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Jesse Marsch out as RB Leipzig coach after five months

Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle and Tim Howard gather their thoughts after a topsy-turvy Saturday ended with a new Premier League leader, with the top three separated by just two points.

Jesse Marsch’s long path through the Red Bull organization to its highest point took years to travel, but the American is out after just five months at the peak.

RB Leipzig has parted ways with the former USMNT player after just 21 matches across all competitions, with Leipzig sitting 11th on the Bundesliga table and headed out of the Champions League.

Leipzig has lost three-straight league matches and is five points back of the top four. The club is also within a loss of missing the Europa League, third in its UCL group after five matches.

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But a deeper dig shows myriad reasons the struggles are understandable and the move bizarre.

Fabrizio Romano did report that “some players were not comfortable with his methods,” but Leipzig would’ve had plenty of understanding what those methods were when they brought him aboard.

What went wrong for Jesse Marsch at Leipzig?

Marsch’s performance at New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Salzburg was exemplary, and he assisted Ralf Rangnick at Leipzig before moving to Salzburg.

Leipzig’s UCL finish is behind Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City and the club’s last three league losses came to the third, fourth, and fifth place clubs on the table, and beat second-place Borussia Dortmund the match before that trio of losses.

Leipzig has the fifth-most goals in the Bundesliga and is fourth in possession. The club has allowed the fifth-fewest shots per match and is putting the third-most shots on target.

The club’s 18 conceded goals is fifth-best in Germany’s top flight but sinks to the bottom third when xGA are counted.

Still, the biggest problem was recruitment. Red Bull has expected the superior recruitment that’s allowed Salzburg to sell off Erling Haaland, Takumi Minamino, Munas Dabbur, and Hee-chan Hwang (amongst others) and still succeed to work for Leipzig.

And that seems unreasonable, as Leipzig sold two stars center backs in Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate as well as Marcel Sabitzer and Hannes Wolf this offseason alone, parting ways with Timo Werner, Matheus Cunha, and Naby Keita over the last few seasons.

Leipzig’s replaced its attacking parts well but, to no one’s surprise, has struggled to find instant fixes at center back. Throw in an adjustment period from Julian Nagelsmann, the club’s most accomplished boss -- apologies, Ralf Rangnick -- and Marsch seemed destined to be given a longer grace period.

Jesse Marsch

02 October 2021, Saxony, Leipzig: Football: Bundesliga, Matchday 7: RB Leipzig - VfL Bochum at Red Bull Arena. Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch (centre) hugs his players after the match. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTE: In accordance with the regulations of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and/or the DFB Deutscher Fußball-Bund, it is prohibited to use or have used photographs taken in the stadium and/or of the match in the form of sequence pictures and/or video-like photo series. (Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images)

dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

Jesse Marsch reaction to move

“I am very grateful to be part of the Red Bull family and to have been given this opportunity! Up until the very end, I remained hopeful that after a troubled start to the season and inconsistent performances, we would find more cohesion and stability as a group and turn our fortunes around. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to do that – after a discussion with Oliver Mintzlaff, we came to the joint decision to make a change in the coaching position.

“I keep only positive thoughts in my mind and wish for the club, the team, the staff and all the fans that RB Leipzig finds its way back to its old strengths very quickly and, given the quality in the team and in the club, I am sure that the club will achieve its goals.”

Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff

“It was not easy for us to part company with Jesse Marsch, because I hold Jesse in high regard as a person and as a coach. It is a shame that things did not work out as we had hoped with this setup, and that this step has now become necessary. Unfortunately, the development we were hoping for and the results needed to achieve our goals for the season have not been achieved.

“We are currently running short of our own expectations and with this decision we want to create a new impulse. Regardless of this, however, I also see our players as having a duty and I expect our team, which is very strong in sporting terms, to show its potential and quality on the pitch more consistently than it has done recently.

I would like to thank Jesse Marsch for the work he has done and wish him all the best, both personally and professionally.”

Follow @NicholasMendola