Leeds United coach expresses regret amid 'best player in the world' Rodrigo assessment
and live on Freeview channel 276
Marsch has repeated his belief that if he had the opportunity to work with Spanish forward Rodrigo many years ago, he could have developed the 31-year-old into a world-leading player. Writing in his World Cup column for The Athletic, Marsch wove in a number of references to Leeds United, including an assessment of the attacker who has scored nine Premier League goals this season.
"We have Rodrigo at Leeds, and he’s 31 and I’ve even had a conversation with him at one point and said it’s too bad I didn’t know him when he was 18 because I could have helped make him one of the best players in the world — I truly believe that,” Marsch said.
"But in the process at Leeds, we’re still uncovering new potentials for him and he’s committed and adapted incredibly well. But to do that I’ve had to really get to know Rodrigo as a person and what makes him tick. What are his vulnerabilities? What are his insecurities? What things make him stronger? What are the things he likes?”
Marsch’s man-management style is more intimate than his predecessor, engaging in private and often lengthy one-to-one discussions with players, unlike Marcelo Bielsa’s approach which relied on clear separation between player and coach. Marsch appears to trust Rodrigo and their relationship is one of those the American has referenced on several occasions during press conference exchanges with the media.
The Spain international was immediately installed to Marsch’s ‘leadership council’ upon the American’s arrival in February, nominated as a dressing room leader, as a representative of the foreign contingent within the squad. He has retained a leadership role this season, taking the armband on occasions when club captain Liam Cooper has been unavailable.