The American coach reiterated his commitment to playing the high-press even on the greatest stage.
Red Bull Salzburg head coach Jesse Marsch reiterated his belief in the high-press, stating that he would rather go down swinging against Liverpool when revealing his frustration with teams that permit Barcelona to play with their famous tiki-taka.
Marsch has been within the Red Bull system since 2015, having joined as head coach of the New York Red Bulls after a stint with the Montreal Impact. His tenure with the Red Bulls was highly successful, with the team winning the 2015 Supporters’ Shield as Marsch was named MLS Coach of the Year.
After establishing the Red Bulls as perennial contenders during his tenure, Marsch went to Germany for a short-lived function as RB Leipzig assistant manager before being hired to direct Red Bull Salzburg. With Salzburg, Marsch has seen his profile rise, having headed the side to some strong Champions League group stage performance.
Led by names like Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino, Marsch’s Salzburg team went toe-to-toe with the likes of Liverpool and Napoli, pushing last year’s Champions League winners to the limitation in a 4-3 defeat in October. Marsch’s halftime speech from that game went viral, together with the trainer supporting his team to go out and press Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“I’d much rather go to Liverpool and shed that game 4-3 than sit for 90 minutes and possibly try to catch them on the counter,” Marsch told Extratime Radio. “I just enjoy this way of living. And I also think it breeds success. We went through this with New York. When I inherited the New York team it was a really passive group, they would sit just a little bit deeper and then they would give the ball to Thierry Henry and they would grab you on the counter. I had to alter the entire mindset of how we thought about things and the way we played.”
When Marsch took over the Red Bulls, he took over a team that was coming off a successful stint under director Mike Petke. His hiring was originally widely panned, causing a now-infamous townhall with fans that were disrupted and criticized.
Led by the likes of Bradley Wright-Phillips, Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty, Marsch’s Red Bulls developed a design that allowed them to glow in MLS, emphasized by that pressing mindset.
“It became infectious,” Marsch said. “It was so enjoyable through the years to sit Dax, Sacha, BWP, Luis Robles, these men who were older and played with a certain style who essentially we had changed the way they thought about soccer. We would be seeing a Champions League game and they would be going mad because another team will be sitting back and allowing Barcelona to have 5,000 moves and they would be moving like’press them to press them'”
He added: “It is the ideal way, baby. When I worked with [former RBNY GM] Ali Curtis when we came to Red Bull collectively, he coined a phrase,’If you want something in life, you do not wait for it, you go out and get it’ And that was how we clarified our style of play. I call it going down swinging.”