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Rob Green vs. Marco Silvestri: Do Leeds United stick or twist with their man between the sticks?

If you get the right man in goal, the sky’s the limit on what your team can achieve…

Leeds United v Norwich City - EFL Cup Fourth Round
Should Marco Silvestri be Leeds Number 1?
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

I find the best way to stress the importance of a goalkeeper is as follows: to be a success in life you have to start from scratch and build from there. In football, the same rules apply. You start with a solid base, you start from 1, and then you work up. Goalkeepers are the pedestal on which a successful football team are mounted.

The man between the sticks has become an integral part of the footballing landscape. Every successful team in every division, country and form of the game will have a dependable leader in goal.

Currently the two goalkeepers within the Leeds United squad have both played their parts in galvanising and re-energising the aura around Elland Road.

Rob Green has shown the dependability we expected from the England-capped veteran when he first arrived and has brought an order and confidence to the team in the league, after some early help from his goal posts.

Marco Silvestri’s penalty heroics in the EFL Cup against Norwich will be remembered through the decades for Leeds fans, a game that was the starting point for much of the positivity we now find throughout our Leeds United community.

To answer that question fairly, we need to dissect Green and Silvestri separately.

When the arrival of Rob Green at Elland Road was announced, he divided opinion with the Leeds cohort. I personally was pleased, because over the past few years Leeds have lacked players within the squad who have the experience, players that have been there and done it, to sustain a credible push for promotion.

In September, after the departure of Sol Bamba, I nominated Green to take the captaincy and still believe based on his achievements in the Championship he deserved the accolade. Green has made 567 domestic career appearances, achieved promotion from the championship on three occasions and has represented England 12 times.

Rob Green isn’t perfect and is prone to making errors every so often (i.e. England vs USA) and his awful start against QPR on the opening day of the season didn’t win him any fans. However since then, he has played a fundamental part in making the Leeds back line the solid unit we see before us.

On the other hand, Marco Silvestri’s time at Leeds has been a roller-coaster ride to say the least.

There have been great moments with Marco. I remember away against Middlesbrough back in 2015 and watching as he singlehandedly kept us in the game with a string of excellent saves.

I have also experienced the other side to Marco Silvestri’s game in January this year, as his dismal display against Sheffield Wednesday left him singlehandedly to blame for the loss.

Marco Silvestri’s shot stopping ability is up there with the best in the division and his saves in the EFL Cup shoot-out did guarantee us a quarter final contest against Liverpool. However, the other aspects of his game need considerable work.

Before his heroic performance against Norwich you could see and hear the fear in the crowd every time the ball went in Silvestri’s vicinity. He deserves to start the game at Anfield, he earned that. And, if we progress, he should continue to play in the EFL Cup. For me though, Silvestri lacks the consistency to feature week-in and week-out in goal for this promotion-pursuing Leeds United team.

So in my humble opinion, Leeds need to stick with Rob Green, even if the internet calls for Marco Silvestri whenever Green makes a mistake. As I touched on earlier, Green’s experience has helped the squad massively, and he’s our man going forward.

Every time you watch Green, he is re-organising and encouraging the younger players within the team. Having a man of Rob Green’s experience has meant the team has the perfect blend of young and experienced players, which is clearly paying dividends on the field. Marco can have the EFL Cup, but Rob has earned the starting role for Leeds United. MOT.