By Saikat Mandal

23rd Feb, 2023 | 2:10pm

Marco Silvestri complains about spell at Leeds United, admits he struggled at Elland Road

Udinese goalkeeper Marco Silvestri has admitted that he initially struggled at Leeds United and he wasn’t playing well.

The 31-year-old keeper joined Elland Road in 2014 and made 98 appearances in all competitions across three seasons. For the first two seasons, he was a regular at the club, but in 2016-17, he dropped down the pecking order behind Robert Green.

Silvestri complains that the Championship is physically and technically demanding, and “it seemed like it would never end”. However, he adds that when he first arrived, there were many Italians at the club and it became easy for him to integrate.

“England is a whole other story,” said Silvestri to Cronache Di Spogliatoio, as relayed by Tutto Cagliari.

“Before arriving, I had just returned from 6 months at Chievo and as many at Cagliari. In the first year here, with Cellino, we were many Italians and it was quite easy to integrate.

“The English helped us, it was difficult initially like football and I remember struggling a lot, I wasn’t playing well. The Championship is physically and technically tough, tactics are less taken into consideration. 

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“Then the championship is very long, infinite. I almost made it to 92 games, it seemed like it would never end. You arrive in February thinking you’re at the end, but in reality there are still 20 games to go.”

Long way

Leeds have come a long way since the Massimo Cellino days, and the club must ensure they don’t go back to that period ever again. 

Under Andrea Radrizzani’s regime, the Whites managed to return to the Premier League after a 16-year-long absence. Marcelo Bielsa was the main architect who took the club to the Premier League, and they are in their third season now in the English top flight. 

After finishing ninth in the first season, the Whites have found it hard to maintain their same quality. Two managers have been sacked in between, and over £200m have been spent by the club. 

Leeds are battling against relegation this season once again, and they have a new manager in place. The squad is too good to face the drop, and Leeds must do everything to keep their Premiership status alive. 

The club is gradually heading in the right direction, and there could be a change of ownership at the end of the season. It would be a catastrophe for the club from the financial point of view if they go down once again.

In other Leeds United news, the club are now leading the race to sign an in-demand young attacking talent from a European giant.