Jesse Marsch masterminded a brilliant start to the season, but Leeds United are now winless in five and one criticism that can be leveled at the American gaffer is his subs – there were a couple of questionable decisions at Selhurst Park.
It is not the first time that Marsch has been criticised for his substitutions. Against Southampton, he was forced to take Patrick Bamford off after 28 minutes. But then, he waited until the 84th, and 88th minute to make more changes.
Many believed that was the reason Southampton came back into the match and ended up drawing 2-2. Leeds were in front, 2-0. Against Palace, the tide was turning in Palace’s favour in the second half. But Marsch continued to delay.
It took Marsch until the 62nd minute to make his first sub. He withdrew Patrick Bamford, replacing him with Crysencio Summerville. Then, he replaced Brenden Aaronson with Mateusz Klich on 76 minutes. Two more came late on.
On 84 minutes, Joe Gelhardt and Luke Ayling replaced Marc Roca and Rasmus Kristensen. So, should Marsch be in line for more criticism regarding his substitutions in the Capital? Here are three reasons why he should:
Marsch subs questionable at Selhurst Park
Too late: Gelhardt on 84 minutes
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The major issue is waiting eight minutes before making a change, after Ebere Eze had put Palace 2-1 ahead. Why the wait? Leeds had limited time to get back into the game after Eze’s goal on 76 minutes. But he did nothing for half of it.
Finally, on 84 minutes, he brought on Gelhardt – and Ayling. Ayling replace Kristensen, who was very good, makes sense – with the Dane picking up a yellow on 79 minutes. But he was asking Gelhardt to make an impact, immediately.
He was not given necessary time – especially when it was available – to make a real impact. Had he brought on Joffy within a couple of minutes of Palace’s winner, the striker might have been able to catch up with the game’s tempo.
Aaronson off? Really?
Why? Aaronson was exceptional in the first half, and arguably our only bright attacking spark in the second half. On 76 minutes, Marsch decided to bring on Mateusz Klich – fair enough, Klich inspired our Wolves win with his cameo.
But to replace Aaronson, is bizarre. The American looked good, had basically created Pascal Struijk’s goal, and was still working hard. Klich lacks the energy of Aaronson – again, no criticism of Klich. He is 11 years older than the US ace.
But why did he have to replace Aaronson with Klich? There were plenty of other options. Marc Roca, who was subbed off eight minutes later, or Harrison perhaps, pushing Aaronson out wide, and putting Klich in the 10. Strange one.
Gnonto overlooked again
Another question mark is Willy Gnonto. Joining on deadline day, Gnonto has enjoyed a couple of eye-catching displays with the 21’s. Not just that; he has also represented Italy twice since joining – starring off the bench against England.
But when it comes to the Leeds first team, Gnonto has remained an unused sub against Villa and now Palace. If Leeds needed to inject a bit of pace, a bit of vigour, a bit of excitement to get our fans in the stadium going, it was Gnonto.
Harrison was not enjoying his best outing and bringing Gnonto in his place would have made sense. Even just for the last 10 minutes. But despite his Italy outings, Gnonto is still yet to make his senior debut for Leeds.