Jesse Marsch 'has never felt so supported' as he is at Leeds United as he looks to follow Arsenal's patient progress
When Jesse Marsch talks about what Mikel Arteta has done at Arsenal, it sounds a lot like what he would like to do at Leeds United. Then again, it ought to be what every coach/manager is looking to do.
Actually getting the chance is another thing altogether.
The clocks have not yet gone back and already Bournemouth, Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers have sacked their managers. Others are having their job prospects openly discussed.
Arteta could easily not have been leading his side out at Elland Road on Sunday. The 40-year-old has been in charge for three years and already it feels like he has ridden out three or four "crises" whipped up by Arsenal Fan TV, Piers Morgan, the media, internet or radio phone-ins which could easily have had him clearing his desk.
Marsch works for a club which in February sacked West Yorkshire footballing deity Marcelo Bielsa against the wishes of the vast majority of their fans, yet senses the sort of support which will at least give him a chance of matching Arteta's work. The rest will be down to him and his players.
"The support I have internally in this club is better than anywhere I've ever been in my life," says the former New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig coach.
"When you lose questions arise – that's normal from you guys (in the media), from fans, and I accept that. And it's my responsibility to make sure we lose as little as possible and my goal is to never lose.
"(But) I'm not afraid of that. I accept that responsibility.
"I'm here to do the job and I believe that I'm the man to do the job. But I'm doing it with my staff, with my team, with the leaders in this club with my ownership, we're together and I feel incredibly supported. It empowers me to do the job. I think is necessary to help us win."
Marsch calls Arteta the Premier League's "most underrated manager", though the longer his team sit top of a table which includes the match-winning machine that is Manchester City, the harder that claim might be to substantiate.
"He took a lot of heat in the beginning, but I think now you see the fruits of his labour and the fruits of their labour," says Marsch.
The question people are starting to ask is what will those fruits be? After five years of City/Liverpool duopoly... could they?
"You'd have to say yes," argues Marsch. "They've looked very strong and they've recently played a bit against good opponents as well.
"You look at the table and you see they're winning games, you catch moments of games and highlights and we know that they're a good team and they have good quality.
"I always like also when teams and coaches improve and grow together and that's definitely happened at Arsenal, a club that looked like they weren't going to be so strong about five or six years ago.
"Now all of a sudden to be back at the top of the table and playing the football that they're playing, it says a lot about the commitment that they've made as a club to find a process and stick to it."
For Marsch, it is a question of whether he can turn the support he feels into his own share of relative success. First, though, he just wants to protect Leeds' unbeaten start to the season at Elland Road.
"It can be a big boost to have a big result against an opponent like this," he says. "We are confident at Elland Road we can play the way we want.
"Arsenal are very good and we have to be very calculated with our matchplan but aggressive at the right moments.
"We still want to try to play our football, to challenge them in certain ways, and we know we have to be at our best to have a chance. What it sends in terms of a message to everyone else is less important than what it means to us internally."
And although Leeds' last victory – August's 3-0 thumping of Chelsea – is fading in the memory, Marsch sees a club moving in the right direction.
"I see the work that goes on here every day, my belief in this group is as strong as it's ever been," he reflects. "I think the first half against (Crystal) Palace (last week) is the best we've played since I've been here but it winds up walking away empty because we don't get the result (losing 2-1) and we don't turn it into a 90-minute performance.
"We're growing and we're moving forward, but slower than all of us would like, that's for sure."
Instant, lasting success is very hard to come by. Sometimes, though, a bit of patience can be well worth the wait. Just ask Arsenal.