Marco Silvestri has received rave reviews since he signed for Leeds United in the summer, so it would have been no surprise to seasoned football fans that he dropped a clanger just when his reputation was at its highest.
There is no doubt the Italian goalkeeper has been Leeds’ best player this season – or at least he had been until that fateful moment against Blackburn Rovers when a mix-up with defender Liam Cooper allowed Jordan Rhodes a chance he was never going to miss.
One mistake does not change all the excellent work the 23-year-old has done since he moved from Chievo to Elland Road back in July, but the question now is: How will the Leeds stopper respond?
There is a chance Silvestri’s mistake could be a good thing for Neil Redfearn’s side in the long term, if the ‘keeper refocuses and vows to show his critics just how good he can be. But the next few matches – against some of the Championship’s top sides – will be the biggest test of the player’s fledgling Leeds career.
Other managers are likely to attempt to target Silvestri just as Blackburn’s Gary Bowyer admitted he had, and it is up to Redfearn and the player himself to ensure that is not repeated.
Leeds can still have a very good season, if they learn from the mistakes that will always come when fielding such a young side. But Silvestri must lead by example, ensuring he is at the top of his game just when his club needs him the most.