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Written by Martin Graham | April 13, 2022
Leeds United manager Jesse Marsh has criticized Marcelo Bielsa for “over-training” Leeds United players which has led to their struggle this season while Pep Guardiola has praised the veteran manager.
Jesse Marsh took over from Bielsa at the beginning of March, and has since settled on a ship he thought was sinking again at the landing. The American coach took over a team exhausted by injuries and was under a lot of pressure but managed to turn things around within a month.
Marsh has now announced that the team he met with was the result of Bielsa’s excessive training which stressed the players and resulted in countless injuries within the squad.
“I could see from just watching the matches from afar, talking to the people inside the club, that the stress levels were incredibly high,” said Marsh. TalkSPORT. “You can see it in their faces. You can see in the fifteenth minute that some of it was already in the extreme – and that shouldn’t be the case.
“The injury problem, for me, has a lot to do with the training methodology. These guys have been overtrained and that has resulted in them being physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically in a place where it’s hard to recover from week to week, match to game.
“I have a very specific approach to the way I work and have a reputation for high playback data, but also have players who are healthy, fit and strong who can meet the game standards we want.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola appears to disagree with Marsh, who is still cutting his teeth at high-level management after stints as Red Bull’s head coach for New York, Leipzig and Salzburg.
In his recent comments – which were not a direct response to Marsh’s comments – Guardiola praised Bielsa for the way he dealt with Leeds during his time with the Whites.
Speaking to Telemundo Sports, Guardiola, a self-proclaimed student at Bielsa’s training school, claimed he would not have approached Leeds the way the veteran did while claiming Bielsa would have done better with the Barcelona side where he coached. From the late 2000s to the early 2000s.
“Give him Barcelona and you will see how he will win titles,” the Spaniard said. “Give me Leeds, with all due respect to the Leeds players, but I’ll still be in the Championship.”
However, Marsh admits that Bielsa’s tactics are top-notch and that it has been difficult to completely shake off his old warrior style and bring his own.
“Marcelo had a strong man-to-man style of play,” said the former Chicago Fire quarterback. “Trying to wrest players from three and a half years of being instructed to do exactly that, and to go into what we’re trying to do, has been a huge challenge for players to adapt to.
“They’ve worked hard at it, but they still fall into bad habits, especially when they’re exhausted on the court. It’s normal.”
Leeds United are currently in 16th place and are on track to stay in the Premier League next season.