Jesse Marsch sacking: Six things he got wrong as Leeds United coach

Jesse Marsch has been sacked as Leeds United’s head coach after just under a year in the job.

Marsch spoke often about the progress he felt his team had been making since October’s win at Liverpool, but results did not bear him out.

Here are some of the big mistakes he made.

Style of play

POSITIVE: Jesse Marsch often talked about Leeds United's progress but it was not matched by resultsPOSITIVE: Jesse Marsch often talked about Leeds United's progress but it was not matched by results
POSITIVE: Jesse Marsch often talked about Leeds United's progress but it was not matched by results

Even with his reign ending disastrously, there was no groundswell for Marcelo Bielsa to be sacked, so his replacement was always going to have a tough job winning them over. Marsch was careful not to fall into too many obvious traps early on, such as calling the sport "soccer" but his functional football jarred after the beautiful, if sometimes flawed, style of his predecessor.

Inability to turn dominance into wins

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Leeds' shot conversion rate of 8.6 per cent this season is the same as when they finished ninth in the Premier League under Bielsa, but with fewer chances created they made a habit of outplaying teams without beating them.

Leeds are sixth in this season's division for possession, 17th for results.

Lack of clean sheets

Leeds constantly undermined themselves with sloppy goals conceded under Marsch. Fourteen goalkeepers have kept more clean sheets than Illan Meslier's four this season and according to FB ref only six teams have made more defensive errors than Leeds this season.

Unfortunate to lose Stuart Dallas to a broken leg, Marsch tried to fudge the club's long-standing left-back problem by signing Max Wober but could not solve it.

Relentless positivity

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Football fans do not want their managers sounding like all hope is lost, but Marsch's constant references to "positive performances" and "tactical clarity" after each demoralising result had him sounding a bit like the former Iraqi foreign minister "Comical Ali" by the end.

Lack of width

Marsch arrived with a reputation as a devotee of 4-2-2-2 and although he hardly ever used the formation he did seem very suspicious of width, which was odd when Willy Gnonto, Crysencio Summerville and Luis Sinisterra were some of his best players.

Weakness over outgoings

Marsch said he did not want club favourite Mateusz Klich to go, and even suggested the Polish midfielder did not want to leave, but Leeds allowed him to anyway. The American was not in charge of transfers but the business Leeds did showed how involved he was. With Llorente "reluctantly" being allowed to leave without an immediate replacement and a big accepted for Jack Harrison before Leeds U-turned, it made him look weak when he wanted to appear empathetic.