As Leeds United’s search for a replacement for Jesse Marsch continues, television pundit Jamie Carragher has had his say on the running of the Yorkshire club.
In a wide-ranging column for The Telegraph, the key focus of Carragher’s discussion was the general disarray the club hierarchy seems to find itself in as they search for a new manager.
As they head into a vital fixture against relegation rivals Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow, the Whites remain managerless. The only official statement from the club concerning the situation emerged on Tuesday, which stated that current interim manager Michael Skubala would take charge of the side’s “upcoming fixtures”.
Whilst Skubala has impressed in the position thus far – securing one point and arguably deserving more from two fiery encounters with arch-rivals Manchester United – uncertainty surrounds just how long the 40-year-old will remain in post.
For Carragher, this general sense of uncertainty stems from the board, who he claims should have had a replacement lined up before they sacked Marsch.
“The surest sign of a well-run club is when they decide to act to replace the coach and announce the replacement before the next game,” he said.
“It has to be that way. Sporting directors are employed to have an eye on the long-term in readiness for such emergencies here and now. It is strange so few clubs look ahead, Leeds and Southampton the latest examples.
“Leeds, however, have known for months that Marsch’s position was in jeopardy given the team’s generally poor form.
“For them to be going into a fixture as potentially defining as that at Goodison without a permanent replacement shows they are still unsure of the right path, even if caretaker Michael Skubala eventually gets the job full-time.”
It is difficult to argue against what Carragher is saying here: the club hierarchy appear to be in a state of complete disarray at the moment.
Anyone could see that Marsch’s days at Leeds were numbered as his tenure drew to a close, so it really is shocking that they didn’t have a confirmed replacement lined up.
They clearly had candidates they were prioritising – Corberan, Iraola, Slot – but perhaps they didn’t account for the fact that these deals might not actually work out.
Club owner Andrea Radrizzani’s now infamous “white smoke” tweet only added fuel to the fire. The Italian had effectively given the supporters a stick for them to beat the club hierarchy with.
Skubala, for what its worth, has done tremendously since coming in. A double header against Manchester United for his first two games were not ideal, yet he navigated them with great professionalism.
But the board really need to give Skubala, the players and most importantly the fans some clarity concerning the vacant manager role.
As the season drags on and the games for Leeds to get points from become fewer and fewer, their Premier League status could very well hinge on what the hierarchy decide to do next.