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Jesse Marsch fired as Leeds United manager


Leeds United’s struggles in the English Premier League continued on Sunday with its latest defeat of the season and American manager Jesse Marsch won’t have the opportunity to try and keep the Yorkshire club from avoiding relegation.

Marsch was fired as manager following a 11-month spell in charge, the club announced Monday. The American head coach replaced Marcelo Bielsa in February 2022, eventually leading Leeds United to league survival despite an inconsistent overall season.

Marsch’s assistant Rene Maric, Cameron Toshack and Pierre Barrieu will also leave the club.

“We would like to thank Jesse and his backroom staff for their efforts and wish them well for the future,” a club statement read.

“The process of appointing a new head coach is underway and we will continue to keep supporters up to date throughout the coming days.”

Marsch posted a 11-10-16 record across all competitions with Leeds United, helping the Lilywhites advance to the FA Cup Round of 16 earlier this winter. However, Leeds United has struggled for most of this season’s league campaign, sitting just outside of the relegation zone on goal differential.

Leeds United has only won four of its 20 league matches to date, last earning a Premier League win back on Nov. 5, 2022. Despite the recent arrivals of Weston McKenne, Georginio Rutter, Max Wober, and Diogo Monteiro, Marsch will be on the hunt for a new job.

Leeds United’s upcoming schedule doesn’t get any easier with back-to-back matches against Manchester United over the next week.


  1. I watched every leeds game since Jesse was hired, I think

    in none of the EPL matches did leeds ever get the benefit of the doubt calls. never

    I raged about it here but Ives blocked those posts. Apologies Ives

    doesn’t change that tho.

    I predict all of that now changes. leeds now will get those benefit of the doubt calls, the narative and talking heads (look at this board) will get what they want, that is for those who forever want to claim edge on American soccer (the rest of the world basically)

    the good is that potentially that helps the Americans still there

  2. Kudos also to Forest for bringing in Navas on loan. 7-1-2 all time against US (counting Columbus game as loss even though it was tied when he got injured). Not sure how much his body has left having left both qualifiers against US but might be enough to carry them over the line. Since Navas’s first cap CR is 0-6-0 against the US when he doesn’t play! (This was a quick check so I might be off a game or two).

  3. in response to the “project” folks, you are retained there for progress and a positive trajectory. not winning now, but we’re adding players and picking up speed. leeds’ curve is they won some out of the gate, couldn’t win for about a month and a half, won a couple in a row, haven’t won a game since november 5. and some of the few wins, with the benefit of playing some schedule out, are fellow basement dwellers.

    so in england a failing project has potential relegation consequences — this isn’t houston dynamo — and the trend line is the wrong way to save a project coach. they didn’t start slow but begin responding. they broke well then started tripping over every hurdle. and along those lines but they were 17th last year and sit 17th now. the brass may simply think this is about what he can deliver.

    personally i think the high press nonsense is so naive it takes a common plucky team strategy — intense defense — and turns it back into a risky one. let me pull my defenders out of shape and dive in way upfield against the best of england. genius. that and the general pattern of them as well as US v. wales is blow the result from exhaustion. personally it reminds me of weaker teams i’d play in select who were told to go chase us hard first 30′. you match the energy and wait them out. i also think that as tiki taka goes out of style again, teams are quite willing to simply hit it over or around your press. no one has to walk straight into the CM wood chipper trying to build from the back.

    more punchy, well, a coach who gets about the same results no matter the inputs is a mediocre or bad coach. david moyes can coach everton or ManU to 6th just the same. some of it, to me, is the fetish for unbending systems. to me to win you either need superior players or the ability to tactically bend. SAF could win with ManU even in 12-13 when they shipped 40 and he had to win quite a few games 3-2 on the way. people seem to adore the one-tool-in-toolbag coach these days. i think actually “managing” — a schedule, a game — is a lost art. anyhow i am skeptical you are that great a long term coach if you have one idea which is out of sync with where soccer is developing and your success seems related to how well funded your team is for their league. yes, jesse won austria with salzburg. bravo. so did rose the year before, and jaissle the year after. so what. the actual dynamic at top level soccer is he was handed leipzig and they got worse.

  4. Imagine if the deal for Gakpo had gone thru. Marsch said during WC that it was 99.9% done this summer. Place Gakpo in the spots Bamford has struggled in and it seems Leeds is at least 5-10 pts higher and safer from relegation. Jesse seemed a bit vague if it was PSV or Gakpo that backed out, but both of those made a lot more money by waiting until after WC to transfer.

