Jesse Marsch has had one hand tied behind his back at Leeds United and that’s about to change – Beren Cross

Band-Aid will give way to surgery at Leeds United this summer as Jesse Marsch finally gets the time and space needed to craft this team in his vision. Parachuted into Elland Road at a time he knew was far from ideal, Marsch had to sacrifice his philosophy for cold, hard results.

In his first press conference after taking the job, Marsch even admitted he had virtually told Victor Orta he felt Marcelo Bielsa should see out the season. Beginning a managerial job between seasons is always going to be more favorable to a coach, but instead, Marsch took it all on with a desperate need for wins, however they came.

There is only so much heavy lifting a coach can do with a team of players in the week between matches, especially when two of those seven days is dominated by travel and recovery. As he put it in his last press debrief of the season, Marsch was applying a Band-Aid plaster to a group which was haemorrhaging goals and momentum.

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Asked what he felt needed to be done if leeds were to avoid another final-day survival job, Marsch said: “It’s almost been [more of] a Band-Aid project that it has been a project about style of play and identity and developing an academy.

“There’s so much to do. We’ve started the process and invested in each other and what we have from a resource and people perspective, but we’re just scratching the surface of the potential of what we want to become.

“There’s a lot to do, it’s almost everything, but I am so thankful to work with the people I work with every day and I know, regardless of the outcome, we have a big future because of the people involved. That’s from a player perspective, worker perspective and support staff, everything.”

With one arm tied behind March’s back by the time he had available to get his players playing his kind of football, many had given the American a free pass through those final 12 matches. There will always be some giving him less leeway than that, but it seems fair, especially in surviving relegation, for the jury to remain out on the head coach until several weeks into the new campaign.

That’s because there will be no more excuses going into the new season. Marsch will go into that opening-day clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers on the back of a full pre-season with nothing but his methods and a transfer window geared to support his ideology.

Next month’s fortnight in Australia is expected to be especially beneficial. The three matches with Brisbane Roar, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace will be useful, but a personable head coach like Marsch will get so much out of living in each other’s pockets.

Unlike Marcelo Bielsa, when the club went Down Under in 2019, Marsch’s clearer lines between the first team and the under-23s should mean a stronger overall squad travels to Australia. There seems little rhyme or reason for Marsch to divide his group between domestic and international friendlies, as the Argentine did.

Marsch will get so much out of the team-building exercises between games, from the meal times at the hotel, from the training sessions with no creeping dread of a Premier League relegation decider. As someone who has repeatedly talked up the importance of these individual relationships, that time away will be critical for forging the bonds which see Leeds through their toughest moments of 2022/23.

At last, Marsch has both of his hands free to mold this Leeds side into everything he wants. It will not long now before we see exactly what that means on the field and in the Premier League.

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