Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch doesn't enjoy his job any more, changed since February
The situation at Leeds United has sapped the positivity out of manager Jesse Marsch since his arrival, and he doesn’t enjoy it any more says Phil Hay.
The American arrived in place of Marcelo Bielsa at the end of February and has made a point of projecting an upbeat mentality to revitalise what appeared to be a broken squad of players.
But after a strong run that looked to have got the club out of danger, results have turned bad, and now injuries, suspensions, and unrest among supporters have created a situation where the club are favourites for relegation, and Hay believes the manager has changed in the past three months.
Speaking on The Phil Hay Show on Friday (20 May) he said: “This is a really pressurised situation.
“My perception of Marsch is that he’s gone from a position in February where he was ultra-excited about it and delighted to be here, to a position now where he cannot be enjoying this.
“He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying this, and what is there to enjoy about it?
“It’s fine saying to people, ‘I love coaching, it’s what I do, it’s what I live for,’.
“Nobody lives for coaching a team who get relegated.
“He said on Sunday he didn’t hear the chants going on towards [Marcelo] Bielsa. They were pretty audible.”
On a basic level nobody connected to the club can be actively enjoying the apparent slide back towards the Championship.
But Marsch has stuck out, potentially to his own detriment, as a beacon of positivity, and during the five-game unbeaten run it looked like it had done the job.
Nobody can deny that thrashing after thrashing at the end of the Bielsa reign looked to have taken its toll on the players.
But as both relegation rivals Everton and Burnley staged their own revivals, which the Toffees completed on Thursday night (19 May), the Whites’ form dipped again.
And just as the chaotic nature of the wins that he presided over drew him praise even if the system didn’t appear especially coherent, the slide into the relegation zone is now putting pressure on him, because he will be judged on result before anything else.
While the discontent in the stands may be directed at the board as much as anyone else for removing the much-loved Bielsa, Marsch cannot have failed to pick up on the atmosphere no matter how much he tries to deny it.
Needing to outdo Burnley on the final day, he has one final chance at completing the task he was set, and if he does then he won’t be the only one feeling delighted for once, but the recent experience is sure to have tempered that outlook significantly.
In other Leeds United news, the club have threatened a rival with legal action and received the response that “they can do so by all means”.