Gabby Agbonlahor embarrassed at Leeds United move by Jesse Marsch
Jesse Marsch’s choice to gather his Leeds United players together for a post-match huddle on the pitch was “cringe” according to Gabby Agbonlahor.
An improved performance under the American manager ultimately resulted in another defeat, albeit not a heavy one, at Leicester, and the new boss appeared to be intent on fostering a positive feeling of togetherness amongst his squad.
But the American style of the on-pitch huddle did not please the former England attacker, who believes the players would not have enjoyed it either.
Speaking on talkSPORT, on a clip posted to their Twitter page, the former Aston Villa striker said: “I’m not sure about that huddle as well in the middle of the pitch. Honestly, it was like watching a college basketball huddle in the middle of the court.
“I know he doesn’t want to be like [TV coach Ted Lasso], but even the players were looking at him like, ‘what’s he doing?’.
“Do it in the changing room… Doing it in the middle of the pitch was so cringe, and honestly, the players would have been thinking exactly the same.”
Football in England tends not to take too kindly to anything that is perceived as different in the first instance, unless it proves to be successful.
So if Whites results from here on experience a major improvement and huddles become a fixture then it is sure to catch on.
It is not unheard of in football but has much clearer links to American sports, and some in this country automatically think the two don’t mix.
Such methods being used on the pitch in league football tend to draw derision, as Rio Ferdinand’s instant comparison between yesterday and Phil Brown telling his Hull City players off shows.
That said, it is frequently seen in knock-out competitions, particularly during extra-time and before penalty shoot-outs, so it shouldn’t seem especially alien.
Marsh needs to lift his squad as quickly as possible following a miserable run of form and the departure of inspirational leader Marcelo Bielsa.
Therefore he has to do whatever it takes to instill belief and a group mentality, so if on-pitch huddles work for that then fans will not be complaining.
In other Leeds United news, one United player is apparently likely to miss the remainder of the season.