First impression of Jesse Marsch's Leeds United: More teamwork, fewer individual battles

The first impressions of Jesse Marsch football was that Leeds United have replaced a stubborn manager with a narrow-minded one.

The football taught in the coaching factory the American came through has many merits but Red Bull certainly does not give you wings.

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Jack Harrison and Raphinha were both a long way infield for most of the goalless first half against Leicester City.

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NEW MAN: Jesse Marsch walks out at Leicester CIty before his first game as Leeds United coachNEW MAN: Jesse Marsch walks out at Leicester CIty before his first game as Leeds United coach
NEW MAN: Jesse Marsch walks out at Leicester CIty before his first game as Leeds United coach

The game has a whole was much more about tag team play than the mano a mano which was Marcelo Bielsa' s love. It made defending and pressing easier, but when Raphinha hass the ball at his feet, the idea of a straight fight is quite tempting.

There were more partnerships across the pitch as Marsch picked a 4-2-2-2 formation as his first as Leeds coach.

It meant Robin Koch had someone - Mateusz Klich - alongside him which was not usually the case when he held the midfield under the Argentinian.

Likewise, Dan James played centre-forward again but this time as one of two alongside Rodrigo, who could drop back and jelp the midfield just as Klich and Koch could push forward at times. The strikers also had Harrison and Raphinha close at hand.

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It needed the width to come from the full-backs, Junior Forp and Stuart Dallas - surprisingly on the right of defence with Luke Ayling at centre-back in a very Bielsaesque defensive set-up, but in the first 45 minutes they were reluctant to bomb forward too odten against a Leicester team who, like Leeds, are dangerous on the counter-attack. Harvey Barnes in particular gave

Dallas something to think about.

Then, in the 41st minute, left-back Firpo popped up on the penalty spot in pen play to get on the end of a deflected cross from Rodrigo, who was providing the width in his absence. His shot looked goalbound until it his Caglar Soyuncu.

Leeds best half of the chance seemed to point the way ahead, and Rodrigo's sliced volley in stoppage time suggested they were getting to grips with what they were being asked.

It was not that they had been cagey until then, and for all that Leeds felt more solid the game as open and entertaining as those Bielsa oversaw. Part of that was down to the quality of the opposition.

Things are different now, but not that different.

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