Leeds United board question answered and Marsch hamstrung by 'brain-dead' actions: David Prutton

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Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch has been very honest in this week's press conferences, as he is.

That's one thing that you can't point the finger at Jesse with. Obviously, contractually as a manager in the Premier League you have to front up and do all of your stuff and talk to the media. That's just par for the course. But Jesse is under no illusions and he knows exactly that his career lives and dies by results.

With Leeds, as ever, it's not a case of lack of effort or endeavour. But can you call it defending what they were doing against Fulham? I don't really think you can when you let people like Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bobby Decordova-Reid have that much room. The Decordova-Reid goal was like a crossing and finishing session. It was insane and Jesse is being hamstrung by the way that the team is performing.

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Obviously, a manager bears the brunt of that and takes responsibility. He knows that and everyone knows that now. I also watched something very interesting breaking down football in stats which was backed up by what you see sometimes with Leeds which is an element of chaos, which has always been there ever since Marcelo Bielsa took over.

NOT HELPED: Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch shows his frustration during last weekend's 3-2 defeat at home to Fulham in which all three Cottagers goals came after awful Whites defending at set pieces. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.NOT HELPED: Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch shows his frustration during last weekend's 3-2 defeat at home to Fulham in which all three Cottagers goals came after awful Whites defending at set pieces. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.
NOT HELPED: Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch shows his frustration during last weekend's 3-2 defeat at home to Fulham in which all three Cottagers goals came after awful Whites defending at set pieces. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

If the game is rocketing backwards and forwards, Leeds very seldom seem to have control of a football match which is understandable when you play against the big teams. We all get that and that's always gonna be the case. But what they managed to do at their best under Bielsa was swarm the opposition, dwarf the opposition and just kind of hit them with a type of intensity that they couldn't deal with.

That has now been well and truly found out I think with this Leeds side and Jesse was brought in to evolve it slightly. They have been in games but I don't think they have necessarily dominated games. From a personnel point of view, when you are underperforming as a team, the buck stops with the manager so I can understand the frustration.

That was the loudest that we have heard displeasure after a game with them being resolutely booed off after the Fulham defeat but they weren't very good at Leicester either. Things aren't looking too bright at the moment and it now depends on how the next couple of games go.

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Jesse has talked about what they're doing in the World Cup break with regards to where they go, who they might try and recruit. He's talked about psychologists, changing the work schedule and you can't level it at the manager that he is leaving stones unturned because he looks like he's absolutely looking trying to do everything.

There's a gap between perception and performance at this moment in time because of the way he comes across and I say this with all respect and admiration because he's a very articulate, erudite fellow. That winds people up sometimes because of the twang of his voice which is nonsense but when you do talk about the game but the team isn't performing then what's levelled at you is that it's all talk and no action and that's where the players have to step up to the plate.

There were some good chances against Fulham that they spurned and when you put a team out that is not defending properly and not scoring goals then common sense tells you it's the players fault. We all know that the manager is the one that bears the brunt of that. There was also anger at the board last weekend and I think it becomes a collective thing.

When fans are passionate about their team, as we know Leeds fans are, then when you are in a situation such as this then I think from a fans' point of view, everyone seems fair game. The players get it when the team is on the pitch, the manager gets it possibly and then obviously the boos and chants come for the hierarchy.

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The big question that has been debated has been whether they tooled up from a striking point of view and it's quite obviously shown that they haven't with Patrick Bamford still trying to find his feet and rhythm. Rodrigo got himself on the scoresheet against Fulham, as did Crysencio Summerville with a wonderful little pass from Joe Gelhardt. Joe has gone full 'megs; there and he has played the ball to go through his opponents' legs for a gorgeous, gorgeous assist.

But if the recruitment hasn't been there then the players that are there are, by and large, the ones that have kept Leeds in the Premier League and they've got to be able to perform. There's no hiding. It's the manager that gets the brunt of it. He understands and he's a very self aware fella. But I'm sure that behind closed doors he is making his feelings known to the players.

Regardless of how you see him set up and whether he's got this narrowness of style, literally in the sense of the way that the team lines up, if you can't mark Aleksandar Mitrovic from a corner inside the six yard box, that isn't a manager's tactics. That's brain dead actions from footballers. That's people shirking responsibility and the same with the Bobby Decordova-Reid goal. He doesn't appear in the 18 yard box by magic. He's there.And then it was Harrison Reed who set up the third goal, gliding through. Harrison Reeds is a very, very solid Premier League player but he looked like Messi gliding into the box.

You can look at a manager's tactics and he has got to take responsibility but there is also a collective responsibility on the football pitch and we know that there's enough footballers with enough nouse, with enough personality, with enough character to say, look lads this is rubbish, it's just not good enough.

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Tonight's trip to Liverpool is next and Nottingham Forest have shown that you can beat them, that you can unsettle Liverpool and that you can ride your luck in a game. Liverpool, over the course of the season, haven't been the Liverpool that we've been accustomed to so far although there are all sorts of different angles to consider such as past trophies, the Champions League, the bigger parts of the division and all that type of stuff.

At some stage, you get a feeling that they're going to click into gear but I do think that there has been a hint of inconsistency that means that Leeds should retain hope that they can get something from the game. Yet on the flip side, if they catch a Liverpool side that reacts to being beaten by Nottingham Forest and everyone saying they are not what they used to be and Virgil Van Dijk is not this and the attack not being this and the midfield not being this, let's be honest, Liverpool could blow them to pieces.

If Leeds are going to make a managerial change in the break then it needs to be done at the start of the break so whether Jesse feels like he has got four games to save his job I don't know. If this run continues then there is no way they are going to give him the whole of the break, the mini pre season and the first couple of games back before January. That would be madness and this is an absolutely stinking run of form, not winning since August and that Villa game which was the last point was shocking to watch.

Since then there have been four defeats on the spin and if he loses another two or three then he's in serious trouble. It's Liverpool then Bournemouth then Spurs and I watched Bournemouth against Southampton and Southampton were fantastic against them and showed a way to beat Bournemouth. With Spurs, even though we are talking about a team that is in the top three of the Premier League, they are prone to the odd blip. It's not beyond the realms of possibility to get something from these games but if Leeds get to that Spurs game and you have lost those three games then Jesse knows he would be in serious trouble.