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  1. 73 points
    Stick that one up your backsides you Puel out moaning gits. Happy new year.
  2. 58 points
    ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?!??!!!!!!
  3. 56 points
    Sat in East stand, and am I the only one who finds booing the team unacceptable.....two fantastic wins, if Vardy scores at Palace instead of hitting the post we probably win, if Maddison scores penalty today we probably win. Those incidents are not Puels fault.....in any way shape or form. So if you were one of the moaning booing ****ers stfu. Please.
  4. 55 points
    It's time for another Tactics thread! At the end of 2018 Leicester had a very tricky run of games featuring Tottenham Hotspur at home, Man City at home twice in both the cup and the league and Chelsea away. However, despite these difficult looking games, Leicester picked up 6 points and took Man City to penalties in the cup game. How did they do this? Well a lot of it was down to improved performances from key players but without any shadow of a doubt a major reason was Claude Puel's switch in system from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3. In this post, I'm going to break down what the 4-3-3 is, how we play it and how it's performing. Before I start though, it's worth having a quick glance at the previous thread which looked into the 4-2-3-1 system that Puel favours. This is because despite our success with the "new" system, in every game Puel has switched back to the 4-2-3-1 at some point. But without any further ado, I give to you the 433! Background The 433 has been around for a very long time... so long in fact that it's difficult to say who invented it. However, it's a system that when played with the right personnel is exceptionally effective and is often deployed by "bigger" teams who have lots of resources and are expected to go out and win games every week. The current Premier League leaders Liverpool deploy this system, and it was also famously used by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea when he first joined the Premier League. Manchester United (think of the team with Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez up front) and Arsenal among many others have also used the system in the past. Barcelona also very famously used this system when Guardiola was in charge, but I am going to leave them out of the discussion because they are a rather unique case. What’s the idea behind it? In possession, the 4-3-3 allows at least 7 players to attack, as the wide forwards squeeze the defence, the full-backs come up behind them and two of the central midfielders push forward with one sitting back to help the centre backs. When played correctly, this is one of the most attacking formations possible. A good 4-3-3 has the benefit of "strangling" the play the other team has. This comes from combining two elements, a three man central midfield which typically dominates possession via passing triangles and three strikers who can press high up the pitch. who win the ball back quickly to start a counter transition. Opponents find it hard to get the ball and hard to keep it. Midfielders can´t get a hold of the ball and are pressured quickly when they do as the midfield area is congested. Additionally defenders are faced with three men pressing them and there are no easy balls to the wings when the full-backs push up. A fully-functioning offensive 4-3-3 is like the tide against a sandcastle - it might take a while, but it's gonna break through the defences eventually. Now you might be thinking "but hang on in all of the games we've played this system, we've had very little possession" and you would be right! And we will cover why that is a little bit later on. Player Roles Key to this formation are the wide forwards, that flank the lone central striker. These players are all-round attacking players with pace and shooting ability, who use their speed on the wings before cutting in towards goal. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane are outstanding examples. Leicester start games with Marc Albrighton and James Maddison in these positions, though James Maddison is a special case we will cover a bit later. Other players who crop up in these positions include Demari Gray, Rachid Ghezzal and even Ricardo. The lone striker himself has a very challenging role. They need to drop deep to drag defenders away and leave space for the wide forwards, as well as link play between the two forward facing midfielders of the midfield 3. Though it helps if this player is physically strong to be able to hold up the ball and threaten from aerial crosses, it's not a necessity. Lionel Messi is very diminutive but plays as the furthest forward player for Barcelona and in the Premier League, Liverpool's Roberto Firminho is six foot exactly. Tall, but not exactly towering over other players. In this system, this position is of course played by Jamie Vardy, though on occasion Kelechi Ihenacho and even Demari Gray play in this role. We then have a midfield three of whom two usually play a little further forward on offence, but all of whom sit back and defend together when defending. Ideally the striker is aided by at least two of the central midfielders. Those central midfielders form a tight triangle in the middle of the pitch and often fall into the roles of ‘creator-destroyer-passer', to attack, defend and maintain possession. Some midfielders combine all of those elements but a well-balanced midfield is key to the formation. THe two players that get forward of the three in Puel's system are Wilfred Ndidi and Hamza Choudhury. One of the three midfielders has a more defensive role of the three. They usually sit back and play just in front of the two centre backs to form a shield if the team loses possession. This player also drops back when the team has the ball in their defensive third to help the team pass their way out of trouble and to make a triangle option for the centre backs to pass to. Now you might expect from the graphic above and with his physical nature that Ndidi would play this position, but you would be wrong! It's actually performed by Nampalys Mendy or Vicente Iborra. These players need to be assured passers of the ball and with the slight of foot to be able to deal with pressure from opposition forwards who will pressure them and is an essential role in the team. Finally with a compact central midfield, the full-backs are fully expected to join the attack and move into the huge amounts of space ahead of them due to the high positioning of the wide forwards. These players need to be super fit because they need to get up and down the flanks all day long. Fortunately we are blessed in having two superb full-backs in Ben Chilwell and Ricardo. 