'Who cares?!' - Leeds boss Marsch defends use of American-style huddle

Leeds huddle 2021-22Getty Images

New U.S.-born Leeds manager Jesse Marsch has defended the on-field huddle he held with players this past weekend after a 1-0 loss to Leicester City.

The meeting led to jokes at his expense, as it resembled an American football tradition.

However, Marsch, who says he faces a "stigma" as an American coach, is puzzled why anyone would care how and where he gathers his players.

What has been said?

"Who cares?" he said to reporters. "I've done that at different moments, partly because if I go back to my time in Austria and Germany, after the game the media comes for players right away and it's almost impossible after the match to have the whole group together.

"The attention around this small little conversation with the group I find frankly hilarious and ridiculous.

"But whatever, maybe people don't see that much here, I've done that a few times in my career, in positive moments and negative moments. And it's about now making sure that we're able to, as a group, process what happened and make sure that we're clear on what was good, what was bad and how we're going to move forward.

"So I thought that the immediate feedback in that situation was important. I realise maybe I could do it in the locker room, maybe I'll do it on the pitch, I don't know."

Ted Lasso 'not helpful'

Because he was born in the U.S., Marsch has drawn unwanted comparisons to fictional TV character Ted Lasso, a former American football coach who takes over a Premier League team.

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“I haven’t watched the show … but I get it," he said last week. "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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