Jesse Marsch 'antics' has upset Leeds United fans, BBC man 'couldn't quite believe my own eyes'
Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has “rubbed people up the wrong way” with his behaviour and what he says according to Adam Pope.
The American replaced the much-loved Marcelo Bielsa at the end of February and has overseen an improvement in results, but his style has apparently upset a section of the support.
The former Red Bull Salzburg manager has made a point of emphasising positivity, but examples such as celebrating the Elland Road crowd’s loud support after the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City has fans divided on their view of him.
BBC Leeds’ Pope told Off The Ball last night (3 May) on the reaction to Marsch: “It’s mixed to be quite honest.
“Some of the quotes aren’t going down well, and some of the antics aren’t going down well.
“At the end of the [City] game, and I couldn’t quite believe my own eyes as well, that he was sort of celebrating as if it was a win, and he basically came in and said it felt like a win, even though it’s crazy to say, he said.
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“I sort of knew what he was getting at in terms of the way the crowd behaves, but some of the things he’s said have really rubbed people up the wrong way.
“There are Leeds fans and Yorkshire folk who don’t take to well to it, and would rather little was said at this point.
“That’s his way, and if that’s his way of creating positivity and motivation, and it works, then you can’t really knock it, but at the moment it’s definitely splitting people.”
Marsch will ultimately be judged by results, and having put together a five-game unbeaten run it seemed like everything was turning out surprisingly well.
But a not-unexpected loss to the league leaders coupled with a major revival from Burnley have caused a sudden change in the atmosphere.
Everton’s win over Chelsea (1 May) confirmed that the pressure is very much back on in the relegation battle.
In that context, quirks that would otherwise has been overlooked will likely come back to the fore in regard to the new manager.
But he can’t be held responsible for what the relegation rivals do, and prior to the sacking of Sean Dyche, it looked like Marsch’s methods were just what United needed.
There were always going to be growing pains for whoever took over from Bielsa due to the status he held at the club and within the city.
And if anything it has proven to be a smoother transition that might have been expected.
It can’t be argued that he lifted the squad, who looked a million miles away from a run of three wins and two draws at the end of the Argentine’s reign.
Marsch may still be having to overcome a certain instinctive rejection of American sporting culture at Elland Road, which hardly seems fair on him.
The Premier League is arguably the top league in a global game so will inevitably be the place where various different influences meet.
The Whites support has been admirably behind their side even through the struggles, and it would surely benefit the club as a whole if that was extended to the new manager as long as his ways are working.