By George Overhill

5th Sep, 2022 | 8:49pm

Jesse Marsch in key realisation of Leeds United damage after red card at Brentford - Phil Hay

The red card shown to Jesse Marsch as Leeds United lost 5-2 at Brentford at the weekend was a “relevant moment” in realising his referee strategy doesn’t work, says Phil Hay.

The Whites manager was sent off by Rob Jones for furiously protesting the decision not to use VAR to review a foul on Crysencio Summerville that should have been a penalty, and has previously admitted to being deliberately demonstrative on the sideline in an attempt to influence officials who aren’t giving his side decisions [Independent].

But Hay believes after speaking to the American that the events in the heavy loss on Saturday (3 September) could be a watershed moment as the plan has evidently not had the desired effect.

Speaking on The Phil Hay Show (5 September, 4 mins) Hay said that when he asked the manager if his behaviour could be negatively influencing referees against United: “He kind of said, ‘Yes’. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m seeing that already’. And I think he feels the need now to start opening some dialogue with PGMOL or the FA to understand… the specific decisions that are annoying him.”

He went on: “Saturday was that moment where the penny started to drop with Marsch and he almost realised that it’s not his prerogative to act like that. There will be consequences.”

“I just think what he will probably be finding out is that having come into the game thinking he might be able to use that to influence results or decisions to good effect, the opposite is probably true.”


Much has been made of this apparently novel strategy to turn referees minds in the Whites’ favour, but it doesn’t seem greatly different from the routine tantrums that players and managers throw in every game.

It largely doesn’t work, as he is starting to realise after a booking against Brighton and a red at Brentford, because so many do it.

Sir Alex Ferguson used to get away with it purely because of who he was and the fact that it was Manchester United he was in charge of, making it all the more infuriating that he got benefits from it that others didn’t.

But while there might be some mileage in Marsch’s performative antics in the dug-out in getting the crowd pumped up or spurring his players on, if everybody knows that he is doing something for effect then there is no reason for referees to care.

That the last three matches have seen a frustrating draw against Everton where time-wasting was let slide, a defeat to Brighton where the manager was yellow-carded, and a thrashing at Brentford where nothing marginal went remotely in Leeds’ favour and he was sent off anyway, would seem to be evidence enough that the experiment has failed.

It was worth trying but it looks like it is time to move on to other ways to help pick the results back up after a distinct slump.

In other Leeds United news, a frequently-used member of the first team squad left during the transfer window even though they didn’t need to.