Under-pressure Marsch will never be Bielsa – but Leeds have no other solution

If Jesse Marsch is now the problem at Leeds – what is the solution?

That's the question Elland Road rulers might have to find the answer to should results not start improving in the coming weeks. But one issue the Yorkshire club will find impossible to solve is the huge shadow Marcelo Bielsa continues to cast over them.

Marsch lives in the spa-town of Harrogate, but if he drives around Leeds he will see countless murals of Bielsa decorating house walls in tribute to someone some people thought could genuinely walk on water. As hidings to nothing go, managing Leeds is right up there.

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It might have all turned sour for Bielsa when he left almost nine months ago, but his God-like status with supporters will remain part of the club's DNA forevermore. The harsh truth is that in the minds of fans, when it comes to the Argentine, no-one will ever compare. Or even come close.

This is one of the main reasons devoted Leeds fans want Marsch to be sacked in the wake of eight games without a win and four straight defeats.

Living in the past achieves nothing, but if certain individuals persist in doing so then let's remind them of some of the circumstances which have lead them to this point.

At the time Bielsa was dismissed, his side appeared to be running through treacle while conceding 17 goals in the final three games of his reign.

Should Leeds get rid of Jesse Marsch? Have your say here

Bielsa would have left in the summer anyway, and despite arriving ahead of schedule, Marsch did his job and kept Leeds in the Premier League. He then saw star names Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha sold, but won three of his first four games of this season.


Marsch, who has tried to embrace the challenge of replacing Bielsa, went a month without a game due to the Queen's death. And less than two weeks ago, those who now want him gone were applauding Marsch and his stars off the pitch following a narrow defeat to league leaders Arsenal. Fickle or what?

It's true results have not been good enough and need to improve. But chairman Andrea Radrizzani and his investors from the San Francisco 49ers need to put their foot on the ball and show some patience and pragmatism.

The pool of possible replacements is shallow. And whoever might come in would also have to hump around that same burden of Bielsa that Marsch has done.

It would also cost a fortune to sack Marsch and his staff and bring in a new coach and his own team. Just ask Aston Villa? Acting in haste is naive, but we continue to see it at clubs up and down the land.

Marsch would also have the bulk of his squad together during the World Cup, enabling him to work with them towards a re-boot, should he survive that long. What he must avoid is a hammering at Liverpool on Saturday night – which is easier said than done.

Leeds like to march on together, but doing so without Marsch in the immediate future could see the club walk into even deeper trouble.


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