Leeds United

Leeds United


Six managers Leeds can target after sacking Jesse Marsch, including former Bielsa assistant and a Liverpool legend

Steven Gerrard, Carlos Corberan and Ange Postecoglou. TEAMtalk montage.

Jesse Marsch has been sacked by Leeds United following a string of poor results – but who could replace him at Elland Road?

Marsch replaced club legend Marcelo Bielsa in February 2022 and helped the team narrowly avoid relegation on the final day of the campaign.

But they’ve had a dreadful start to the 2022/23 season and find themselves just outside of the relegation zone after picking up 18 points from their opening 20 Premier League games. That run of form sees them claim a mere 11 points from the last 51 available.

Indeed, just one look at the Premier League table since the resumption after the World Cup makes for grim reading to Leeds.

We’ve taken a look at six managers that Leeds should consider now that they’ve decided to sack Marsch.

Steven Gerrard

After being sacked by Aston Villa in October 2022, Gerrard could potentially make a swift return to management.

The 42-year-old spent 11 months at Villa and failed to live up to expectations but his ill-fated stay in the Midlands shouldn’t ruin his reputation.

He did a fantastic job at Rangers and went unbeaten as they won the Scottish Premiership in 2020/21, ending a 10-year title drought.

According to reports, Leeds director of football Victor Orta is a long-term admirer of Gerrard and was thinking of him as a potential Marcelo Bielsa replacement before ultimately hiring Marsch.

The Liverpool legend was recently linked with the Poland job before they appointed Fernando Santos, but he has been backed to make a return to Premier League management.

“He’s got so much to offer,” former Aston Villa goalkeeper coach Neil Cutler told talkSPORT. “As a serial winner, he’s been there and done it. His desire to achieve, his desire to move forward – coupled with his knowledge and experience – will only benefit a team eventually.

“He’ll get back in it [the Premier League]. I’m not sure where that will be. Because of how much desire he’s got, he’ll just continue to move forward. He’s not the kind of person that’s like: ‘I’m Steven Gerrard, I’m just going to make it.’

“He’s got an unbelievable drive. He’ll get back in it [the Premier League] eventually and I’m sure he’ll do really well.”

Carlos Corberan

Corberan has a lot of connections with Leeds after managing their Under-23s for three years and working as a first-team coach under Bielsa.

“Carlos is a good colleague, I have found that,” Bielsa said in 2018. “He is very talented. I listen more to his opinion than I give mine to him.”

After leaving Elland Road in 2020, the Spaniard took over at Huddersfield Town and led them to the Championship play-off final in 2021/22.

He then had a very brief spell at Olympiacos before returning to England and taking over at a West Brom side that were second from bottom in the Championship after 16 games.

The 39-year-old has already overseen a remarkable transformation at The Hawthorns as the Baggies are currently in the play-off places.

According to The Daily Mail, Corberan is now emerging as a potential candidate to replace Marsch but West Brom are reportedly ready to offer him a new contract so Orta will have to act quickly.

Ange Postecoglou

After a stint at Japanese outfit Yokohama F. Marinos, Postecoglou arrived at Celtic in the summer of 2021 as a relative unknown.

But he silenced any doubters in his debut season, helping Celtic reclaim the Scottish Premiership title while also winning the League Cup.

The manager is already a cult hero at Celtic Park and his commitment to a high-pressing and entertaining style of football has earned him plenty of plaudits.

“They (Celtic) go at everyone,” Owen Hargreaves told BT Sport. “Ange Postecoglou and the way he plays with beautiful attacking football, he goes after everyone.

“He wants to play attacking football, and this is what they do. They’re good in possession, in transition, they’ve got good attacking players. It’s really nice football. He’s playing such good football at Celtic that the Premier League is going to take notice.”

The 57-year-old was rumoured to be one of the favourites for the Brighton & Hove Albion job following Graham Potter’s departure, but The Telegraph claim that he does not yet want to abandon the project he has started with the Scottish club.

Celtic are currently nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership but most managers want to test themselves in the English top-flight so Leeds could try and change his mind.

Ruben Amorim

Amorim has been the head coach at Sporting since March 2020 and guided the Lions to a League Cup triumph in January 2021 before ending their 19-year wait for a Portuguese league title.

He is widely regarded as one of the most promising managers in Europe and his attacking style of play isn’t too dissimilar to Bielsa’s.

The 38-year-old, who is also renowned for his faith in young players, has previously been linked with Aston Villa and Wolves and has refused to rule out a move to the Premier League.

“I don’t have any particular dream about coaching at any specific club. I’m happy,” he said. “I want to be involved in big championships and I like to spread my identity towards my players so that my team represents what I am as a coach.

“I’m still young and I’m still in a big club. I really like this uncertainty about not knowing what comes tomorrow. It might be a goal (to manage in the Premier League), but I’m not making any plans about what I’m going to follow in my future.”

He’s seen key players like Matheus Nunes, Nuno Mendes, Joao Palhinha and Pedro Porro leave in recent months and may now be tempted by a new challenge.

According to reports, any club interested in prising Amorim away from Sporting will have to trigger the £10m release clause in his contract.

Ruben Amorim, Sporting Lisbon coach, after the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen second leg match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Kjetil Knutsen

While Knutsen is a name many Leeds fans may not be familiar with, he’s a highly-rated manager and has worked wonders at Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt.

Before his arrival in 2018, Bodo/Glimt had never won the Eliteserien, but he led the club to back-to-back league titles in 2020 and 2021.

They also reached the Europa Conference League quarter-finals in 2021/22 and Knutsen’s outfit became the first team in history to score six times against a Jose Mourinho side following a 6-1 victory against Roma.

The 54-year-old works on a small budget and is famed for his ‘kamikaze’ style and possession-based tactics, prompting comparisons with Bielsa.

He’s previously been linked with Aston Villa, Norwich City, Everton, Bournemouth and Brighton but Leeds could be the team that gives him his big break in one of Europe’s top leagues.

Mauricio Pochettino

Admittedly, this one is on the ambitious side.

Pochettino left Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2021/22 season after winning the league and cup double in France.

He’s reportedly looking to manage a team that are competing in the Champions League and opted against taking the Aston Villa job.

While that would appear to rule Leeds out of the picture, Pochettino hasn’t been inundated with job offers in recent months.

The former Southampton and Tottenham manager has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League and Leeds should test the waters with an offer.

Pochettino has previously labelled Bielsa as an inspiration and might be tempted to follow in his compatriot’s footsteps.

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