By Dominic Toner
Sky Sports pundit Ian Holloway has hit out at Gaetano Berardi for kicking up a fuss when he was hauled off early in Leeds’ 3-0 defeat to QPR on Sunday.
The right-back, 22, was substituted after just 22 minutes of the Championship clash at Loftus Road and replaced by Lewie Coyle, but it is yet to be confirmed whether it was a tactical switch or Berardi had sustained a first-half injury.
Berardi was seen furiously storming down the tunnel after being substituted, which suggests it was a tactical decision by Leeds manager Garry Monk.
— RightInTheGaryKellys (@RITGK) August 7, 2016
Former QPR and Crystal Palace manager Holloway spoke out about the player’s visible strop during Sky Sports’ live match coverage.
“I think you’ve got to accept the decisions,” Holloway said immediately after the match. “Coming off and being petulant doesn’t do anybody any good. It’s early days yet, it’s a new group. Garry’s got a lot of work to do. All I would say is ‘stay calm’.”
Gotta love sky labelling berardi as “petulant”. Trust me,we have bigger issues at Leeds than berardi thumping the tunnel due to injury #Lufc
— leedsshirts.co.uk (@leedsshirts) August 7, 2016
Leeds got off to the worst possible start in their Championship opener as goals from Nedum Onuoha, Sebastian Polter and a Tjaronn Chery penalty secured the points for QPR and burst the bubble of optimism at Elland Road.
Monk handed youngster Ronaldo Vieira his full debut and he received a mixed review on Twitter for his performance, but his overall team selection didn’t work and they suffered a heavy 3-0 loss.
Their new loan signing Pablo Hernandez did not make the squad for the season opener after Monk revealed that the Spaniard had not received international clearance from his parent club Al-Arabi from Qatar.
Berardi was Leeds’ first choice right-back for the majority of last season forthe Yorkshire giants, but sustained two injuries that kept him out for substantial parts of the campaign.
Leeds will be hoping to improve in their next league fixture against Birmingham, who drew 0-0 with Cardiff on Saturday, and it will be interesting to see if any retrospective action is taken against Berardi following his rash actions.
His substitute replacement Coyle could be in line to cement his place in the first team ahead of Berardi after doing so far large parts of last season.
In other Leeds team news, watch Rob Green’s howler gift QPR an early lead inside the first five minutes.