Leeds sack Bielsa after Spurs loss | Replacement set to be named on Monday
Marcelo Bielsa has been sacked by Leeds on the back of a 4-0 hammering by Tottenham at Elland Road on Saturday, with Jesse Marsch leading the race to replace him.
Bielsa joined Leeds in 2018 and led them back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence two years later, as well as a ninth-placed finish in the top flight in 2020/21, but he leaves the club only two points above the relegation zone and on a run of five defeats from six games.
Leeds have conceded 21 goals in that time and slumped to a 4-0 defeat at home to Tottenham on Saturday after being thrashed 6-0 in midweek away at Liverpool, leaving them with a goal difference of -30 and the leakiest defence in the Premier League, having shipped 60 goals in 26 games, five more than bottom side Norwich.
Bielsa’s contract was already due to expire at the end of the season, and after the Liverpool defeat he admitted he was concerned the Whites could be relegated back to the Championship.
Leeds say they hope to confirm Bielsa’s replacement as soon as Monday.
Leeds’ dismal run
- January 22 – Leeds 0-1 Newcastle
- February 9 – Aston Villa 3-3 Leeds
- February 12 – Everton 3-0 Leeds
- February 20 – Leeds 2-4 Man Utd
- February 23 – Liverpool 6-0 Leeds
- February 26 – Leeds 0-4 Tottenham
More to follow…
Who is Jesse Marsch?
Former American international midfielder Marsch has been out of work since December when he was sacked by RB Leipzig only five months after he was appointed.
The 48-year-old had taken over from Julian Nagelsmann in July 2021 when his predecessor left for Bayern Munich, but last season’s Bundesliga runners-up had dropped to 11th in the league, as well as losing three of their five Champions League group-stage games, before he was dismissed.
Before that, he had led Leipzig’s sister club Red Bull Salzburg to back-to-back domestic doubles in the Austrian top flight in his two seasons at the helm, and previously managed in the MLS with Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls.
Merson: Bielsa ‘pulling wool over people’s eyes’
Speaking ahead of the Tottenham loss, Paul Merson told Soccer Saturday that Bielsa was “pulling the wool over people’s eyes” with Leeds fans’ continued support of the Argentine in spite of their wretched form.
He said: “He’s pulling the wool over people’s eyes. he needs to change things. His squad is depleted, I know he’s got big players out, but he has to change it. You can’t keep going to Liverpools and Man Utds and opening games up and get beaten sixes and fours. You have to stop it. At the moment, I worry for them, I really worry for them.
“I think the fans need to get a bit stronger. Don’t start clapping your team off. If I got beaten by Tottenham by four at Highbury when I was playing there is no way I would be getting clapped off. Just go home. You don’t have to boo, I’m not saying boo and throw shoes at them.
“They’ve worked so hard to get to where they are in this league, and at the moment it is fizzling away. I love watching Leeds, I have no affinity to Leeds and I love watching them, but I know there is going to be goal after goal, no matter what end it’s going to be – and that’s worrying.”
Leeds’ next six games
- March 5 – Leicester vs Leeds, kick-off 12.30pm
- March 10 – Leeds vs Aston Villa, kick-off 7.45pm
- March 13 – Leeds vs Norwich, kick-off 2pm
- March 18 – Wolves vs Leeds, kick-off 8pm live on Sky Sports
- April 2 – Leeds vs Southampton, kick-off 3pm
- April 9 – Watford vs Leeds, kick-off 3pm