As reflected by the scoreline, the close-fought affair was just lacking a moment of real attacking quality from either side. Of course, Leeds did have Rutter on the bench who may have been able to provide that moment.
Indeed, the striker has just been signed from Hoffenheim for a reported club-record £35.5m transfer fee and presumably, the cash was splashed so he could be a match-winner for Marsch’s team.
In the end though, he remained on the bench and this didn’t seem to go down well with the Elland Road faithful. Indeed, writing for LeedsLive after the match, Cross relayed the feeling within the stadium.
He said: “Some can’t believe there’s no Rutter.
“The fanfare around the club’s record signing was always going to grow as we went into the first opportunity to watch Georginio Rutter play in Leeds white. Despite the fact player and head coach had each played down his sharpness going into the fixture, if he’s named on the bench hope was only going to grow on the terraces.
“With the match poised at 0-0 and only two substitutions made, Marsch looked only to Sam Greenwood as the clock reached the 87th minute. For some fans looking to see the deadlock broken, it was hard to fathom why a record-signing for the frontline was not even thrown on for a five-minute burst.”
With Leeds on a winless streak in the league which stretches back to a victory over Bournemouth in the first week of November, it’s not hard to see why supporters wanted their club to really push for all three points.
However, with things so tight down the bottom of the table, Marsch may well just be relieved to have got a draw which now leaves them one point above the bottom three.
After the game, the American explained his decision to the press, saying: “We thought about it. I could have done it. I just want to integrate him the right way and I felt like Willy [Gnonto] was close to pulling off a play, so I felt like leaving him on.”
It certainly would have been a pressure environment for Rutter to make his debut but it’s not as if he only signed on the eve of the game, he has had about a week of getting used to his new environment after the transfer went through on January 14.
Still, at just 20 years of age – and with less than 100 senior football appearances to his name in his career – you can see why Marsch doesn’t want to throw him in at the deep end just yet.
Only time will tell if he will come to regret his conservative call though.