Leeds United

Leeds United

Championship

Gary Neville reveals honest opinion on Jesse Marsch as he names Leeds star who will be Man City transfer target

Gary-Neville Sky Sports August 2022

Gary Neville, Sky Sports pundit

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville refused to say whether Jesse Marsch could be fired by Leeds – but insists there is much to like about what he is trying to implement at Elland Road.

The Whites went into Friday’s match at Aston Villa sat in 14th but just two points clear of the relegation zone. Having survived on the final day of last season, Leeds will want to ensure they are better equipped this time around.

However, an unfrortunate 2-1 defeat at Villa Park left Leeds licking their wounds. They were the dominant team throughout, but fell 2-0 behind after an early Leon Bailey goal on the counter attack. And with Leeds dominating, a breakaway goal from Emiliano Buendia was especially tough to take.

To deny Leeds, World Cup winner Emi Martinez made two astonishing saves from Jack Harrison and Wilfried Gnonto. And a Rodrigo Moreno goal was correctly – albeit narrowly – disallowed for offside after a VAR review.

On another day, Leeds may well have won. However, the stats show the Whites have now won just twice in their last 17 games. Just as worryingly, they have also conceded at least two goals in four of their last five games.

Nonetheless, despite the predicament Leeds find themselves in, Marsch insists he does not feel the heat in wake of calls for him to be sacked.

 

Sky Sports pundit Neville, though, has a thoroughly different take.

During co-commentary in the game, he admits he likes what he sees under the American.

Neville fears for Leeds under Jesse Marsch

However, he is adamant Marsch comes across really well, though does fear they are in relegation danger again.

“He’s always positive and obviously surviving on the last day last season was a huge plus for him,” Neville said. “But they’re in trouble again.

“There’s a lot to like about them. They’re bright and good to watch; you just wonder whether they’re a little bit flimsy though. They’re doing a lot of really good things in this game.”

Leeds next face Cardiff in the FA Cup replay on Wednesday night. Failure to beat them at the second time of asking – especially given their struggles in the Championship – would not reflect well on Marsch.

Following that, the Whites face two enormous Premier League games. Brentford lie in wait at Elland Road on Sunday, with a trip to fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest to follow.

Having beaten Chelsea and Liverpool this season, Leeds have shown what they are capable of. But they still only have four Premier League wins to their name this season and are now winless in their last seven matches.

As such, the pressure will be on Marsch to deliver the results that match their performances.

Gary Neville loves watching Willy Gnonto

With Leeds bright and positive in defeat at Villa, one man who really caught the eye was teenager Wilfried Gnonto.

Signed over the summer in an initial £3.8m move from FC Zurich, the 19-year-old has really hit the ground running at Leeds.

Making his debut in the Premier League win at Liverpool in October, he has not looked back.

And while he only still has nine appearances to his name, he already looked undroppable for the Whites.

Coming up against veteran Villa full-back Ashley Young on Friday night, the two players enjoyed an excellent tussle.

And while Young did a decent-enough job on him, Gnonto’s positive play was a highlight all night for Leeds.

Indeed, he played a big role in the build-up to Patrick Bamford’s consolation goal.

And he was a menace to Villa all night, teasing and tormenting them with his play down the left flank.

Neville was certainly impressed too. He believes the teenager is heading right for the very top – and reckons it won’t be long before he comes under Manchester City‘s watchful gaze.

“He’s such a lively player,” Neville said of Gnonto. “For a teenager, he really knows the position. He’s hanging on the shoulder of Young and hogging that touch line. He’s really difficult to play against.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen him live and I’ve been really impressed.

“He looks very much like a Manchester City player. Leeds fans won’t thank me for saying that, I know. But he’s so intelligent on the ball.”

Later on during co-commentary, Neville once again beamed about the display of the eight-times capped Italy star

“I’m absolutely massively, massively impressed.”

READ MORERooney names three Mateusz Klich traits he’s excited to see as DC United confirm signing from Leeds