Leeds United

Leeds United

Championship

Jesse Marsch puts Mikel Arteta in unrivalled position with big claim, warning he has seen new Leeds ‘best’

Jesse Marsch overseeing a Leeds United warm up

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch says Arsenal counter-part Mikel Arteta deserves much more credit than he is currently getting for his work.

The Gunners have started the season in impressive fashion and are keeping pace with champions Manchester City. Following two summer transfer windows of sizeable investment, Arsenal are going places.

They just missed out on a top-four Premier League finish last term, but that has only spurred them on. Indeed, last Sunday’s resilient 3-2 win over Liverpool was a massive sign of their progress.

And up next for Arsenal is a trip to Elland Road to face a Leeds side who are without a win in five matches.

As a result, American boss Marsch has admitted that Arteta needs more recognition for his work with Arsenal.

“Mikel Arteta has done an absolutely amazing job. I think he’s the most underrated manager,” Marsch told a press conference.

“With a young team, he’s built this up to be really complex, stable and I think exciting to watch. I think he’s done an amazing job and it’s taken him time.

“He took a lot of heat in the beginning, but I think now you see the fruits of his labour and the fruits of their labour.

“Obviously for us, it can be a big boost for us to have a big result against an opponent like this.”

Jesse Marsch details Leeds game plan

Marsch insisted that his Leeds side feel “confident” of taking on Arsenal in front of the Whites’ home fans.

He said his players have to be “very calculated” and “aggressive at the right moments” to get success.

“What it sends in terms of a message to everyone else is less important than what it means to us internally,” he said.

Marsch then claimed that the first half of last Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Palace was a sign Leeds are themselves going places.

“I see the work that goes on here every day, my belief in this group is as strong as it’s ever been,” Marsch said.

“I think the first half against Palace is the best that we’ve played since I’ve been here. So, you have to think of that as a positive but it winds up walking away empty because we don’t get the result and we don’t turn it into a 90 minute performance.

“We’re growing and we’re moving forward, but slower than all of us would like. That’s for sure.”

Leeds took the lead against Palace, but Patrick Vieira’s side came back to claim all three points at Selhurst Park.

Whites looking for a spark

Marsch may well claim that he has seen the best first half from Leeds since he took over, but it clearly did not amount to much.

What Leeds need is a consistent performance over 90 minutes where they are aggressive and calculated – as Marsch wants them to be – for the whole game.

Only then can they say they are making real progress.

Leeds need to get back whatever inspired them to beat Chelsea 3-0 at Elland Road back in August.

The Whites will want history to repeat itself against another of the Premier League’s so-called ‘Big Six’, but it looks a tall order this time around.

READ MORE: Jesse Marsch teases Leeds January transfer plan with ‘riskier’ idea brewing in meantime; reveals injury latest