Leeds United have parted company with head coach Jesse Marsch.
The decision to remove Marsch on Monday afternoon was sealed after Leeds were condemned to their 10th Premier League defeat of the season against relegation rivals Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
The American had been in the dugout at Elland Road for nearly a year after taking the reins from Marcelo Bielsa last February. Having taken charge of 32 matches in the Premier League since his appointment, the former RB Leipzig coach collected only 33 points. With the money that has been poured into the team, the side were expected to be performing much better than their current position of 17th, where they also finished last year.
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With around £145 million spent this season on nine new players, Marsch will get very little sympathy from supporters. The modern game dictates that managers should be able to deliver results when they are backed financially and that simply wasn't happening.
The Whites are currently five points behind their overall tally from 2021-22, highlighting just how poorly they performed last term, but there have still been plenty of issues this season in both attack and defence.
The 49-year-old was dealt a huge blow last week as top scorer Rodrigo was ruled out of action for two months after suffering an ankle injury during their 3-1 FA Cup Fourth Round victory over Accrington Stanley. While it is always worrying to lose your leading marksman, who has scored eight goals more than the club’s second leading goalscorer, Leeds have still had enough firepower to get them out of trouble but Marsch couldn't get them firing.
For whatever reason, they haven't been able to find the back of the net in the league, having scored just four goals in the six matches they have played since the World Cup. They had a handful of chances against Forest on Sunday when they were in control of the game, but they could not find a way past the experienced Keylor Navas in net.
The other problem that Leeds cannot seem to shake is making huge defensive errors, with Pascal Struijk’s botched headed clearance falling kindly for Brennan Johnson’s match-winning volley the latest example. This defence created a lot of problems for themselves under Bielsa, which passed onto Marsch and will undoubtedly move on to his successor. There has been no desire to freshen up the defensive ranks of the side for countless transfer windows which time and again has come back to haunt them.
For a team that has conceded 167 goals in the Premier League in two-and-a-half years, it is clear that the defence has been a constant hindrance to the club's ambitions to move up the table and start challenging for a place in the top six with the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford and Fulham.
Leeds made the decision last month to move centre-back Diego Llorente on loan to Roma after he had made two errors leading to goals in 2022-23. But he is not the only defender who has been underperforming and it is a real concern that Leeds have continually gone about their business without seriously trying to find a solution for the problem.
A lack of clinical finishing and calamitous defending has ultimately cost Marsch his job. Having picked up only two wins and 11 points since their impressive 3-0 win over Chelsea back in August, you can understand why the board have decided to make this call. Former coach Carlos Corberan, currently in charge of West Bromwich Albion, has been linked with the position in recent days, but it is going to take a lot more than a managerial appointment to fully turn things around in LS11.
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