The first year of Jesse Marsh at the helm of FC Salzburg is rich in innovation and dynamism. For Walk it was a new team in a new country, in one of Europe’s most emblematic cities. And even against all odds he won the title and qualified for the group stage of the Champions League. Racine, born in Wisconsin, was a budding superstar with Erling Haland, now Dortmund, and even became famous when he recorded a viral video of his German-English speech during the break against Liverpool.
But the game waits for no one, because Marsh knows that. The fee, in the form of praise and money, has already been paid. And the manager’s confidence in decisions, both in and outside the field, needs to be replenished at some point.
So now we have an even more difficult task ahead of us: keeping the momentum. It is more difficult than it seems, even for a team like Salzburg (at least according to the Austrian Bundesliga standards), who are relatively well on the heels. If you leave it at that, the message is out of date. Too many changes, and the flow of information starts to get in the way. So Marsh went in search of a balance and Salzburg went forward. On Tuesday, the two parties met in a Champions League game with Bayern Munich, who had the last chance to do so. Even during the holidays he discovered that he made notes on how to improve the team.
At the beginning of the preseason my message was: How can we be good at what we do? Marsh said on the phone to ESPN. And then a few things we think they can make us even better. But I don’t think you can become too nice by trying so many new things, because you have to understand that you have to stay true to yourself and to the past that made you well.
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March wants his team to be even more aggressive, and at a faster pace – which isn’t easy, given that his team is already using a rich style. But he also wants his team to do more business and at the same time involve more young players.
And then the daily task is to keep a person motivated and getting better, he said. It’s everything from the best player or captain to the players at the academy.
Marsh has been working as a manager in Europe for a year now, the tactical plan and the training method have already proven their worth. That is why he believes that about 70% of his time is spent on human management and group mentality.
This process required some adjustments during Marsh’s career, especially as he came across different cultures in different lodges. There are times when a player who comes out of nowhere feels more loyal to his family than to the team. There are other times when a player’s impulse is not to look inside, but to look at everything around him – including the coach. There is also a reality in which Salzburg is part of the world game. It looks like a club that players hope to use as a springboard to big stages, as Haaland did last year with Dortmund and Takumi Minamino with Liverpool.
This pressure can lead to increased internal concentration.
I have noticed that it is much easier to create a group mentality in the United States than here in Europe, Marsh said. They pay little attention to personal reflection and do not think about how their actions actually influence the group. So I always try to create responsibility for each other within the group of players, not necessarily for the coach.
It’s even a new concept. When I came here, whether it was in Leipzig or Salzburg, I talked to the players about the fact that if they behave selfishly, [I’d say] they’re not only abandoning themselves, but also abandoning the group. Forget the relationship with the coach. That should be one of his last motivations. If the players prove that they see and give of themselves every day, they will all succeed.
That’s one of the things you have to do: Convince the group that it is beneficial for everyone to give to each other, because if a group succeeds, the person succeeds.
A solution to this problem is an intensive team rotation, especially since the Champions League is once again at the top of the Salzburg calendar. The march adds that it is important to distribute the wealth at the beginning of the season in order to better inform the players. In only six league games, 23 players have made at least one achievement.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Jesse Marsh won the Austrian double in his first season with Salzburg. David Ghiragger/CEPA, Media/Getty Pictures.
Then you benefit from the team rotation later in the year when a player is removed or a key player is injured, he said. Now you know you need one of those players who might not be in the regular 11th round. If you need it for the most important games, it’s ready. And that’s what we experienced with our group last year in the championship round.
This focus on the team has long been at the forefront of Marsh’s philosophy, and for him it was the light when he was Bob Bradley’s assistant in the U.S. national team. The midfielder who won the ball on his matchday thought about winning as a player the whole month of March. When he started training, he realised that he missed out on a lot of small details that could help the players and the team over time.
I began to realize that by creating a process and giving each player clues about how to proceed on a daily or weekly basis, they can spend more time on what we expect from them and help the team more, he said. If you do this as a team with each person individually, you usually have more control over the results.
Marsh has also long had a desire to develop young players and it is this philosophy that caused friction with his bosses during his first coaching assignment at the Montreal Impact in 2012. In Montreal, knowing Marsh MLS, he took part in the founding of the foundation. But there has been strong pressure from management to attract established stars such as Alessandro Nesta and Marco Di Vayo. Marsh understands very well that adaptation was his job, but the club’s approach still made him uncomfortable.
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My way of leading is to involve everyone and treat everyone as if they were on the same level, he said. And [in Montreal] it was more about choosing certain people or certain situations. For me, this always means stress for the team.
