How watching tapes of Europe's elite has helped Leeds United goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell

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Nine months ago Bailey Peacock-Farrell probably couldn't have envisaged sitting down with world-renowned coach Marcelo Bielsa to analyse how the likes of Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich ply their trade.

Last October, after all, the 21-year-old was returning to Thorp Arch following a difficult spell on loan at National League North side York City in which he had conceded nine goals in just four games.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

This spell had been preceded by a rejection from Oldham Athletic in July 2017 for his services on a season-long loan after a month trial and was followed by something similar with Swedish side Landskrona in January of this year.

Fast forward to May and Peacock-Farrell was lifting Leeds United's Young Player of the Year award - some might say it was quite a turn of events.

Following a run of 11 games at the end of the 2017/18 season, in which he played a starring role, the young stopper had become the answer to United's goalkeeping woes after a year of uncertainty between the sticks.

Yet a question mark still remained over Peacock-Farrell's future as number one at Elland Road and the arrival of Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman only added to those doubts during pre-season under famed head coach Bielsa.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

"The aim was to build on the back of last season and try to progress myself," revealed Peacock-Farrell.

"I wanted to make myself known as a Championship goalkeeper and obviously I was expecting a new signing. I had to just come in, put my head down and work really hard and show what I can do in pre-season and try and create a decision for the manager."

The 21-year-old has certainly done that.

So much so that his name is now printed above a number he holds close to his heart: "I know some people aren't fussed with numbers. Some people prefer different numbers but I quite like the traditional number one."

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Peacock-Farrell begins the season as United's last line of defence and once again showed his ability during the 3-1 victory over Stoke City on Sunday.

The young stopper though has had to adapt his game this summer with the goalkeeping position a key one in Bielsa's style of play.

"We're almost like a holding midfielder at some points with the way the manager wants us to be with the high line," continued Peacock-Farrell.

"The way we see it is that the goalkeeper is that extra man. There should always be a way out if we create the right movements.

"We've watched videos on Man City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Just the way they move, their one-twos and third man runs. We've watched a lot of that and we do set drills during the week just on those specific movements and crosses.

"It is very specific in terms of how he wants it to be done and where he wants it done on the pitch. Through the videos we can see that, visualise that and the best thing about it is watching these teams do it and then doing the same."

The videos that the Argentine has been forcing upon his players appear to be working.

United's opening goal against Gary Rowett's men was played out from front to back in no time at all and Peacock-Farrell believes he will have an important role in a lot of Leeds' attacking play this season should he pin down the number one jersey for good.

"If you watch teams like Man City and the way Ederson starts attacks and builds them it creates a lot of opportunities," he said.

"When we do play out we have the ball and we're in control of the game. It's when you start kicking it long you start creating doubts and fifty-fifties and that's where you lose the momentum of the game.

"If you've got the ball you can control the rhythm and the pace and ultimately create more attacks."

If the victory over the Potters is anything to go by it will be fast and furious football for the Whites under Bielsa this season and whoever holds the goalkeeper shirt will certainly hold the key to success.

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As it stands Peacock-Farrell is the man with the target on his back and is under no illusions over how hard he must work to keep hold of his starting spot.

"I've only played the first game, lots can change throughout the season," he added. "I was hoping to be number one here or elsewhere if it was the case of having to go out on loan.

"I've got to keep my performance levels as high as possible. I need to do that during the week and maintain those levels and not give the manager reasons to think of changing.

"I think that's the same across the board. Whoever gets a start is there to prove a point that day but also to make that point last for the entire season."

Peacock-Farrell welcomed competition in the form of Jamal Blackman earlier this summer but Bielsa has taken no time at all to give him his backing. The man from Darlington though says there are no issues between the pair revealing that whoever is chosen will have the backing of the other.

"He's a really good guy and we get on well," Peacock-Farrell claimed.

"I can't speak for every team but with the goalkeepers union we all get on really well. We're in each others pockets and we have to support each other whoever plays.

"You're there to support him but also the team as well. It's only positive vibes."

Those positive vibes are what Leeds are hoping can propel the Whites into a promotion bid this season.

For Peacock-Farrell he will be wishing that he can be the man to lead the Bielsa revolution out from the back for good. He has, after all, found a rightful home following a sticky period in his burgeoning career.