    • meh. i don’t know how personal terms but not an agreed PSV sale/fee is “99.9% done.” from PSV’s standpoint, whether soccer or money, they made the right decision. player shined in league and the world cup and went up in value.

      it also strikes me as a bit all eggs in one basket. what’s plan B? did you drop it for the winter too? i’d be telling anyone who would listen, owner, GM, press, i need a striker. get me “some.” plural.

      • They also tried to get Ketelaere but it seems they swung for the two big rising stars and when they came up empty they settled for Gnoto and Sinisterra. Gnoto probably isn’t sized to play as a lone striker and Sinisterra seems more wing than CF plus he’s been injured. I have no idea if there were better reasonable options at the time. I said a few months ago they should have made a run at Pukki from Norwich.

      • JR: this sounds all well and good but at the end of the window if your basket is empty so what. marsch lamented his rising price out of their range but this is reality. you have a finite period of time. you have a finite budget. go get some help. some of my houston dynamo critiques are we sometimes chase people hopelessly — which i see as looking busy for the boss and trying to create buzz that doesn’t become part of the team — or we seem too focused on one target. to me if you absolutely need an “x” they should have multiple irons in the fire. coming out of a window where you needed an “x,” without an “x,” is incompetence.

        and i realize sometimes stuff goes south, you register the guy seconds too late, the price goes up too much, the player blinks, but then maybe don’t leave it to the final whistle then. and i realize marsch isn’t the TD/GM but the selections seem to reflect his input, weston, adams, etc. even the dutchman he sounded fairly informed about negotiations for a manager. so this is not the type who leaves personnel to the club and runs the practices and fixtures. he had some say. he could have gone and bought some MLS forwards, for example.

        i also think this serves as CYA in precisely this scenario. if you make clear to the owner, the personnel guys, the press, the fans, i want some forwards, and you don’t get them, you have your counter-argument when your job is on the line. i told you we need some forwards, we have x number goals in 5 weeks. not my fault. might be myopic but i don’t think he was given all the tools here. but then i think part of coaching is making it work nonetheless. there’s no one in england, USA, the leeds academy, who can get them some shots on cage? surely the dutchman wasn’t their only option in the world.

      • And Ketelaere has struggled in Serie A 0g 1a in 17 app and Gakpo in limited time 0g in 3 matches which Liverpool went 0-1-2 and the team didn’t score in any so maybe they would have made no difference. Don’t misunderstand I wasn’t defending Marsch or Leeds just pointing out at that level the margins are small. With the signings Leeds made they all look like sell ons. Banking guys like Gnoto, Aaronson, Sinisterra even Adams would show well and make money in the transfer window.

      • JR: i think there is a fetish for waiting for the last minute for a dramatic, buzz creating signing, whose price maybe gets held down by waiting til the buzzer. so goes the theory. the other team doesn’t have to play along. fwiw particular in MLS a guy may have to clear immigration on top of get their transfer certificate, and meanwhile you are playing a game every week. i kind of think pre-sign or sign them early in the window, get them playing. if the price is too high you have weeks to sign some others.

        personally comes across to me like a drama/buzz device, or a game of negotiating chicken. deadline day last summer houston was rumored after some dubious south american U20 who apparently asked too much. except right around then we were releasing pasher which was later explained as we were over the slots limit — and must have been for a couple weeks from signing quinones. anyhow, to sign the deadline guy someone else would have had to be released or traded. at a point it feels a little slapped together and unplanned. playing negotiations chicken might be indistinguishable from letting your personnel work get sloppy and undisciplined, if you don’t get anyone. to me you should have a list and a plan and come away with someone or you kinda messed up.

        and then once in a while araujo happens when they get too cute. but then isn’t gakpo a variation of that. leeds doesn’t have him either, or anyone else.

  5. I thought about one other issue here. If the PL season is 38 games long, he’s been in charge slightly less (37 games). His team earned 43 points (11 W, 10Draw, 16 Losses) in that time frame, putting him above the highest drop total for any team in PL history, with what would’ve been one more game in hand.

    So you have a team with arguably bottom of PL talent coming in basically where it should be, suggesting he’s at least a competent coach, no? Given the influx they got in the transfer (aside from a needed scorer), this seems a rather early sacking.

    They really did outplay NF, but Navas is pretty ridiculous making a few great saves.

