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Marsch calls for respect from officials after Brentford debacle
Sunday, 4th Sep 2022 20:45 by Tim Whelan

Leeds were victims of a couple of contentious decisions at Brentford yesterday, but Jesse Marsch has admitted that our lapses in defence were also responsible for our heavy defeat.

Several of our games against Brentford have being rather feisty in recent years, with several contentious incidents involved, and yesterday’s was no exception. It was a day which included a number of puzzling VAR decisions in the Premier League, and one of them came in the second half of this game, in this case the non-intervention of the VAR man when Crysencio Summerville was clearly dragged down in the area by Aaron Hickey.

The first goal of the match came on the half hour mark, when VAR ruled that Sinisterra’s risky tackle had taken the man before he played the ball. They took about five minutes to look at it and make the decision, so if it takes that long to come to a conclusion, can it have been a clear and obvious error in the first place?

But the bigger question why did the VAR man took so much care and attention to the Brentford penalty, why did he not even ask the referee to look at the footage of Sinisterra being pulled down just inside the area in the second half? No wonder Jesse Marsch was apoplectic on the touchline after this appalling lack of consistency.

He was shown a red card as a result of his protests, and said afterwards "I've got to figure out how to have discussions with the league or with referees to help understand how some decisions get made. I was speaking with the fourth official, trying to be as respectful as I possibly could, even when a penalty was given that I probably didn't think was a penalty.

"And then you don't see it reciprocated, the respect. That's what I would call it. That lack of VAR visit, in the end to me, is a lack of respect." And Danny Murphy was very much in agreement in the Match of the Day studio. "I understand his frustration. It was an awful decision, enhanced by the fact Brentford had got one - you are expecting VAR to tell him to go and look and they don't."

And today the BBC are reporting that after three highly controversial incidents in different games the Premier League will review the operation of VAR with referees’ organisation PGMOL as a matter of priority. Though that might not save Marsch from a one game touchline ban after his red card.

Opinion is divided on social media about Marsch’s reaction. Some think his ill-discipline will rub off on his team, but others think it’s great to see a manager showing a bit of passion about our cause. I’m in the latter camp, as I know how I would react if I was in his position after such a shocking lack of consistency from the officials.

If we had been awarded that penalty and converted it we could have got back into the game, but it might be stretching a point to say that we could have come away with a point. The stats show we had 69% of the possession (an incredible figure for such a heavy defeat) and more shots than Brentford, but Marsch was the first to admit that our deficiencies in defence were as much responsible for our defeat as the officials.

He told the club’s official website We gave away too many easy goals and made mistakes which led to chances and Brentford set-pieces. What's a shame is that we really pushed to get ourselves back in the game at 3-2 and that's when you really felt like the game fell apart a little bit. Overall we've actually been fairly stable but this game was a little wild and we weren't able to do well enough. We’ve got to find ways to get better, keep learning and keep growing.”

He must be considering one or two changes at the back for our next game, at home to Nottingham Forest a week tomorrow. One player who has come in for a lot of criticism is Diego Llorente, who was responsible for at least one of the Brentford goals yesterday, and has looked well off the pace for some time.

He has been made mistakes in several games, including letting the ball run through for Everton’s goal in the last match, which is very disappointing when he looked like our best defender in our first season back in the Premier League. Perhaps it’s because he has had to operate on the left side of central defence while Cooper was out and Struijk having to fill in at left back.

But surely the time has now come for Cooper to come back into defence and for Llorente to take a break from first team action while he gets his game sorted out. We are still in the top half of the table, but have slipped in recent week and need to tighten up at the back. But is there any chance of us getting a few more decisions in our favour?


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