The biggest 'barrier' preventing Leeds United's success is an obvious one

Elland Road pitchside

Language and communication issues are the biggest challenge facing Leeds United over the coming months.

As Leeds strive to kick on over the coming months and mount a play-off push, there is one clear issue they must overcome.

It's an issue of communication, and it extends to matters on and off the pitch.

With 15 new signings made over the summer, and new Slovenian coach Darko Milanic now in charge, Leeds have to ensure their players become a tight-knit group and remains patient with each other.

Over the past fortnight, players have spoken out in the media to admit the problem.

Striker Billy Sharp told the club website this week: "It’s always hard when there’s a lot of players coming in, there’s the language barrier as well but I’m sure with time the blend will get better and we can only improve as a team." 

His comments echoed those of Steve Morison, who stated a fortnight earlier to the Yorkshire Evening Post: "It can be tough with the language sometimes,”

“You’ll get, for example, the manager talking in Italian to the Italian boys and explaining something. We’re stood there after a couple of minutes saying ‘we don’t understand. What are we doing?’

“They say ‘sorry, sorry’ and explain it. That’s fine. And to be fair to the Italian lads, they’re trying really, really hard to speak English. They’re all doing lessons.”

Defender Giuseppe Bellusci admitted, speaking to an Italian newspaper at his end, he also felt it was an issue but he is working at it: "Off the field, the language is a barrier but I’m improving." 

It is not just the Italians, Leeds have a squad consisting of Swiss, Paraguayan, Slovenian, Brazilian players, and with time to blend.

New manager Darko Milanic's appointment was made in the knowledge he can speak five different languages, and can be an ideal man to knit the squad together.

What he needs to do is ensure the English players buy into his tactical approach and ensure disgruntled comments are kept to a minimum. Wins on the pitch will be the biggest antidote to any problems which arise.

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