  6. Sometimes it’s hard not to wish ill on Leeds after this Marsh firing. Like who exactly have they gone after that is worth mentioning? Who? After the world Cup and a hot transfer market battle Leeds didn’t go after anyone competitive. Yet they want to blame the coach as to why he is not performing with the scraps they FORCE him to work with. Leeds DON’T give him the tools he needs but yet expect Marsh to perform miracles with the inadequate attack he has. Leeds hold their own when it comes to:
    Pass accuracy.
    Be competitive and GO AFTER SOMEONE WORTH MENTIONING THAT CAN PUT THE BALL IN THE BACK OF THE NET!!! The coach can only position his team to succeed…….BUT HE CANNOT SCORE THE GOALS HIMSELF. Listening to the Leeds fans it looks like they think he is in over his head and IMO I think it’s because he is an American Coach. Marcelo Alberto Bielsa was given a lot of time to grow, strategize and build, but not Marsh. Then when he was trying to at least bring in people (Mckennie, Adams and Aaronson on a budget) that he knows Leeds decide to axe him. Without even having a replacement they now want the coaching trio of Michael Skubala, Paco Gallardo and Chris Armas to be in charge of the team for the game at Old Trafford??? I REALLY wish they regret this sacking…..

  7. “among other things his wife was diagnosed with cancer”


    That would be a huge factor if true, but why has there evidently been almost no mention of it? Maybe she had breast cancer; or maybe she didn’t and her father had prostate cancer; or maybe nothing? To judge from only one or two very scarce, unreliable hits …

    How could so many journalists overlook or downplay something so major in the life of a family, and a human being? Did SBI also miss this altogether?

    Apart from that, Marsch’s emotional openness, his rejection of top-down machismo bluster, his chattiness with the (cynical, unforgiving) British media … all those factors have been mentioned, as well as his closeness to Grant Wahl, q.e.p.d.

    Against Marsch’s possibly genuine tactical or motivational weaknesses, I would also want to weigh the poor showing(s) of Bamford (did he not just miss an open goal again this weekend?), the recent absence of Rodrigo, and the fragility of the entire back line, which Wöber alone couldn’t hope to plug. It was always a lot to ask. And Keylor Navas was a real wild card …

    Whoever Chris Armas is, I doubt that he’s any kind of a real alternative — wasn’t he almost the reason Rangnick was rushed out at ManU, because those top players couldn’t even take him seriously, given his flimsy résumé?

    But Marsch is clearly at least able to compete in Europe. I’d like to see him get another decent job, a little farther from the spotlight, with not quite so much urgent time pressure. (Well, maybe that’s what many coaches would like.)

    Whether the USMNT is the right fit, though, who knows. That job too looks more and more like a major poisoned chalice.

    And as to what will happen with the little cluster of Americans now left high and dry … Hopefully whoever comes in will see their good qualities and be able to get something out of the group. I’m not at all sure they’ll avoid relegation, but I’ll cross my fingers nevertheless.


  8. It makes no sense to me to keep a manager, sign some new players whom he must have wanted, and then don’t give him any chance with what should be an improved line-up. The logical approach is to give him at ;east another month and see how he does. If being threatened to be relegated is the criteria for termination, Roberto Martinez would have been fired about 3 times before he became coach of Belgium.

      • If Leeds top management is going to allow the fans to make the major decisions, they will never go anywhere except down.

      • Gary, I agree popularity versus cold hard reason is not the way to make decisions. I suspect Leeds will struggle to find a manager willing to take over and Armas will be the interim coach for weeks, if not until the summer. Armas took over the NY Red Bulls when Marsch and while he completed the first season successfully, he was let go when NY stumbled the next season. I think Armas will continue to do what Marsch was doing. Will the Leeds players stop missing shots, who knows?

  9. I’m very surprised that Leeds fired Jesse Marsh. I don’t know what they expected him with the kind of fire power he is working with up top. Patrick Bamford (Who shouldn’t even be playing in the EPL)??? jack Harrison??? THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO SHARP SHOOTERS AT LEADS. Only Rodrigo has been decent but he has been “absent” lately. In their last 5 games Leeds have had their fair share of the ball but their front-line can’t do anything with it……

    Leeds possession against:
    Aston Villa 46% (4 shots on target 16 shots total)
    Brentford 41% (0 shots on target 6 shots total)
    Nottingham Forest 70% (4 shots on target 10 shots total)……oh and NF BROUGHT IN NAVAS FROM PSG!!!!!!

    I think this was a little harsh from Leeds management and that the next coach will certainly not be able to turn “water into wine” with these same players. Let’s see how this turns out with newly introduced McKennie…….

    • I agree Leeds inability to score despite creating chances is not the coach’s fault. Leeds needs more firepower. It is unlikely the next coach will have a better record than Marsch’s over the next few months.

