From New York to the Premier League, Leeds and Crystal Palace managers resume their rivalry

Jesse Marsch and Patrick Vieira meet again in south London on Monday.

Mark Walker
Sunday 24 April 2022 09:00
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Jesse Marsch will meet up with Patrick Vieira again on Monday (PA)
Jesse Marsch will meet up with Patrick Vieira again on Monday (PA)

Jesse Marsch and Patrick Vieira will resume a fierce rivalry when Leeds bid to edge further clear of relegation trouble on Monday at Crystal Palace.

Leeds boss Marsch revealed the pair were involved in “some heated moments” during their respective managerial spells in Major League Soccer.

Marsch spent three-and-a-half years as New York Red Bulls boss until 2018 and in that time clashed regularly with Vieira, who was in charge of bitter rivals New York City for more than two years.

“When he first made the decision to come to the MLS, we were all excited to have somebody of his stature in the league,” Marsch said.

“When he came to New York City FC, it meant that I had to hate him. But he’s not an easy guy to hate because – first of all from an expertise and a work perspective, he’s very good, a very good coach.

“And we have differing styles and different ways of thinking about the game, but it always made for really interesting matches and we had some heated moments.

“But I think over time we grew to really respect each other. We got to know each other more and more.

“One friend we had in common was Gerard Houllier, who was always there to kind of help bring us together in some moments when we had these derby matches.”

Jesse Marsch went on to become head coach at Salzburg and Leipzig after leaving stablemates New York Red Bulls in 2018 (Nick Potts/PA)

Vieira left New York to take charge of Nice in June 2018 and Marsch, who left New York Red Bulls to become Ralf Rangnick’s assistant at Leipzig the following month, said he closely followed Vieira’s progress.

Marsch said: “If you talk to players that have played for him, they all have massive respect for him and not just because he was a good player – he was an excellent player – but because he’s a good manager.

“So it will be a big challenge on the day. You know, we know each other pretty well. We have new groups now.

“It’ll be a clash of styles again, but an opportunity for me and our team to test ourselves against a very good manager and a very good team.”

Leeds were dealt another big injury blow this week with Adam Forshaw ruled out of the run-in after fracturing his kneecap.

But Marsch said the silver lining was that Kalvin Phillips was “100 per cent” fit and set to make his first start since early December.

The England midfielder has made two substitute appearances after recovering from a long-term hamstring injury.

Marsch added: “I’ve seen from the beginning that he has an effect in the group, no question, because of his personality, his quality, and what it means to be part of Leeds United.

“My challenge to Kalvin has been to push him to be better and better and to be the best. That’s my goal for him.

“He had a really good training week. He’s fully fit, he’s fully ready and we’re excited for him to be back.”

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