Leeds United pundit verdict on system change after Marsch 'experiment'

By Noel Whelan

3rd May, 2022 | 8:37am

Leeds United employee tells Jesse Marsch to change system after new 'experiment'

Leeds United should employ a five-man defence against Arsenal and Chelsea after trialling the system against Man City.

That is the view of former Whites striker Noel Whelan, who was speaking exclusively to Football Insider ahead of a crucial double-header for the Yorkshire side.

Leeds United utilised a 5-4-1 system for the first time under Jesse Marsch against Man City on Saturday (30 April), but were powerless to avoid a 4-0 home defeat.

Speaking post-match and quoted by Leeds Live, the American insisted his players “did well” to get to grips with the change but bemoaned his side’s lack of “composure” in front of goal.

Leeds United are just two points adrift of the drop zone after results elsewhere went against them this weekend.

Whelan insisted questions must be asked of Arsenal (8 May) and Chelsea (11 May) in the coming days.

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“I think we need to respect what Arsenal and Chelsea have,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“I think the five at the back experiment worked for much of the Man City game. We were simply outdone by a team who have far more quality than we do.

“Against good teams, you get punished – just as City did.

“But looking at the whole game, there were positives to take. We’re going to have to be a solid defensive unit, but also pick our moments going forward as well. You can’t just absorb pressure for 90 minutes.

“We’ve got to ask questions of Chelsea and Arsenal.

“I liked the five-man system, both offensively and defensively.

We got into the 5-4-1 shape really effectively when we lost the ball – and you’ve got to do that to prevent space opening up between the lines.”

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