  10. I think that Leeds played better than what their points indicate , but the EPL clubs are incredibly unforgiving as they should be given the stakes. Jessie knew that when he signed on the dotted line and the hang’em high justice of the EPL was served.

    • it’s like he plays for the opponent
      then after the game, after scuffing three chances when all alone, he gave an nterview saying he needed more support…LOL

      English footballers…no wonder they suck as a soccer nation

  11. Let’s be honest and unbiased.
    Marsh has yet to prove any quality as a coach in a top league.
    He failed in Germany with a good squad: the next coach got the team clicking, essentially the same players too.
    He failed in England despite being able to bring a lot of players he wanted.

    Just wanted to point that out before I hear people clamor for him to be the next US coach – we can do better, Marsch isn’t ready.

    • Agreed. Best of luck to Marsch, but he needs to learn more than one tactical system. And you correctly pointed out that he failed to implement that system at the club it was invented for.

      • “he failed to implement that system at the club it was invented for”.

        Not entirely true.

        When Jesse took over from Nagelsmann, Julian had been moving away from the traditional “Red Bull way”.

        That was one reason he was brought back, to re-institute that system.

        Jesse says he found that the player pool was not really suited to the original way any more and he realized that he was in over his head because among other things his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He claims it was a mutual parting of the ways and ever thing I’ve read indicated RB agreed it was a mistake to bring him back in the first place.

        No one ever believes the “mutual parting of the ways ” line but that’s their story and they are sticking to it.

      • “he failed to implement that system at the club it was invented for”.

        Not entirely true.

        When Jesse took over from Nagelsmann, Julian had been moving away from the traditional “Red Bull way”.

        That was one reason he was brought back, to re-institute that system.

        Jesse says he found that the player pool was not really suited to the original way any more and he realized that he was in over his head because among other things his wife was diagnosed with cancer.

        He claims it was a mutual parting of the ways and everything I’ve read indicated RB agreed it was a mistake to bring him back in the first place.

        No one ever believes the “mutual parting of the ways ” line but that’s their story and they are sticking to it.

        Jesse has a lot to learn but he deserves a lot of credit for what he has accomplished to date but a lot of people, especially the debbie downer Brits, got tired of his relentless “positivity” and just wanted him to fail so they could engage in their favorite pastime, wallowing in it.

        He would be a huge upgrade from Uncle Gregg but I hope he does not get the USMNT job.

        He needs another club job and not in MLS.

    • True, but it is not like he was given much of a chance. I’m not crying for Jessie because he knew what he was getting into when he signed his contracts. I am sure he was well paid for not meeting expectations.

      As an aside. Leeds should have fired Marsh before the transfer window and had a replacement at hand to guide the team through the transfer window. It would be monumentally stupid of Leeds to fire Marsch based upon what happened yesterday after spending all that money on new players, unless Marsh personally nixed transfers of players on the grounds of “Nah, we don’t need strikers that can hit the broad side a barn from inside the six.”

    • Leeds are a hard to team to watch. They play like a Championship team rather than Premier League one. A lot of hustle and fighting but lack of quality in the final 3rd.

      Marsch is not good enough to be US coach. How many more American coaches are going to be given chances when most have failed to meet expectations? When you can win the league in a top 5 league, then we’ll talk.

    • When he was with Salzburg, they not only won their league every season, I think what was best was that they always did better than expected in the Champions League. While the Austrian Bundesliga may not be that big a deal, doing well in the Champions League is.

  12. Personally I was amazed he got the Leeds job considering his resumé. It’s not impressive by any means. The Bob Bradley hire at Swansea made more sense to me. With his only successes in MLS (Supporters Shield but no Cup) and the Austrian League – for a team I could coach to a League Championship with imbalance of team budget, I’m not one to give him the USMNT keys.

    One of the best analysts ever during his MLS days between Montreal and Redbull. Maybe he should do that again.

  13. Not surprised. Don’t think Leeds is going to stay up regardless who they get as a coach.

    I think Marsch is a decent coach. May not be ready for the cut throat nature of European soccers big 5 leagues. But he did last longer than Bob Bradley which is progress. I could see him landing a job in the Eredivisie or Belgium.

    I don’t think I would hire him as USMNT coach to be honest. But who knows club coaching success and international coaching success really don’t go hand in hand. Personally if I was looking at a an American coach to lead the USMNT I would be looking at a Schmetzer or Vermes.

  14. was telling you folks you need to separate the players from the manager. it was a nice cozy bunch but the tactics IMO are pretty brutal, and the players have the talent to work in a variety of systems for anyone coaching leeds.


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