He arrived, he Kung fu kicked his way to a red card on his debut, signed in the same window as Bianchi, Sloth, Bellusci, N’Goyi, Benedicic, Del Fabro, Montenegro, Adryan…. my word this list goes on a while. Moving swiftly on… Berardi was and is different to all those others. Even the other two that remain, Silvestri and Doukara, they’re not like Gaetano. Yes, Doukara scored that screamer, but he was also involved in the Charlton 6. Now, this article is not to bring up all that again, I have no issues with Doukara or Silvestri anymore, other than the fact Silvestri isn’t very good. Anyway, Berardi, despite having a legitimate knock that day, still traveled with the team and was on the bench, the players and fans respect for him grew massively that day.
Since then Berardi has improved as a footballer massively, he’s playing out of position and he’s made it so half the time I forget we have one of the league’s best left-backs out injured. If it wasn’t for Jansson, a lot more of the focus would be on Berardi this season. He defines Leeds, he is everything we are about and I’m pretty sure he loves it. All Leeds fans require is someone who gives 100% every week, then you take that and add the hint of psychopath he has in him and you get every Leeds’ fans ideal player. He does seem to have reigned in some of his aggressiveness during games recently, but it still comes out when he thinks it’s required and it’s excellent to see. A great example of this was during the touchline incident at Huddersfield, where you could just see Berardi come running across and offer four Huddersfield players out at once, as can be seen here: In the aftermath of this, the commentator on Sky said Berardi was “like a raging bull” on the pitch, I only wish we had a Berardi cam for that bit of action.
What this article really is, is showing a bit of affection for a player that sometimes gets forgotten about because he doesn’t score goals or celebrate when he makes a tackle (he just gives them a death stare). So although he isn’t Charlie Taylor in terms of quality, he brings that passion of his to the team and that is key. Berardi has a contract that runs until 2018 and that’s great, because he deserves to play in the Premier League for us. I’m not saying he’s a Premier League starter, but I definitely think he could be a squad player.
Here’s to you, Gaetano Berardi. I hope you continue being mad here for many years to come.