4-3-3: The Leicester City Way Now as mentioned before, our system is quite a bit different to a regular 4-3-3. That's because instead of using it as a "on the front foot" tactic, we've applied a typical Leicester City slant to it and instead use it to counter attack. Or at least we appear to start this way and then try to be more front footed after the game matures such as the recent performance against Chelsea. In our system, rather than high pressing in the opposition box, we actually sit off them until they get into our half. This is because against the teams we have been playing against they have used styles which involve heavy possession and also use full backs that bomb on. We are trying the classic Leicester "rope-a-dope" tactic as we want the opposition to leave huge gaps in behind their full backs so that our front three and our own full backs can run into this space when the ball is turned over. ^Here against Man City we see that we have let Man City have possession without pressure on the halfway line. Vardy is actually occupying Gundogan and not Laporte, and neither Delph or Danillo are under heavy pressure from Albrighton or Maddison. However, look at how compact our midfield three are, Ndidi, Mendy and Choudhury are almost in a straight line and there is less than 10 yards between each player. This is an attempt to congest the midifeld space so that the opposition has to pass it out wide. However, one note of caution in this passage of play is that Kevin De Bruyne has drifted between the lines and is behind Mendy. Man City would go onto score in this passage of play through some excellent midfield passing. ^ Against Chelsea we see a defensive block when Chelsea are on the attack. Notice again how close our midfield three are and that Mendy is the furthest back of the three. A slight mistake here is that Ricardo is getting attracted to the ball leaving Hazard space behind him and Wes has stepped up trying to play an offside trap but is one step ahead of Maguire. In this passage of play, Hazard received the ball and forces Kasper into a smart save. ^ Another example of our defensive block and once again look at the midfield three. Again all within 10 yards of one another and compressing play. Chelsea are again trying to feed Hazard here, but he is offside but the faintest of margins. ^ This is from the first game in which we tried these tactics. In this game Iborra was the sitting midfielder whereas Ndidi and Mendy were more forward minded. However, in this game we barely laid a glove on Spurs as they ran rampant and ended up comfortably winning the game 2-0. The big switch from this game was putting in Hamza Choudhury over Iborra and moving Mendy to the sitting role. Puel probably wanted a player with a better engine to cover more ground as his lesson he learned from this defeat. ^ Here we are on the attack, or more specifically the counter. Ndidi has stolen the ball from Man City and sets up a fast break. This time observe that Mendy is slightly behind Ndidi and Hamza as the "sitter" whilst Chilwell is on the deck after a physical battle versus Danillo who is also floored. I love this freeze frame of James Maddison as it typifies the man. Unlike a regular 4-3-3, Maddison drifts centrally into almost a classic number 10 role whereas Albrighton plays wider. Here he has already found space, is showing for the ball and demanding it from Ndidi. I highly recommend watching this passage of play for some vintage Maddison who after receiving the ball, lets it drift across him to get us on the front foot and plays the key pass that leads to the goal. However, also notice that whilst this was a case of "getting it right," Puel switched back to 4-2-3-1 after 30 minutes. This is because though Maddison was posing an offensive threat, by drifting inside he was allowing Man City far too much room on their right hand side and Sterling was threatening consistently. In some ways we are lucky that Kyle Walker was not playing as the two together might have been a better combination. Thus Puel changed it so Maddison could remain a threat in the middle, but by going 4-2-3-1 forced Man City into playing it centrally and using less wide play. Man City definitely got more of the ball centrally in the second half as a result, but the tactical change worked out well as Man City didn't really create a clear cut opening whilst Leicester created several. ^ A little later in the same move and we see some excellent forward three play. In fact perhaps the best play we have seen from all three all season! Vardy has been superb here, he has dragged FOUR players with him leaving Albrighton one on one with Delph, who he tricks with a checked run. Maddison has been superb here too, after playing in Vardy he has followed up, meaning that Vardy could lay it off to him if needed. But it's Vardy who gets 10/10 for this move for not only has drifted into space but has the superb game sense and "picture" to play a beautiful cross into Albrighton who heads home brilliantly for 1-1. Here is the full goal (whilst it lasts): https://streamja.com/Lo3K ^ Now we are looking at a replay of the attacking move that led to Vardy's goal against Chelsea. Here we again see the Midfield 3 who guess what... are about 10 yards from one another with Mendy the "sitter." But here on the break it's the superb Ricardo driving at 3 players with Maddison drifting centrally into space to act as the key creative fulcrum. And of course Vardy is being Vardy and sniffing out the space to apply a finish. Here is the full goal (whilst it lasts): https://streamja.com/1KZ2 Thoughts and Conclusions You'd have to say the switch to a 4-3-3 has proved to be a tactical masterstroke. Whilst it was largely ineffective against Tottenham, it has been electric in the other matches thanks to the timely introduction of Hamza Choudhury. His engine and speed means that the midfield three can provide high energy when the ball gets into our third and cause the opposition problems. Whilst Hamza was eventually substituted versus Man City it was only because we changed to a 4-2-3-1 and Puel wanted a player who could drive at Fabian Delph to stop him coming forwards. And even then, Hamza did a good job as a makeshift right winger! So you'd have to say that versus possession heavy teams who play a 4-3-3 or variation that this is a very useful tactic to use. I personally expect to see it used away to Everton and think they may struggle to deal with our midfield three. However, it's notable that we played a largely defensive version of this tactic and to question if it will work against a team that sits back like Cardiff or Burnley. In theory even if those teams sit back we should still be able to cause them problems as both Ndidi and Hamza have been getting forwards in recent games and both have almost scored. Liverpool play the same system and score a lot of goals. Of course, they have a world class front three in Mane, Salah and Firminho and it's in those positions where we may fall short. Overall though it's been great to see these new tactics in use. Not only have they led to some truly fantastic results, they have also given us a "Plan B" we can use and also led to yet another academy player coming through and making an impact. I also think that Puel deserves a lot of credit for not only making this change when no one was begging for a 4-3-3 but also in all of the games to change it back when needed. Each time it has successfully changed the dynamic of the game and in beating the last two Premier League champions, really given us all a wonderful festive period . Hopefully it marks our turning of the corner and leading onto a European charge next year!
