Max Wober has been discussing the differences between Jesse Marsch and Javi Gracia’s coaching methods as Leeds United continue to battle against relegation in the Premier League.
Leeds are sitting 14th in the Premier League table heading into the March international break, lifted five places by a 4-2 win over Wolves last Saturday.
That was Gracia’s second win as head coach and means he’s picked up a total of seven points from the four league fixtures he’s taken charge of since replacing Marsch in the Elland Road dugout.
What are the difference between Marsch and Gracia?
Wober is a player that knew Marsch well having played for him at previous club, RB Salzburg, before signing for the American once more at Elland Road.
In a recent interview with Austrian outlet Der Standard, Wober opened up on the differences between Marsch and Gracia.
“Different personalities, Jesse was very emotional, close to the team. Gracia is calm, matter-of-fact, has a different approach to football.”
That’s quite obvious when it comes to the pair’s personalities and also their football, with Marsch encouraging an aggressive press and Gracia happy for Leeds to play with more structure when defending.
“Don’t always push, withdraw, defend in your own half. I have to win my duels. Kick the strikers’ a**, make sure [the opposition don’t] get a goal. You have to be focused every second, balls fly in from 30 meters, at which you can’t afford to make any mistakes with the quality of the strikers, or it will rattle.”
Wober produced a Player of the Match performance against Wolves as goals from Jack Harrison, Luke Ayling, Rasmus Kristensen and Rodrigo secured the win.
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Despite conceding two goals in each of their last two games, Leeds have looked a lot more assured defensively.
Gracia is encouraging more pragmatic football, with Leeds dropping off into something of a mid-block for a lot of the game.
That’s helping them protect the flanks that little bit more (although there are still issues here) and, in turn, leaving players like Wober with less exposure defensively.
It’s been an encouraging transition so far for Gracia and his players.