Jesse Marsch's post-match huddle against Aston Villa prompted former pro Gabriel Agbonlahor to make fun of the new Leeds United manager, but USMNT favourite Brad Friedel came to his defence and rejected 'Ted Lasso' comparisons.
Marsch gathered his charges in the centre of the field after going down 1-0 to Leicester City in his debut on the Whites bench.
The result leaves Leeds just two points clear of relegation, and continues the awful run of form that began under predecessor Marcelo Bielsa.
What was said?
“If he has a struggle or a difficult time at Leeds it’s not because he’s American, it’s because he has taken over a team that’s low on confidence, that’s been in freefall," Friedel fired to Stadium Astro.
“Jesse’s knowledge of football is just as good as any European’s, just because his accent’s a little bit different, it’s not going to make him a bad coach.
“The players will respect him, they will like him, his training sessions are very good.
“By no means will he be anything similar to [fictional US coach] Ted Lasso.
“It’s very unfair. What is the difference if a manager comes in and doesn’t speak English at all and has a translator, why wouldn’t you give them the same grief that you give an American?”
'What's he doing?'
Leeds have now lost all of their last five games in the Premier League, having gone into a nosedive under Bielsa which cost the immensely popular Argentine his job.
Fans nevertheless gave the departed boss a warm reception in the first game since his sacking, and ex-Aston Villa man Agbonlahor is not impressed by his successor.
“I know he doesn’t want to be like [TV coach Ted Lasso], but even the players were looking at him like, ‘what’s he doing?’" Agbonlahor told Talksport of Marsch's huddle.
“Do it in the changing room… Doing it in the middle of the pitch was so cringe, and honestly, the players would have been thinking exactly the same.”