Jesse Marsch hit all the right notes in his first press conference as Leeds United manager. The American coach was speaking ahead of his Premier League debut against Leicester City on Saturday.
Marsch spoke of his side needing to “fight every second” as they have 12 games to earn the number of points needed to retain their Premier League status.
He also spoke about elements of his style of play and the need for fearlessness, saying: “The way we play, our style of play is fearless, I think we have a lot of fearless young men here, we have to tap into that fearlessness, it will help us in a situation like this.
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“The way we play making mistakes is never a bad thing because being aggressive to get the ball back, we are aggressive to impose our will on the opposition at all times and then to help educate the players and the team exactly what that means every day and how to use that as a strategy to be better than the opponent, that’s what it is.”
The new Leeds manager also praised Marcelo Bielsa, acknowledging all the good work the legendary manager had done at Leeds, while acknowledging he was brought to the club to fix some of the things that went wrong this season.
This is where Marsch’s real judgment will begin, because while he performed very impressively in his first press conference, with many Leeds fans impressed with his communication skills, the real test will come. in the way players react to the ideas he communicated to during analysis sessions and on the training grounds of Thorp Arch.
It cannot be said that Bielsa struggled to get his ideas across to the players, given the way they played for him during his time at Elland Road. However, Marsch’s style takes on a whole different tone and his clear and passionate way of speaking could be very important for players to adapt to his new ways, given the situation they find themselves in.
Leeds now head into eight crucial days, starting on Saturday, as they take on Leicester City, Aston Villa and Norwich City in quick succession. They have a real need to pick up a decent number of points in this run and how quickly Marsch can get the team back to their philosophy, the new formation they will have to play and most importantly the pressing style, could be doing it. or break this race.
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Marsch said at the press conference, “What’s important to me is figuring out how to make the simple things the clearest right now and add complexity as you go.” Therefore, he clearly recognizes that the transition to his ideal way of playing will take time.
However, moving away from men’s marking will happen immediately, so Leeds will play completely differently defensively, straight away. Over the past three and a half seasons, the fundamentals of their defensive structure have been built on man marking, so this will be a major adjustment. With Leeds’ dispatch targets at an alarming rate in recent weeks, it’s something that needs to be clicked quickly otherwise Marsch might find this issue goes beyond any other area of his philosophy that could benefit the team in some way. positive.
One thing to note is that for all senior players, they will have played the rest of their career in zonal defensive systems and some will have played in those of their international teams, so don’t come back cold to a different defensive style.
Moreover, the manager himself suggested that the adaptation process was happening quickly:
“I told them yesterday after training some of the things we did in training, I had worked with teams for six months and they didn’t execute the subjects on the pitch as well as this group had done it. It’s a very positive sign.”
The proof will be in this next series of matches, when Leeds will play a quarter of their last 12 games. If Marsch could get the team to play for five or six points, they could put themselves in a much more comfortable position for the next nine games.
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