How Brazil winger Raphinha ended up taking long throws for Leeds United

Jesse Marsch has explained how Brazil winger Raphinha ended up taking long throws for Leeds United at Crystal Palace.

By Graham Smyth
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 1:43 pm

For the first time in his Whites career, the club's leading goalscorer was seen winding up on the Selhurst Park sideline to hurl the ball into the opposition penalty box, as centre-half Liam Cooper made his way forward to provide an attacking aerial threat.

Although Marsch has changed a lot about the way Leeds operate since he replaced Marcelo Bielsa, this was as unexpected a development as any, and it all stemmed from a contest the head coach held in training, as he has at previous clubs. Although no one in the squad put their hand up to boast a long throw, Marsch was sure someone would and had an inkling it would be Raphinha.

"We had a contest in training," he said.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

"I asked the team if anyone had a long throw, and I've done this before and they all said 'no'. And I said 'someone in here does'. And I said 'and my money's on Raphinha' - and he did. So yeah, I mean, it was dangerous. We'll probably use it more in the future. And we don't have a throw-in coach like Liverpool or some other places, but we will try to see if we can be dangerous in those moments."

Marsch believes that interaction between him and the players, rather than simply dictating to them, is key to getting the squad to buy-in to what he's trying to do at Thorp Arch and on the pitch in games.

"Early on I was talking a lot about philosophical mumbo-jumbo when people asked about who I am.Who I am as a leader is not about being an iron fist and hierarchy - I'm about valuing people and opinion and about ownership. This is not a reflection of me but of us, that requires me to have dialogue, conversation, give and take and to be a good listener. With any situation we've had this year, the players are not used to a manager and a leader like that. That's not just me comparing to Marcelo Bielsa, in general I don't think there's a lot of coaches that have that kind of leadership in our sport in Europe or in America. This is what I valued most as a player. I would do anything for coaches who actually cared about me and wanted me to be better and successful, I would do anything for those coaches."

SECRET SKILL - Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch held a contest in training to find the squad's longest throw and it belonged to Brazil winger Raphinha. Pic: Getty