homegrown star Harvey Barnes (centre) scored the only goal for Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers admitted to feeling relieved after the victory. What helped was the Foxes’ ‘homegrown triangle’ down one flank — left back Luke Thomas, left midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and left winger Barnes.
They are capable of linking up beautifully and it must be a proud feeling for Leicester supporters to see three of their own perform so well.
Barnes was the match-winner, and Leeds the losers. They’ve got 11 Premier League games to save themselves from relegation. Continue to play like this, though, and Marsch’s men should win a few of those.