Marcelo Bielsa era over as Leeds sack head coach

RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch favourite to take over club sitting close to relegation spots

Marcelo Bielsa was sacked by Leeds on Sunday morning after an appalling run of form which saw his struggling side collect one point from the last six Premier League games and concede 20 goals in their past five matches alone. His replacement is scheduled to be named on Monday with the American coach Jesse Marsch the firm favourite.

No club in the top tier has a worse goals against record than the 60 shipped by Leeds and Saturday’s 4-0 defeat by Tottenham at Elland Road proved the final straw for a manager already on shaky terrain in the wake of last Wednesday’s 6-0 thrashing at Liverpool.

The 66-year-old Argentinian has transformed the fortunes of Leeds since his appointment in June 2018, not only leading them back into the Premier League following a 16 year top flight exile but securing a creditable ninth place last May.

This season though the thrilling attacking intensity which will forever remain synonymous with the Bielsa years was not sustained and, even worse, an always vulnerable defence became even creakier.


Despite the bulk of the Leeds support remaining loyal to a manager they will always adore, the threat of relegation had increased to the point where Andrea Radrizzani, the Elland Road chairman had to act.

“This has been the toughest decision I have had to make during my tenure at Leeds United, taking into account all the success Marcelo has had at the club,” said Radrizzani. “With Marcelo as our head coach, we had three incredible campaigns and the good times returned to Elland Road. He changed the culture of the club and brought a winning mentality to us all.

"However, I have to act in the best interest of the club and I believe a change is required now in order to secure our Premier League status. Recent results and performances have not met our expectations.
"We find ourselves in a precarious league position and I feel now is the right time to bring in a new head coach, in order to have an impact in the decisive stage of the season."

Leeds have said they intend to name Bielsa’s successor on Monday. The 48-year-old Marsch, who parted company with Leipzig in December, has quite a fan club in the Elland Road boardroom and is believed to be finalising a deal in West Yorkshire. Although Marsch’s five month sit at at Leipzig did not work out as planned, previous roles with New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg proved more successful.

Should an agreement fail to be reached other candidates could include Rafael Benitez, currently out of work following his sacking by Everton, the former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and Carlos Corberan, currently in charge of Huddersfield. - Guardian