Former Leeds United head coach admits Brenden Aaronson became 'too nervous' at Elland Road

Ex-Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch has shared his thoughts on US international midfielder Brenden Aaronson's debut season at Elland Road.

Marsch spent 11 months at the helm as the club survived relegation from the Premier League during his first few months in charge. Despite this feat, Marsch was unable to steer Leeds away from the drop-zone during his second season, and was eventually relieved of his duties in early February this year.

The American has not returned to the world of coaching since despite various links and at least one job interview, instead taking time out to conduct media work with a variety of broadcasters, most recently CBS Sports Golazo's 'Call It What You Want' podcast. During his most recent appearance, Marsch discussed Aaronson's difficulties at Leeds, which culminated in a season-long loan move to Union Berlin following United's relegation to the Championship.

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“[Aaronson] puts a lot of pressure on himself to not let anybody down, to meet expectations,” Marsch said. “I would often say to him, ‘Don’t worry about letting me down or your teammates down. You have to have a little bit more of a son of a ***** mentality that says, give me the ball. Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of this. I got this. I’m gonna run with it.’

“I think with everything that went on with Leeds, the pressure started to mount with him a little bit, and then he internalizes it and he starts to become a little bit too nervous on the pitch instead of being his fearless free self where he just goes out and plays,” the 50-year-old added.

Aaronson has had difficulty replicating his Red Bull Salzburg form since leaving the Austrian club for Leeds in the summer of 2022. This season, he has made 19 appearances for his loan side, including 11 outings in the Bundesliga, but is yet to provide a goal or assist in Germany.

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