Nagelsmann backs 'very emotional' Marsch to love RB Leipzig job

By Sports Desk April 29, 2021

Julian Nagelsmann has given his approval to RB Leipzig's choice of Jesse Marsch as his successor and future Bundesliga rival.

American coach Marsch will arrive from Salzburg, close affiliates of the German side, at the end of the season to take over from Bayern Munich-bound Nagelsmann.

The 47-year-old has spent two years as Salzburg boss and previously worked as an assistant coach with Leipzig so knows the club well.

Marsch was also head coach of New York Red Bulls from 2015 to 2018, and Nagelsmann sees him as an easy fit at Leipzig.

"I'm very happy that RB Leipzig have been able to quickly find a successor in Jesse Marsch," Nagelsmann said. "It was important to me that the club find a good coach and that they wouldn't have to deal with too much uncertainty following the news of my departure.

"Jesse Marsch is a very emotional coach and has a good connection to his players. I will definitely look to speak with him at the end of the season. I wish him all the best here and that he continues the club's success."

Nagelsmann will perhaps be mindful of being too helpful as the coaches cross and he leaves for Bayern as Marsch arrives at Leipzig, given they have been Germany's top two sides this season.

Bayern look like scooping the Bundesliga title for a ninth consecutive year. With 71 points from 31 games, they head Leipzig by seven points with three rounds of games remaining.

However, Leipzig are very much in the hunt for cup glory as they head into Friday's DFB-Pokal semi-final against Werder Bremen.

The winner of that tie will face either Borussia Dortmund or Holstein Kiel, the second-tier team that knocked out Bayern in the early stages of the tournament.

"Of course, it would be nice to end my time here by winning the DFB-Pokal," Nagelsmann said on Thursday.

"The pressure is there, but that's normal. If you've reached the semi-finals with your team, then it's obvious that you want to advance to the final and win there."

Quoted on Leipzig's official website, Nagelsmann said: "There's nothing worse than losing a final. If we have the chance to win the trophy, then we'll do everything possible to make that happen.

"We don't need any extra motivation for Friday night. The cup is motivation enough. The team will give it everything they have to meet the expectations. They are highly motivated.

"I still have a good relationship with the team and spoke to the lads. All the outside noise won't affect them. All of my players want to continue improving.

"Our goal is to make it to [the final in] Berlin. We also want to break the 67-point mark in the Bundesliga, in order to set a new [club] record this season."

Related items

  • Gian Piero Gasperini talks up Atalanta’s ‘extraordinary’ season Gian Piero Gasperini talks up Atalanta’s ‘extraordinary’ season

    Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini acknowledges that his club are enjoying a “fantastic” season after reaching two semi-finals and challenging for Champions League qualification from Serie A.

    But the campaign’s business end has now arrived, with Atalanta putting their Coppa Italia hopes on the line in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg against Fiorentina.

    They have a Europa League semi-final against Marseille ahead of them next month, but their first task is to try and overturn a 1-0 deficit when Fiorentina arrive in Bergamo.

    “This year is extraordinary,” Gasperini told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    “Now let’s see in the next matches between the Italian Cup and the recoveries. The season is fantastic, now we are in the final verdicts.”

    Asked if the season would only be a good one if Atalanta win a trophy, he added: “Winners only if you win a trophy? No, it’s idiocy.

    “We each have to reach our own goals, otherwise we would all be losers in life and that’s not how it works. I consider myself lucky for what I’ve done in the various places I’ve been in.”

    Atalanta’s solitary Coppa Italia success in the final came 61 years ago with a 3-1 victory over Torino, and they have lost on four successive return visits.

    Fiorentina, meanwhile, last lifted the trophy in 2001, and they head to Bergamo on the back of a 2-0 Serie A win against Salernitana.

    Andrea Belotti, Nico Gonzalez, Luca Beltran and Giacomo Bonaventura all missed that game with knocks, but should return in an anticipated much-changed team.

    Gasperini also rotated his squad for the league clash against Monza, but he is likely to field a more familiar starting XI, with Gianluca Scamacca and Marten de Roon among those recalled.

    Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Italiano said: “We have the merit of arriving in May and still being in certain matches, which cannot allow us to switch off.

    “We must all be ready and motivated to give 100 per cent, because in these close matches it doesn’t take much to not being able to perform at our best. But we all have guys who always respond when called upon.”

  • Anybody's game: Gilbert, Williams cautiously optimistic about final outcome as Arnett, Portmore square after first leg Anybody's game: Gilbert, Williams cautiously optimistic about final outcome as Arnett, Portmore square after first leg

    Fairly satisfied with parts of their teams’ performances in an entertaining 1-1 first-leg quarterfinal stalemate, Arnett Gardens Head coach Xavier Gilbert and his Portmore United counterpart Phillip Williams are now hoping to build on the positives as they look ahead to the decisive Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League encounter.

    A 41st-minute Philando Wing own-goal which got Portmore United on the scoresheet, and Fabian Reid's 82nd-minute strike, left nothing to choose between the two teams at the end of the opening contest, which was a tale of two halves at Sabina Park on Monday.

    With the stage set for what should be an intriguing second-leg engagement at the same venue next Monday, Williams and his Portmore United outfit will be aiming to consolidate their first half showing, as well as to improve their second half approach, while Gilbert and his team are hoping to be more clinical in the final third, particularly in the latter stages of the contest.

    The winner of the second leg will secure a semi-final date with Cavalier.

    Williams believes the first-leg result was a reflection on the quality of both teams.

    "I think Arnett played a great second half because we gave them too much space and they took advantage of it. But we did what we wanted to do in the first half, and it is just a matter of going back to the training pitch to build on our first half performance and try to sort out the second half," Williams said.

    "The legs went in the second half, and we just have to look at that. It's the playoffs and so we know there is not much room for error, so we just have to go back and improve on the things we did well as well as to strengthen those areas where we fell short," he added.

    Portmore United, led by the menacing Alex Marshall, were more spirited at the start, as they quickly signalled their intentions courtesy of a high press approach and a series of quick build ups.

    Marshall, who was the focal point player of the attack, fired a seventh-minute warning shot from a distance that had Eric Edwards beaten, but the came back off the crossbar. With that scare, Arnett tightened their defensive approach and attempted to close down Marshall, but still the fleet-footed player found ways to get into the final third to pull the trigger, albeit, to no avail at that point.

    Arnett eventually settled into their game and should have gone ahead against the run of play in the 21st minute. However, young sensation Keheim Dixon went for power instead of accuracy from close range, and the stinging effort was equally well saved by Tyrone Williams in goal for Portmore United.

    Portmore replied 10 minutes later, but were also left ruing their luck, as Stephen Barnett's shot came back off the upright.

    They St Catherine-based team inevitably broke the deadlock when Marshall, with a delightful first touch, made space for a cross which Jahien Rose hit onto the upright, but the rebound came off Wing and left Edwards beaten.

    With the score unchanged at the break, Arnett Gardens fought back on the resumption, as they not only enjoyed the better of play, but also applied consistent pressure to which Portmore United had no response.