Jesse Marsch enthusiastically talks up Celtic opportunity; board should absolutely pounce

By Euan Davidson

March 17, 2021

Red Bull Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch has claimed it’s an “honour” to be linked with Celtic.

Marsch, an American coach who won a league and cup double at RB Salzburg in 19-20 [Transfermarkt], has seen his stock rise over the last few years. Celtic legend Packie Bonner and Scotland talisman James McFadden talked Marsch up on the BBC Scottish Football Podcast in late February.

Marsch, 2015’s MLS Coach of the Year, told the BBC:

“I’ve heard [about the links]. It’s an honour for me.

“Three or four years ago, being linked with a club like Celtic would literally be an impossibility for me. And now that this is where I am, I always just try to look at it in terms of, ‘what would the project look like?’

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“Would we have similar ideas in how to build it the right way, invest in the academy, invest in young players and create this development process that I’m talking about? And not just focus on winning.

“Obviously I know that when you’re the coach of Celtic, winning is the most important thing.”

Jesse Marsch: a huge success at RB Salzburg. / (Photo by Andreas Schaad/Getty Images)

Jesse Marsch: an excellent Celtic candidate

American manager Jesse Marsch is exactly type of appointment a lot of Celtic supporters want. He started coaching at Montreal Impact in 2011, before stints with the New York Red Bulls and RB Leipzig, the latter as an assistant. It’s at RB Salzburg where he’s made his name in Europe.

Salzburg, who have faced Celtic in European action, won a double in Marsch’s first season. Heralded for their extensive, successful scouting, Marsch has utilised talents from across the world, selling on for large fees. In his time, Marsch has worked with players like Dominik Szoboszlai, Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino.

Last month, Packie Bonner said of Marsch:

“I want to put up Jesse March as a contender. He’s the man for me.

“James [McFadden] knows this and I know this because we’ve listened to him on the Pro Licence, at UEFA. He thinks slightly different. Of course, he’s got the experience now of being at Salzburg. He’s got good communication skills.

“But he thinks outside the box. That’s what I like about him. Players nowadays… they think very differently now. They look for something different from how we were managed in the past. Bit in the Brendan Rodgers mould. That’s where I think the club needs to go to.”

Jesse Marsch helped to develop Erling Haaland at Salzburg / (Photo by Markus Tobisch/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Genuinely interested?

If a coach like Marsch becomes available, on a fantastic career trajectory, you snap him up. Tactically, he strives for a combination of organisation and aggression. In possession, everything is aimed at getting the ball quickly into attacking positions, using attackers with pace and providing several passing options to players carrying the ball [Breaking the Lines].

As a proven developer of young talent – just ask Erling Haaland – Marsch ticks a number of boxes. He’s young, he has excellent European experience, trophies and accolades, and a track record of playing youngsters in an attacking, forward-thinking style.

His quotes don’t suggest intrigue, they suggest genuine interest. There’s a difference between polite “well, it’s just great to be linked” and having an acute awareness of the expectations of Celtic, and how to improve the club.

Celtic should absolutely be sending the American manager an offer.

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