After an eight-match winless streak in the Premier League, Leeds United Football Club has made the decision to sack Jese Marsche after a year in charge.
Chairman Radrizzini a club statement on this news.
“We would like to thank Jesse and his backroom staff for their efforts and wish them well for the future. “The process of appointing a new head coach is under way and we will continue to keep supporters up to date throughout the coming days.”Leeds United: BBC SPORT
So who are the leading contenders to replace the American at Elland Road?
1. Carlos Corberán
First on the list is the Baggies Boss. Corberán joined West Bromwich Albion in October 2022, where the West Midlands club was bottom of the Championship. However, an uplift in form has elevated the Baggies into the Play-Off spots.
Corberán was part of Marcelo Bielsa’s coaching staff from 2017-2020 and took charge of the U23s before becoming first team Coach. He was described as a ”very talented’ coach by Bielsa, who always valued his opinion more than his own.
Last season, he guided Huddersfield Town to the Championship Final, where they lost 1-0 to Steeve Cooper’s Nottingham Forrest.
Post leaving the West Yorkshire club, Corberán joined the Greek club Olympiakos but was dismissed by the Thrylos, after just 11 games, Will the Liilywhites take the risk in appointing the Spaniard, to rescue their status in the Premier League?
2. Rafael Benitez
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Next on the list is the experienced Spaniard, who has managed four teams in the Premier League, with the last of those being Everton in 2021-22.
Newcastle United was his previous club before the Toffees, and although they ended that season with a six-match unbeaten run towards the end of the season, local rivals Sunderland managed to finish two points above them in 17th place.
As far as Premier League relegation battles are concerned, he was unable to keep the Magpies in the Premier League during the 2015-16 season, however, he managed to get them promoted back to England’s top-flight division in the following season.
On their return to the Premier League, the Magpies finished 10th, which was a decent first season, but the following season was slightly disappointing with Newcastle finishing in 13th place.
Benitez left the North East club following a dispute with ex-Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley because he assumed that the Magpies had a ‘lack of vision’ from the club’s hierarchy.
Benitez explained his decision to leave the club in an exclusive column with The Athletic.
‘Newcastle’s board had a year to sort out my contract but, when we met after the end of last season, they didn’t make me a proper offer. They told me they didn’t want to invest in the academy or the training ground — if they like, I can explain the reason why Mike Ashley refused to do that. Their idea of a project was a policy of signing players under 24 and, in my opinion, the budget available was not enough to compete for the top 10. After that meeting, I knew they would not come back with a serious offer and, when it arrived, 19 days later, it was for the same salary as three years earlier and with less control over signings. Charnley’s comments in the programme about having a deal agreed for Joelinton in February explains a lot that I couldn’t understand at that time.’Rafa Benitlez: The Athletic
Benitez also has plenty of experience in European competitions, where he guided Valencia to a UEFA Cup in 2004, Liverpool to a Champions League victory in 2005, and Chelsea to the Europa League in 2013.
Could he be the one to rescue Leeds from going into the Championship?
3. Marcelo Bielsa
Would Leeds like their old boss back?
The Argentine guided the Lillywhites into the Premier League in 2019-20 after a 16-year absence. Despite not being able to communicate well in English, Bielsa developed Leeds into a watchable team, through a style of play known as ‘Bielsa Ball’.
This is a very attacking style of football, that involves a high-energy press,
During their training sessions under Bielsa, Leeds developed a high-intensity ‘murderball’ activity, where the objective was to play a match without throw-ins, corners, and free-kicks.
The ultimate aim for this is to keep the ball moving as much as possible, in order to continuously attack the opposition, or in other words don’t worry about defending as much as attacking.
This was the recipe for success in the Championship in 2019/20 and a 10th-place finish in their first season back in the Premier League since 2003/04.
In the following season, Leeds finished ninth, this was their best finish in the Premier League since 1994/95 when they claimed fifth place. They also score more goals than any other promoted side after 20 years.
Would it be worth reigniting ‘Bielsa Ball’ to save their season?