By George Overhill

24th Oct, 2022 | 7:40pm

Jesse Marsch will find it “incredibly difficult” to survive at Leeds United now and the club could use the World Cup break to appoint a long-term replacement, says Phil Hay.

The Whites manager is now under major pressure after losing to both Leicester City (20 October) and Fulham (23 Ocotber) in the space of 72 hours, leaving him without a win since August and crucially now sitting in the relegation zone.

Changing manager midseason often necessitates the new man to firefight on the fly and much judgment is put off until they have had a preseason to work with the players, but the unique winter break for the Qatar World Cup would give Andrea Radrizzani the opportunity to implement a new man for the long term if he pulls the trigger in the next few weeks.

Speaking on The Phil Hay Show on Monday (24 October, 12min 50sec) Hay said of the World Cup break: “It’s a sort of impromptu preseason that you wouldn’t normally have and there’s potentially no club that are more in need of that than Leeds.

“If you stand by Marsch then that gives you a long period in which to address issues and to think about recruitment in January, to talk seriously about what needs to change.

“If you decide to go in a different direction it actually gives you the flexibility where you don’t have to lump on a short-term appointment, or an interim appointment, or a caretaker, or anything else.

“You can almost go for a long-term choice because you have a stretch of weeks where they can actually work with the team without any games.”

As to the likelihood of which way that goes he had said earlier (6min 45sec): “Everybody has a gut feeling for where this is going and it will be incredibly difficult for him to survive.”

And on whether the American will be there after the World Cup he went on (14min) to say: “It’s hard to believe that he will be, although that’ll depend on the club, and the club’s confidence in him has held through these two results.”

Now or never

Clearly, having sacked Marcelo Bielsa for Marsch, after an in-depth appraisal of numerous coaches for when the Argentine eventually left, there is a lot riding on the current boss’ success.

The board have backed him in the transfer market, but there comes a point where throwing good money after bad does more damage than showing faith.

Whether that point has already passed is up for debate as there is no way of knowing whether a bit of luck or some time on the training ground through November and December would allow the former Red Bull man to turn it around himself, but there is little evidence of it happening right now.

A charitable assessment would say that the strong start to the season, which has categorically fizzled out now, suggests he might be able to get a short-term improvement.

But the Leeds United owner is in a high-stakes position right now, because if he allows the World Cup break to pass and then ends up removing Marsch anyway he will have wasted a golden opportunity and damaged the chances of staying up again.

The switch from Bielsa to Marsch last season was the exact sort of situation that he can avoid as the new man had no time to get the side familiarised with his ideas before games were passing by.

But he has since had that full pre-season and been provided players who are supposed to suit his system, and while it can never be denied that he kept the team in the top flight in May he is heading straight for the same peril again and doesn’t have any of the same excuses this time.

In other Leeds United news, Victor Orta is also on very shaky ground at the moment as well as the manager.