Jesse Marsch’s passing principle is admirable but there’s a right time and place to implement it


Jesse Marsch’s passing principle is admirable but there’s a right time and place… it was irresponsible of the Leeds boss to implement that style against a relentless Arsenal frontline

  • Jesse Marsch’s philosophy is admirable but this isn’t the time to experiment 
  • The passing tactic was not the right one against a relentless Arsenal frontline
  • Leeds don’t have the right players for that plan and Marsch was irresponsible 

It was almost like Jesse Marsch was oblivious to what was happening.

In many ways, you have to admire the Leeds manager’s devotion to his passing principles. But there’s a time and place.

With Leeds staring down the barrel of relegation, this isn’t the time.

Eddie Nketiah capitalised on a mistake from Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier to open the scoring

The Emirates Stadium, against an Arsenal front three relentless in their efforts to put opposing defenders under pressure, wasn’t the place.

But, perhaps most pertinently of all, do Leeds have the players to play the sort of football Marsch is trying to implement? Not on this evidence.

So to do so, with Premier League survival at stake, is plain irresponsible.

Particularly in the first-half, Leeds showed little or no aptitude for passing their way out of trouble. Arsenal sensed blood and went for the kill – successfully.

Make no mistake, it’s compelling watching – though not necessarily for the reasons Marsch would have intended.

Jesse Marsch's philosophy is admirable but he chose the wrong tactics against Arsenal

Jesse Marsch’s philosophy is admirable but he chose the wrong tactics against Arsenal 

When Leeds managed to score, it didn’t come from a free-flowing move akin to prime Barcelona.

It arrived via a set piece, Junior Firpo flicking on Jack Harrison’s corner before Diego Llorente leathered home at the back post.

When Rodrigo missed Leeds’ glorious opportunity to equalise right at the death, it came from Kalvin Phillips’ launched free-kick into the area and another Firpo aerial flick.

Football can be uncomplicated, too. When you’re in a relegation scrap, it probably needs to be as uncomplicated as possible.

What’s for sure is Leeds’ defenders certainly didn’t appear to show that they are as comfortable with playing out from the defence as their manager may believe they are.

Luke Ayling was sent off before half hour mark for a reckless challenge on Gabriel Martinelli

Luke Ayling was sent off before half hour mark for a reckless challenge on Gabriel Martinelli

Illan Meslier should have leathered Luke Ayling’s tame back pass as far as his right boot could have mustered in the fifth minute, but instead he mis-controlled before Eddie Nketiah hunted him down as the keeper gifted Arsenal the lead.

It wasn’t the only time a Leeds player’s lack of conviction in possession got them into trouble; time and again their commitment to style over substance had supporters covering their eyes.

Leeds weren’t helped by their captain Luke Ayling’s unforgivable challenge on Gabriel Martinelli in the 27th minute that saw the away side reduced to 10 men. No wonder Ayling he to his team-mates at half-time.

But they were 2-0 down by the time Ayling was sent off.

Leeds currently just don't have the right players to implement Marsch's passing philosophy

Leeds currently just don’t have the right players to implement Marsch’s passing philosophy

In time, if he is afforded it of course, Marsch may well have success in implementing the sort of style he wants to.

But this isn’t the time to be experimenting. Leeds find themselves in the relegation zone after this loss; a game that sounds tighter than it actually was.

Arsenal should have had this game dead and buried by half-time; many of their opportunities arriving from Leeds’ apparent inability to pass their way out of danger.

Speaking after the game Marsch hinted that he could be prepared to alter his approach for the final three games. The fact his side looked far more capable of getting a result against Arsenal when they were down to 10 men and scrapping for their lives may have given Marsch food for thought.

And while it seems unlikely now that Marsch will completely drop his passing fundamentals, there’s surely room for a plan B.

Advertisement





Source link