As happens with the end of any love affair, things can get a little messy in the aftermath. Especially when the new manager in this case starts criticising the old one.
Last week Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch was scathing about his predecessor’s training methods, saying that it was ‘clear’ the team had been over-trained and blamed this for the injury crisis at the club.
Although no longer at the club, striker Eddie Nketiah has come out in defence of his former manager. Currently at Arsenal, Nketiah spent the second half of the 2019-2020 season on loan in Yorkshire, scoring three goals during their promotion season from the Championship.
Speaking to The Beautiful Game podcast, Nketiah disagreed with the characterisation by Marsch.
“It’s difficult to say whether it’s wrong because I felt like he was getting the best out of the players that he had.”
“Everyone was improving a lot, even myself. I’m not going to lie, the training was hard. Sometimes I like to go out to eat [after training] but I can’t remember any time going out to eat, I was going back home to sleep! I was coming back from training knackered.”
“That was the first time I really felt like I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone. Almost every day I was coming in thinking I need to rest so that I could be ready for training again.”
Although admitting there are a lot of injuries because the training programme, Nketiah seemed to think the benefits outweighed the negatives.
“It was good, obviously it’s difficult because you see that they get a lot of injuries because over time it’s hard to sustain that intensity whilst playing like that every game. It’s difficult but, in terms of a development point of view, it helps a lot.”