The Wisconsin native has previously worked in Europe with Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig but acknowledges that he still has a point to prove
Jesse Marsch admits that popular television show Ted Lasso has created a “stigma” for American coaches in Europe, but the new Leeds United boss is determined to prove that he can succeed in the Premier League even if he does struggle to shake a “soccer” habit at times.
The 48-year-old former Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls coach has previously spent time with Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, meaning that he is well versed in the demands and pressures of life outside of his homeland.
He does, however, concede that there are many challenges for him to overcome at Elland Road as he seeks to become a suitable successor to the popular Marcelo Bielsa and a man that proves the Ted Lasso stereotype wrong.
“There’s probably a stigma. I’m not sure Ted Lasso helped!” Marsch told reporters on becoming the latest American coach to try his luck in the English top flight.
“I haven’t watched the show…but I get it. People hate hearing the word soccer. I’ve used the word football since I was a professional player. We’re adapting to the culture in this country.
“It challenges me to grow and develop and to learn new things. All I can say is the only way I know how to do things is to go all in and if you do that you can be surprised. That sounds like Ted Lasso so I’ve heard!”
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Marsch has been appointed by Leeds on a contract through to 2025, as long-term trust is displayed in him by the Whites board, but he will have to convince plenty of supporters that he can pick up where predecessor Bielsa left off.
“I will always be respectful of what has happened here in the last three-and-a-half years,” Marsch added on following in the footsteps of a manager that returned Leeds to the big time while playing a swashbuckling brand of football that earned plenty of plaudits.
“Marcelo created a winning mentality here, it’s understanding those things but it’s also about me being me to help this team to continue and to grow. I have respected and learned things that he has done but clearly I am my own man. I love this team’s ability to run and fight for each other and this will have to remain a part of our DNA.
“I understand what a big job it is and how big it is to the fans and community here but I have followed football history for years and I am very aware of what this is. I am very happy to be here, I’ve been following Leeds for a couple of years because of Victor. Clearly I am emotional and excited and I just have to channel that.”
Quizzed on whether his own philosophy is similar to that of the enigmatic Argentine that went before him, Marsch added: “This is the reason I am here I think. I certainly didn’t have the managerial career that Marcelo had before he came here. I believe I can be the right kind of fit and it can be that right fit for me.”
Marsch’s first game at the helm will see Leeds take in a trip to Leicester on Saturday with the club perched just two places and a couple of points above the Premier League relegation zone.