Will Marsch follow the unemployed Gerrard as fans lose patience?

Steven Gerrard only lasted 11 months as Aston Villa manager. Jesse Marsch could move on to Leeds United after an even shorter tenure, with the club’s fans turning against the former RB Leipzig manager in recent games despite having only been in charge for eight months.

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Managing a Premier League side is getting harder and harder at every level – even Thomas Tuchel lost his job at Chelsea earlier this season, just over a year after winning the Champions League. But succeeding at clubs entering the season as neither title challengers nor relegation contenders appear to have become the toughest challenge of all.

All of these coaches employed by the so-called Big Six know exactly what will happen if they don’t succeed, but they at least go into the job knowing that they are working for clubs with the financial power and appeal to potential signings to have a chance. to achieve their goals. And at the other end, in clubs that have been promoted or accept that survival in the Premier League is their only measure of success, the manager has one simple goal: to stay on their feet. Scott Parker’s dismissal at Bournemouth five games into the season, after securing promotion to the Premier League three months earlier, was due to his repeated public questioning of the club’s recruitment strategy rather than a long period of poor results although a 9-0 defeat at Liverpool almost certainly sealed their fate.

Yet teams like Villa, Leeds andEverton, who got rid of Rafa Benitez after seven months last season after the former Liverpool boss lost 10 of 22 games in charge, is in an unenviable position. They have proud histories, huge fanbases, and ambitions to recreate past successes, but lack the resources or patience to play the long game and build from the bottom up.

Finishing 10th can be a sign of progress at such clubs, but only if it’s a stepping stone to bigger, better and higher the following season. Unless you’re a team like Newcastle United, another club looking to recreate more positive times from the past but have the financial strength to build on today and tomorrow, it’s nearly impossible to succeed if you’re in this right in the middle of Premier league clubs.

Gerrard found this out the hard way at Villa, losing his job after 40 games in charge in which he won 13 and lost 19. The former Liverpool captain cannot say he was successful at Villa Park , but the club have invested just £63m on new signings this summer (plus £27m on full-back Lucas Digne in January) and their biggest transfer, the £28m defender Diego Carlos has been out since the second game of the season due to injury. Gerrard’s bet on Philippe Coutinho didn’t work out, with Barcelona’s £18million summer signing failing to make an impact after a brilliant first half on loan last season. But for a club of Villa’s stature and ambition, summer spending on new players was probably never transformative.

It’s a similar story at Leeds, where Marsch lost midfielder Kalvin Phillips (to Manchester City) and striker Raphinha (Barcelona) for a fee totaling almost £100million, while the record signing of the club, Daniel James, has also been loaned to Fulham. The Elland Road recruitment team replaced them with a variety of players with little or no Premier League experience such as Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen. Only avoiding relegation on the last day of last season, Leeds arguably started this season with a weaker squad after allowing three key players to leave in the summer, so it’s no surprise the team de Marsch is struggling and now in the bottom three.

But Leeds, like Villa, have too proud a history for their fans to accept annual relegation battles. The problem is that no club is yet financially sound enough to be able to chase new glories with the kind of investment, on and off the pitch, that is enabling Eddie Howe to make such rapid progress at Newcastle.

Gerrard went after fans turned on him at Fulham last week, chanting « You’re getting fired in the morning » as they watched their side lose 3-0 at Craven Cottage. Marsch was subjected to the same wrath from supporters after his side also lost 3-2 at home to Fulham on Sunday.

Hearing fans chanting a former manager’s name is another bad sign, and Marsch has heard Marcelo Bielsa’s name chanted several times in recent weeks. Sources told ESPN on Friday that Marsch was not in imminent danger of losing his job at Elland Road, but Premier League management is focused on the quicksand of results and fan support. Marsch is in negative territory in both of these key indicators.

It was the same story for Gerrard who, arrived at Villa Park to much fanfare last November after proving his credentials by guiding Rangers to the Scottish Premiership title in 2021, was sacked minutes after the 3-0 defeat at Craven Cottage last Thursday. Whoever Villa appoint to replace Gerrard will discover the same issues and there could also be a new coach at Leeds soon tasked with bridging the gap between expectation and reality.

But if clubs appoint managers and fail to sign players good enough to make a difference, it will always be a story of diminishing returns followed by another roll of the managerial dice.

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