Trevor Sinclair defends Americans in football after Leeds United appoint Jesse Marsch
Criticism of Jesse Marsch’s appointment as Leeds United manager is “elitist” and the lack of a language barrier is a plus says Trevor Sinclair.
The position of Americans in English football is sometimes sniffed at, with the new Whites boss feeling the need to address Ted Lasso comparisons and the use of the word “soccer” in his first press conference yesterday (Thursday 3 March).
But former England winger Sinclair thinks that is outdated, and talked up the fact Americans speak English.
Speaking on talkSPORT this morning (08.20am) he said: “When you talk about Jesse Marsch, I think it’s a little bit elitist, or a little bit snobby of us in England, because they use certain different terminologies.
“You’ve got to look at the USA team, they’ve been competitive for a while.
“It’s his first language as well. We invite all these managers from around the world and it might be their second or third language, English.
“So he should find it a little bit easier than some of the foreign managers, to come in, get that bond with the players, get them to buy into his philosophy and hopefully start picking up some better results.”
Yes and no
Concern that someone doesn’t understand the game because of where they are from is a lazy trope.
Even if American players like Christian Pulisic, Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel hadn’t long proven that there is plenty of talent from across the Atlantic it would miss the point of judging each candidate on merit.
Bob Bradley and David Wagner were not Premier League successes, but no English manager has won the title since the division was formed so familiarity means very little.
And although Sinclair’s point on language is factually accurate, the significance of speaking English natively is again secondary to the talent of the manager overall.
Of course ease of communication helps, but managers from Italy, Spain and Portugal have done more than fine speaking with other first languages.
And with Leeds it is surely less of a relevant argument than with most teams, as they have just seen Marcelo Bielsa leave.
The Argentine certainly spoke more English than his use of an interpreter in interviews would suggest, but the wholesale change he inspired at the club was clearly not held back by a language barrier.
Plenty of the players also have other first languages, so while it may ease familiarity for some in the first instance, the former RB Salzburg boss’ ideas will be what ultimately makes the difference.
In other Leeds United news, the sudden return of Patrick Bamford after Bielsa’s exit has been explained.