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Morning Leeds-in for 17 April: Berardi’s fire is what makes him loved at Elland Road

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Bristol City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Gaetano Berardi addressed his “problem” of ill-discipline that has cropped up this year, after getting his third red card of the season against Sunderland, ruling him out of the rest of the season for Leeds.

He spoke to LUTV about his disciplinary issues, saying:

It’s not an excuse but it’s part of the game. It’s a big mistake. I will stop making mistakes when I die I think. There’s a big fire in me and without it I can’t play football. If I remove this fire I just go home and find a job. That’s all I can say.

When I had red cards a few season ago I paid the fines, I paid everything. I spoke with all the managers every time. ‘You can’t do this, you can’t make this mistake’. But when I go on the pitch I just think about the ball and winning the games. It’s my fire, my way to play football. I know that maybe it’s not good but what can I say?

He’s a cult hero at Elland Road because of his aggression, and he’s exactly right that it’s how he plays football.

Berardi is a beloved Leeds player and seems to have the respect of his teammates as well. At this point, I don’t think that Leeds should necessarily send him packing, but he shouldn’t be counted on to be in the starting XI on a week-in, week-out basis. He can still put in a shift with the occasional start in a cup match or to fill in when someone else is hurt, but the potential that players like Tom Pearce and Lewie Coyle shouldn’t be held back by Berardi. And Luke Ayling should, obviously, be given the starting right back position when he comes back.

And that is something that is being ignored here. If it wasn’t for Ayling’s injury or Laurens De Bock’s awfulness and injury, Berardi wouldn’t have had to start all these games. The injury bug hit Leeds hard, and when Berardi is being counted on to be a full-time starter, the team is just playing with fire.

On to the links.

Leeds United Links

The club wants fans to vote on who is the “Player of the Year.” [Through It All Together]

Toby Nye’s cancer battle transcends football, and shouldn’t be part of the “Player of the Year” voting. [Through It All Together]

Leeds given credit for helping develop Lewis Cook at the EFL Awards. [Yorkshire Evening Post]

England and English Football Links

West Ham United got a late, late equalizer from Andy Carroll to draw 1-1 with Stoke City. [Brace The Hammer]

Shaun Harvey has been “campaigning” for safe standing. []

A look at why it’s a myth that the Premier League is the “best” league in the world. It’s not, it’s just the richest. [Roker Report]

World Football Links

Mainz 05 and Freiburg were called back on the pitch during half-time to take a penalty because of VAR. [Sky Sports]

Mediapro has had their winning bid for Serie A TV rights “suspended” after a complaint from Sky. []

If Edin Dzeko moves on from AS Roma, would Mario Balotelli be a good fit? [Chiesa di Totti]