Leeds United’s opening Championship day victory over Stoke City was expectedly warmly received amongst the fan base.
Welcoming Gary Rowett’s promotion tipped side to Elland Road for the first real action of the year, we took a 3-1 victory with goals coming from Mats Klich, Pablo Hernandez and Liam Cooper and largely, it was a very comfortable game from Leeds perspective.
We turned up in style and well, Stoke didn’t live up to their billing, but that shouldn’t take anything away from our performance as we were clearly better on the day.
Whilst there were plenty and numerous positives to take from the match and our first three points of the 2018/19 season, there was one big elephant in the room on social media following the match. A number of fans felt that one man had certainly let himself down on the day and that was defender Gaetano Berardi.
For some, he was the sole reason for disappointment on the day but that’s actually incredibly harsh.
Berardi is the only weak link so far in this match for Leeds
— chris (@gallowayisanazi) August 5, 2018
How many more times Berardi has to go
— CM (@Chris_Moulds1) August 5, 2018
Berardi isn’t great is he
— Jake (@JakeLUFC_) August 5, 2018
Berardi doesn't look good enough for this team
— Michael Cooke (@Mickledonions) August 5, 2018
Aye lad same, Berardi can be a total liability at times. Be difficult to keep that intensity for another 45 but good being two up.
— Gary (@garyybradshaw) August 5, 2018
Berardi the weak link in this formation thus far #lufc
— Grecocelt (@Grecocelt) August 5, 2018
All good except Berardi ! Blokes a liability
— Lloyd Pearce (@swindonwhite7) August 5, 2018
Now it’s fair to say that at least one of those tweets came as a reaction to the lineup being announced, so he hadn’t even taken to the pitch. A number of other responses were as a result of the build-up to the penalty.
Plenty had another view, believing the blame went to Phillips for not clearing properly and miscontrolling and they gave a very strong defence of Berardi taking the ‘in moment’ flak as emotions ran high.