Leeds United CEO Angus Kinnear says Victor Orta saw similarities between Jesse Marsch and Marcelo Bielsa, and that drove his desire to appoint him as head coach.
Kinnear sat down with The Square Ball podcast to discuss what went down behind the scenes at Elland Road this summer. Jesse Marsch was hired in February 2022 as Leeds scrambled to save their season with twelve games to go.
Marsch guided Leeds to a 2–1 win away at Brentford to seal their safety in the Premier League. However, a year later after the club backed the American coach in the transfer market during the summer, he was sacked.
Kinnear revealed the reasons behind the hiring and firing of the former Red Bull Salzburg coach:
“There were certain things Victor saw from a technical perspective when he was looking at coaches that showed there were synergies (between Marsch and Bielsa). Marcelo is the definition of unique. Trying to find anybody able to deliver in the same way as he did was going to be difficult.”
“Jesse worked very, very hard. He was very committed. He was always, as he said, ‘all in’. Jesse would hold his hands up and say it didn’t work. He had a very good track record as a coach but you have to accept it failed, and it also failed from a recruitment perspective.”
The Leeds United CEO also revealed that Marsch’s time at the club had a lot of internal discussions behind the scenes:
“Based on where we ended up, it was the wrong decision because we got relegated. That’s what everybody was trying to avoid. It was debated a lot at the time. If we had the decision again, knowing what we know now, we’d have absolutely made the change then. Without going into the individuals involved, there wasn’t alignment on the board at that stage.”