Jesse Marsch had reportedly informed Leeds management he was not interested in the position when he was originally asked about it. He recommended that Marcelo Bielsa remain head coach.

After three seasons in the Premier League, Leeds experienced a significant decline and were relegated to the Championship in the 2023-24 season. The last home game of the previous season was supposed to be a joyous occasion for the Whites.

Their last top-division match against Tottenham was more aptly described as a catastrophe. As the season came to a close, Jesse Marsch’s last hope of escaping relegation was a victory. Ultimately, they failed to mount much of a challenge, losing 4-1.

Marcelo Bielsa had assembled a squad that many could only dream of having. They became the main attractions of English soccer because of their fast-paced, free-flowing style of play.

After making a triumphant comeback to the top level, they finished in ninth position with 59 points. Among the 20 teams that have competed in the Premier League, only Ipswich Town in 2001 managed to surpass that.

Although European qualifying was the expectation for Leeds in the next season, they were unable to get beyond the mid-table.

Jesse Marsch speaks about his time at Leeds with Simon Jordan
Jesse Marsch speaks about his time at Leeds with Simon Jordan

Jesse Marsch speaks about his time at Leeds with Simon Jordan

How did Marsch fare at Leeds?

After Bielsa’s inevitable departure, the club named Jesse Marsch as his successor. They saw the 50-year-old as the ideal candidate to carry on Bielsa’s excellent job as a coach.

Marsch, an American who was eager to dispel any Ted Lasso associations, was known for playing aggressive, high-tempo soccer. It even had some similarities with the Argentine’s style but was obviously different in execution.

With Marsch at the helm, Leeds beat Brentford 2-1 on May 22 to stay in 17th place and escape relegation. No club had done this since 2011 going into the final day of the season.

However, the former RB Leipzig man ultimately proved ill-suited to lead Leeds to greater heights. Leeds’ Premier League losing streak reached seven games after a 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest on February 5, 2023. The club, in 17th place in the league, let go of the American after a little over a year as coach.

What did Marsch say about his struggles at Leeds?

Marsch has now revealed to the Up Front with Simon Jordan podcast: “When I went to Leeds, my analysts told me that within three years the club had an 84% chance of being relegated – the club knew that too. The Brightons and the Brentfords of the world are very unique, just look at Leicester.

“I knew when I went there that I was going into the lions’ den. But I went because I liked the people at the club, and I believed that we had symmetry in the ways we thought about the game. I felt like Leeds was a club with a big heart, but I knew it was going to be a massive challenge.

“I didn’t even want to take the job at first. When they called me, I pleaded with them to keep Marcelo Bielsa. They just got to the point where they felt that they had to make a change.”

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