By George Overhill

2nd May, 2022 | 3:10pm

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch shares 'strategy' that got Manchester City's Joao Cancelo booked

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has explained that the outburst that got him a yellow card was a strategy designed to “force the referee to change”.

The Whites were beaten 4-0 by Manchester City on Saturday (30 April), and the American felt that referee Paul Tierney was favouring the league-leaders, meaning he had to “fight” against the big club getting the calls.

He was shown the yellow midway through the second half after the United bench, including Cameron Toshack and Franz Schiemer, had become infuriated with some of the decisions, and almost immediately after City full-back Joao Cancelo was booked for a foul which Marsch felt was a direct result.

He said afterwards, via the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I call this human behaviour 101.

“So I don’t know if you guys have those kinds of courses in England, but we have those in the US. If the referee isn’t behaving in a way that I think is appropriate, and I’m asking things to change, and they don’t change, then I have no other recourse other than to adjust my behaviour to try to force the referee to change his.

“Is that a good strategy or not? I’ll say this – after I get the yellow, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they pick up a yellow in the next play.”


Clearly refereeing is a tough job, as Marsch acknowledged, and the officials are only human so they will be influenced by things no matter how hard they try not to be.

But it does often feel like they get into a pattern of thinking which unfairly benefits one side over the other.

The most common complaint is that they favour the big clubs, which the Whites boss says he has seen happen all over the world, so you can’t really blame him for fighting back against it.

It is often mentioned that football referees should be treated the same as rugby ones, where disrespect shown towards them isn’t tolerated to anywhere near the same level.

But unless or until that happens players and coaches will attempt to influence them.

When the stakes are as high as they are for Leeds currently a manager like Marsch will try anything to redress the balance.

On Saturday it worked to a small extent but the damage had arguably already been done, with the home side 2-0 down having gone behind from what the manager felt was an example of a soft free kick given in favour of the bigger side.

In other Leeds United news, a “serious move” from the club hasn’t stopped another side being “confident” of winning the race for one summer transfer.