Marsh made it clear that if he had had the chance to start over, he would have gone 100% to Montreal because he had learned so much. But afterwards it becomes clear that philosophically there was a gap between the club and the manager.
Both parties have therefore agreed to separate. The walker, still under contract, took the opportunity to travel around the world with his family. But eventually that journey came to an end (and his former business in Montreal) and the extent of his leap into the unknown became clear. There were a lot of interviews. Marsh remembers until seven, and yet he couldn’t find the connection, the philosophical direction he wanted.
My wife and I had a lot of conversations where I thought about how to leave football, how to leave coaching school, what to do now, he said.
When he was finally able to interview the New York Red Bulls, Marsh felt more like the story of the Red Bulls when they signed contracts with big stars like Thierry Henry. Didn’t he know that the philosophical change at sea takes place on foot.
Fault! The file name is not specified. – set
Jesse Marsh trains Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino, who is also the next Star of the RB Salzburg?
That Erste, was ich ihnen sagte: I do not believe that I am your friend, because the ideal of the club and the oversized extensions of the superstars do not seem to agree with what I think of the man in the ball, that it is only about teamwork and that it involves the people together, and that everyone remembers the others. And that is also the reason why I was engaged for a reason. That was also the Schlüssel for me.
I honestly wouldn’t have said which Red Bull I wanted.
The decisive success of the New York City market with the victory of the fan shield in 2015 will allow him to become an additional star in Red Bull’s global football hierarchy. There are also his needs, young people playing games, because Tyler Adams and Matt Miyazga are definitely on the road to Europe.
The market in Salzburg has been the scene of this action, even though it has its own uniqueness. In the middle of last season Haaland was sold to Dortmund and Minamino to Liverpool. But Marsh is more of a proud parent. According to him he will be on the big stage if he creates the right environment, if he pushes the player in the right direction and communicates with him.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Jesse Marsh says that creating a team atmosphere in a European club was a new concept for many of his players. Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images on Getty Images
If you do your job, well, they go away, because that’s how it works, he said. When Erling Haaland left, and now I’m asked, could he be the best player in the world? I say 100%, he absolutely can do it, and I believe it. And it is partly a pride, but also a pure pleasure to work with such great young people with such great potential.
His stay in New York was followed by the position of annual assistant under Ralph Rangnik at RB Leipzig. In addition to what the swamp learned in terms of tactics, the real advantage of learning the German language and the credibility of the street came from what was already available in Europe under such a respected manager. The reference to Leipzig initially played against the march, with the No March banner meaning No March, which means Early Appeals. But Salzburg fans are now so convinced that the fact that the march is American is rarely or never mentioned.
It seems to me that I am now much more judged on how the team plays, he said. The main reason I learned the language and worked hard to adapt to who we are and what we do with our fans is that they don’t judge me on anything other than team play. That’s the point. But to achieve this goal, I even realized that this ancestry makes sense. So when I went to Leipzig for a year and we had a successful year in Leipzig, I worked here with Ralph Rangnik. Did I learn a lot? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But the sex might as well have done it, if not better, than what I actually learned.
This process of assimilation and recognition is a process that every American going abroad must follow. And with the arrival of Weston McKenney at Juventus and Christian Pulishich at Chelsea, the attitude towards American players also seems to have changed. The walk shows progress, but he feels there is still a long way to go.
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I still think that at this time when an American is tactically not big, technically not big, but with an incredible mentality and speed, that the competitiveness is higher than most, he said. But we are slowly moving to a place where we have more and more young players who are technically more talented and tactically stronger, as well as the athletics that we have and the desire to compete. The key is whether we can continue to emphasize more and more of the things that are some of our weaknesses and continue to compare them with some of our strengths. Christiane’s fine. Tyler’s fine. Weston’s fine. Just keep the needle moving.
As far as March is concerned, the first results of this season are still positive. Salzburg is the perfect six out of six in the league and has again qualified for the group stage of the Champions League. After the confusion with Liverpool and Napoli last season, the team qualified for Group A in March with Bayern in Munich, Atletico in Madrid and Lokomotiv in Moscow – a draw against Lokomotiv and a brave 3-2 defeat against Atletico who is still with us. Walking is a test, intensive on all fronts.
You have to prepare very seriously for the game, so you know what you need that day and how to adapt, he said. But the other part, especially with a young team, ensures that you can count on your presence and your message, that they know in the big games that their leader believes they can make the game, that they can win the game. That’s why I think it’s not only a test of the football part, but also of the courage and ability to help the group believe.
So far, the reservoir of trust in the manager is still full.