It’s likely that Jesse Marsch believed he had more time at Leeds.
After all, he had just been given permission to join forces with his personal friend and fellow American, Chris Armas, on the coaching staff.
In the January transfer window, he had also recently presided over the spending of over $45 million on two players, Maximilian Wöber and Georginio Rutter, as well as the loan signing of Weston McKennie, another American international, to bolster an increasingly American midfield.
There was some sort of framework in place. Leeds, it seemed, was putting more faith in a manager under pressure who had heard the cries of disgruntled fans for his firing and was determined to make things right.
Marsch left on Monday.
He leaves Leeds in a state that is essentially same from when he arrived: fighting to avoid relegation as the season comes to a close.
The individuals in power, majority owner Andrea Radrizzani and 49ers Enterprises, the NFL team’s investment arm, appear to have decided that little had actually changed under Marsch after giving him over a year to establish his authority.
Even though Leeds gave up less goals under Marsch than they did under his predecessor, the well-liked Marcelo Bielsa, the team remained too easy to play through and score against.
Marsch’s issue was Leeds’ inability to convert promising build-up play into goals, and he was aware of this. In fact, Leeds failed to score despite dominating a 0-0 home draw with Brentford on January 22 and then missed numerous first-half chances in a 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest on Sunday. These two league games turned out to be Marsch’s final two as manager.
After the game against Forest, Marsch observed, “We are having trouble translating performances into results. We have been in this location for some time.
The “Marsch out” shouts made a comeback in the away end during the second half of the Forest game, which may have moved the ownership to take action.
The fact that Marsch took over a team that had spent 3 1/2 years playing in Bielsa’s distinct style of play — aggressive pressing, heavy running, man-to-man marking — didn’t help. Even if his philosophy didn’t stray too far from Bielsa’s, it may have been harsh to give him only a year to put it into practice. However, the threat of relegation can frighten those at the top of a club.
Leeds has gone seven league games without a victory and is only one goal difference away from being in the bottom three.
The fact that Patrick Bamford, his primary striker, has been sidelined for the majority of the past year due to injury, as well as the organizational changes needed as a result of the offseason departures of key midfielders Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips to Barcelona and Manchester City, respectively, worked against Marsch.
After Bob Bradley, who led Swansea for less than three months in 2016, and David Wagner, who kept Huddersfield in the top division in its first season back but was sacked halfway through the following season, Marsch was the third American to lead a team in the Premier League (January 2019).
Marsch will be remembered for some notable victories, including the 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield in October and the 3-0 thrashing of Chelsea at home in August. He will also be remembered for keeping Leeds in the Premier League following a 2-1 victory at Brentford on the final day of the previous campaign.
After keeping the squad in the first division, Marsch said, “We have to build the roster and build the club in the proper way. “We must continue to rely on the players’ and the club’s mindset while also improving on all fronts in football.”
Without having the chance to accomplish that, he left.