Jurgen Klopp has already given his verdict on new Leeds United manager Jesse March, labelling the American’s Red Bull Salzburg side ‘very aggressive’ and ‘unbelievably strong’ after the two met at Anfield in 2019.
Marsch’s arrival in West Yorkshire signals another shift towards the dominance of German-style gegenpressing in modern football and the former RB Leipzig manager has been likened to Klopp in both philosophy and intensity.
The two met in a Champions League group stage match back in 2019, with the Austrian side producing a second-half fightback from 3-0 down to 3-3, before ultimately falling to a Mohamed Salah winner.
And Klopp was full of praise for RB Salzburg and their manager at the time.
“I couldn’t have more respect for what Salzburg are doing here, the way they play football,” Klopp said.
“Salzburg were unbelievably strong, especially in the first half but we were too. ... We should have scored more goals. Massive respect for Jesse and what they did.”
And Klopp was blown away by their ferocity, adding: “They are very aggressive, they almost jump you.”
A video of Marsch’s half-time team talk at 3-0 down - filmed for part of a documentary on the club - went viral shortly after the game as the coach switched fluently between German and English in an expletive-heavy rousing speech - warning: the below video contains some strong language.
When asked about what he would do if Liverpool were to film inside the dressing room, Klopp was characteristically dismissive.
“If LFCTV would put out a video of me in a situation like that, I would leave the club,” Klopp said.
“That’s the truth. That’s all I have to say about that!”
Marsch on Klopp
Marsch has long been an admirer of Klopp’s intensity and style of play and that is reflected in the new Leeds manager’s style - influenced from the same German school of thought that produced the likes of Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Marsch’s early mentor Ralph Rangnick.
However, speaking before the two met in 2019, the then Salzburg coach spoke of Klopp’s passion and his man management skills.
“I have never met Jurgen but the relationship he has with his players and his teams,” Marsch said.
“The way his teams play, the passion that he has for the game, the passion that his team has for the game, tactically what he tries to achieve. There are a lot of things that I really respect about how he runs his team.”
And he has given insight into the Liverpool managers recruitment previously, hinting as to why Klopp and his team so often recruit from the Red Bull teams.
“Jurgen Klopp is a very intelligent, strategic recruiter.” Marsch added.
“He is influenced by Ralf’s football. At Dortmund and Liverpool, he has played a version of what we do but his own version which I really respect.
“Even when I talk to our recruitment department, I ask that we understand which leagues play the most intensive football and then which teams in those countries play similarly to us so that when we are looking at these young players we can start here.
“Well, Jurgen starts and often stops with what is happening at Salzburg and Leipzig and Dortmund because he knows that those players have already been instructed and been given the foundation in the things that he values in his teams.”
Will they meet again?
Liverpool have already played Leeds twice this season so whether Klopp and Marsch can face off again depends on whether the American can keep his Leeds side up.
They’re just two points above the drop and have been in free fall, but the managerial change and imminent return of key players should keep them afloat.
If the two are to meet next season, then it will be a different Leeds side to the one who the Reds battered 6-0 recently.
And it would be sure to be another thriller, as it was when Marsch last came to Anfield.