As reported earlier today by The Leeds Press, the Whites have sacked head coach Jesse Marsch. Leeds United face a number of big questions as to how they progress through these coming days. With two huge games on the horizon against bitter rivals Manchester United, the clock is ticking for Andrea Radrizzani and the 49ers to come up with a solution; but should they rush into a decision?
Playing Manchester United has proven to be a difficult task for Leeds United upon their return to the top flight. With many high scoring defeats, such as the 6-2 at Old Trafford we like to try to forget about, would it be prudent to throw a new manager into what potentially could be a baptism of fire? Having two very difficult games straight away could prove to be detrimental to a new manager trying to implement a new style, as derby matches often see tactics go out of the window. That being said, if a new coach was to be appointed before the fixtures, picking up points against bitter rivals could be the confidence boost both the players and fans needed. Radrizzani has to carefully consider how they progress from here.
This is an important part of the season; no more additions can be made to any squads given the end of the transfer window, so whoever is appointed must be able to work with what Leeds have. On paper, the squad the Whites possess is one that should be much higher in the table than it is, and with the recent additions of Weston Mckennie, Georginio Rutter and Max Wöber, the side is as strong as it has been in a while. Whoever takes charge inherits a squad with great attacking options, so ideally the club should be looking for someone who can get the most out of players such as Gnonto and Rutter.
At the time of writing, Sky Bet have listed Carlos Corberán at 11/10 favourite to land the job, with Bielsa following at 3/1 and Pochettino at 9/2. The return of Bielsa would be a dream for many Leeds fans, but is unlikely given the fact that he left the club this time last year. The owner may therefore look to Bielsa’s understudy – Corberán- who would be a fantastic appointment if the intention is to return to more attacking, high intensity football. Under Marsch, the tactics were often hard to understand, and many fans feel as though he had lost the intensity that was synonymous with Bielsa sides. With a few of the core group left from that promotion winning side, it would not be beyond the realms of possibility that the side could return to a similar tactical set-up. Corberán has proven his managerial prowess firstly at Huddersfield, guiding them to a higher finish than their squad probably would’ve commanded on paper and also West Brom, who have seen a resurgence in form under the Spaniard.
Having recently joined West Brom, however, Corberán may not be a potential option for the Whites, and it would take impressive negotiations to pry him from West Brom. With third favourite to land the job Pochettino being highly unlikely to take on a team in a relegation scrap, Leeds may therefore look to potential outliers such as Ralph Hasenhuttl or Ange Postecoglou. Both managers could be prudent choices, as both have their own distinct style of play, with the former having an understanding of the Premier League and the latter having some experience dealing with big name players at Celtic. Leeds United will have a wealth of candidates to choose from, no doubt, so it is imperative that Radrizzani and the 49ers think long and hard about who they may choose.
Positives to build on
While most would agree that Jesse Marsch’s reign of Leeds United has not been as successful as he could have hoped, he has left a tightly knit squad, having great influence in attracting fellow Americans Adams, Aaronson and Mckennie. In addition to this, he also brought in Kristensen and Wöber, both of whom he had worked with before. Whoever becomes head coach will need to get the most out of these players, but having personnel that already have understanding between them should make their job easier. Only time will tell who Leeds United bring in to be the new head coach, but hopefully fans can start looking towards a brighter future.