Leeds United’s new US boss has language advantage, says Sinclair


Criticism of Jesse Marsch’s appointment as Leeds United manager is “elitist” and the lack of a language barrier is a plus, according to Trevor Sinclair.

The Americans’ position in English football is sometimes snorted, with the new White boss feeling the need to address Ted Lasso comparisons and the use of the word ‘soccer’ at his first press conference yesterday (Thursday March 3) .

But former England winger Sinclair thinks that’s outdated and pointed to the fact that Americans speak English.

Speaking on talkSPORT this morning (08.20), he said: “When you talk about Jesse Marsch, I think it’s a bit elitist, or a bit snobby from us in England, because they use some different terminologies.

“You have to look at the USA team, they’ve been competitive for a while.

“It is also his mother tongue. We invite all these managers from all over the world and it can be their second or third language, English.

“So he should find it a bit easier than some foreign managers to come in, make that connection with the players, get them to buy into his philosophy and hopefully start getting better results.”

Yes and no

The fear that someone won’t understand the game because of its origin is a lazy trope.

Even if American players like Christian Pulisic, Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel had not proven for a long time that there is plenty of talent across the Atlantic, it would miss the point of judging each candidate on merit.

Bob Bradley and David Wagner haven’t been successful in the Premier League, but no English manager has won the title since the division’s inception, so familiarity means very little.

And while Sinclair’s point on language is factually correct, the importance of speaking English natively is again secondary to the talent of the manager as a whole.

Of course, the ease of communication helps, but the managers from Italy, Spain and Portugal did more than speak well with other native languages.

And with Leeds it is surely a less relevant argument than with most teams, since they have just seen Marcelo Bielsa leave.

The Argentine certainly spoke more English than his use of an interpreter in interviews would suggest, but the sea change he inspired at the club was clearly not held back by a language barrier.

Many players also have other native languages, so while that may make familiarity easier for some at first, the former RB Salzburg boss’ ideas will be what ultimately make the difference.

In other Leeds United news, Patrick Bamford’s sudden return after Bielsa’s exit has been explained.

Richard Keys sends message to Leeds United fans and takes aim at Rio Ferdinand on Twitter

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