If Leeds drop Scott Wootton following FA Cup howler, Marco Silvestri's place should also come into serious question

Leeds United East Stand

The goalkeeper was arguably just as responsible for the goal that knocked the Whites out of the FA Cup.

Steve Evans may feel forced to drop Scott Wootton for Leeds' game with Fulham on Tuesday after the defender's own goal proved to be the difference during the Whites' FA Cup tie with Watford on Saturday, but if he decides to drop the 24-year-old because of the mistake, then Marco Silvestri's place should also be in some doubt for the visit of the Cottagers.

Despite having little danger around him, Wootton managed to volley Ben Watson's cross into the bottom corner during the early stages of the second-half at Vicarage Road.

And while the majority of the 4,200 supporters in the away end let Evans know exactly what they thought of his decision to continually select the defender at right-back, his mistake would arguably have not been anywhere near as costly if Silvestri had made his mind up about whether he was coming for the cross or staying on his line. 

As Wootton had his back to a sizeable amount of the play by the time the ball was flying across the six-yard box, the Italian would have had a much better view, so should have known that there was much less danger than his teammate appeared to think there was.

Secondly, if he had been more decisive, he may have been able to cut out the cross before it reached Wootton at the back post, while if he had decided to stay on his line, he would have almost certainly been able to prevent the defender's attempted clearance from finding the back of the net.

However, an incident such as this appears to have been on the cards for several weeks, and may well happen again if Evans does not show to both Wootton and Silvestri that he is willing to drop them. 

During the first-half against the Hornets, the 24-year-old threatened to fly out to try and collect a corner that was never in his path. Luckily for Evans' men on that occasion, Miguel Britos was unable to steer his header on target, as if he had managed to do so, and had got enough loop on the attempt, he may have managed to exploit the recklessness with which Silvestri had moved off his line. 

While the former Chievo man's shot-stopping ability has been impressive on numerous occasions this season - and has kept his side in games at times - his decision-making is not the only aspect of his game that should worry United fans, as his distribution remains a concern.

Although some may be wary that currently Evans' only other option would be to throw Bailey Peacock-Farrell into the side if he was to drop Silvestri, the 16 point gap separating the Whites from the Championship's top six suggests that the final 15 games of the campaign may be the perfect opportunity for the youngster to show why he is so highly-rated at Elland Road.

The 19-year-old will not be the finished article, but with the play-off places such a long way away, Evans will surely have no better chance to give the academy graduate a run in the team without the pressure of worrying about making a mistake. Plus, it will show to Silvestri that he needs to maintain a high standard if he wishes to remain in the team.

If Evans is to achieve his aim of challenging for promotion next season (via Yorkshire Evening Post), then he is almost certainly not going to be keen on the idea of turning to his substitute goalkeeper if he is still unexposed to the demands of first-team football, so will find himself having to continue to select a stopper who every so often makes a huge blunder.

While Wootton cannot defend his mistake, it could have been a lot less significant to the overall result against Watford had his goalkeeper not made a mistake of his own in the build up, and for that reason, it seems somewhat unfair - and would arguably prove the wrong decision - if one is dropped while the other maintains their place in the side. 

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