Jesse Marsch discusses stigma around American coaches – ‘Frankly, they’re right’

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Now that Jesse Marsch’s hiring by Leeds United is official and we’ve all speculated what the club is getting with Marsch and what he’s getting with the club, let’s hear from the man himself.

Leeds released video of the 48-year-old American meeting the players in his first job since leaving RB Leipzig in December, the visuals laid under Marsch’s plans for the club as it fights to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

[ MORE: What will Jesse Marsch bring to Leeds? ]

Marsch does not shy away from the fact that he’s taking over for a legend of the game in Marcelo Bielsa, and he’s also well aware that there are fans in and out of the club who will expect him to fail because of his nationality.

After all, we all remember the “Brad Bobley” jokes when Bob Bradley was given a short period of time to fix Swansea City.


UPDATE (March 3): Marsch spoke to the media at his introductory press conference on Thursday, and was (predictably) asked about “the stigma around American coaches” in Europe and, more specifically and intensely, in England.

“I can understand that they don’t think that we have the experiences that can be created here in Europe — frankly, they’re right,” he conceded. “It was the reason I came to Europe. It was the reason I learned German. It was the reason I tried to adapt to new cultures. This is the fifth country I’ve coached football in.

“It takes me out of my comfort zone every time. It challenges me to grow and develop and learn new things. I’m very open to that.”


“I have a lot to prove to our fan base that I’m the right guy to follow such a hero like Marcelo Bielsa but I think the key is when they see the team play and they play with passion and heart and give everything they have and they show they are also intelligent and clear with the play model, then normally the fans will tolerate the coach even if they don’t like his accent or he’s not as popular as the previous coach,” Marsch told Leeds’ web site.”Over time I’ve felt I’ve had an incredibly passionate and well-connected relationship with the fan bases everywhere I’ve gone. Football culture is the best part of being a manager for me.”

Marsch believes that Leeds can be sorted out quickly and that he’s excited to not just stabilize the club’s Premier League status but boost it nearer to the status of its celebrated history.

“One of the things I love about this team right now is their commitment no matter how difficult the games have been, to play to the end, to fight for each other, to never stop, to give everything for each other at every moment — This mentality, this mindset, to fight for the fans and fight for each other, this is what I love,” Marsch said. “For me, I just want to take the torch to the next phase and understand that everything that’s been done has laid an incredible foundation. I just want to do everything I can and my style of play, my aggressiveness, the desire I have for teams to be intensive and to run and to make things difficult for the opponent fits with what has been done here the last 3.5 years. It will be a big challenge to do it in a short period of time and make sure we can evolve in a way where we can be successful for the future. I have to really identify how to do the important things and the simple things right away and then build complexity as we move forward.”