  5. 50 points
    And that, my friends, is why any talk of sacking Puel is utter madness. Anyone who can't see what he's building here just doesn't understand football.
  6. 45 points
    Bob. Not Puel’s fault, although he will doubtless be blamed in here. Conceding a late loser was pretty predictable as the game wore on. Well played Cardiff, they executed their game plan, stifled our threat, rode their luck and deserved to win in the end. Those six points last week were precious. Clubs around us did not win, and we are still doing well in the table. Who knows what we’ll get away at Everton. And once again, booing our own player as he came on was utterly, utterly moronic. Shame on those who did so.
  7. 42 points
    18 years ago Celtic stole our manager and best player. Today we’ve sent them one of our most promising youngsters to develop for us and they have no chance of affording him after the loan. What a time to be alive.
  8. 41 points
    So the summer of 2016 was a ****ing disaster. But that’s OK. It was to be expected - Kante left, as did Steve Walsh, whose scouting for Championship promotion and Premier League survival had far surpassed all expectations. We’d just won the Premier ****ing League, and flush with new money, we blew £70m on Slimani, Musa, Mendy, Kapustka, Hernandez and Zieler - mostly previous targets for staving off relegation, not defending a title. The following two windows were an improvement - Ndidi came in as a Kante-esque player in the winter of 2017, though sadly Claudio couldn’t make it work with what was still an imbalanced and disenfranchised squad. The club then appointed Shakespeare as the permanent successor, and we had decent summer 2017 window: Maguire (£17m), Iborra (£12m), Jakupovic (£2m), Iheanacho (£25m, lol), Dravovic (loan), Silva (£22m, not available till New Years). Our problem was thus: we’d had no long term strategy since Pearson was in charge. At least, not one that matched our ambitions and standing in the league. Sadly, Shakespeare was an unrealistic choice for long term manager in this respect. Great as a No.2, but as a No.1, he lacked the diversity, authority and vision to be a realistic long term manager for us. Now, I don’t necessarily want to turn this into a Puel In or Out thread - though I admit it’s easier to write this after the last two wins. And of course there has been some utterly dreadful football at times. I truly believe what we need right now is stability - a manager with an eye on our long term future, to develop us on and off the pitch into a bigger club that can compete on a bigger level. That is what Vichai saw in Pearson - he gave him time and trust to develop his own style, with his own staff and players. He also allowed him to develop the training facility and backroom structure into what it is now. Last season was a horror show at times - but we did have a totally imbalanced squad, with our fair share of injuries and about 9 players with an eye on the World Cup in the summer. Puel hardly covered himself in glory either. However, our summer 2018 window was absolutely excellent in my opinion. A new RB, which we’d been crying out for about 2 seasons? - In comes Ricardo Pereira at £17m. A new creative midfielder, to replace Mahrez and diversify our creativity? - James Maddison, for £22m. Very young and English to boot. A new back up goalkeeper? - Liverpool’s 25 yr old Danny Ward, 4th in line to Allison. We balked at £12m, but he’s since proved more than capable. A stronger defence? - Experience Jonny Evans at £3m was daylight robbery. - Filipe Benkovic for £13m, sent up to Celtic to develop for us. - Caglar Soyuncu for £19m - an experienced youngster with bags of potential. The weirdest buy was Diedre at £12m. He’ll never get in our XI, but when you think of Harvey Barnes tearing up the Championship and returning to us in the summer, Deidre starts to make a bit of sense as a squad addition. Starts to. I make that about £100m spent last summer. Minus the £60m+ for Mahrez and the hilarious fee we received for Musa. Perhaps the most promising business however was just after the window closed. We secured our more important players on long term contracts: Vardy till 2022 Chilwell till 2024 Maguire till 2023 Ndidi till 2024 Kasper till 2023 Hamza till 2022 Amartey till 2022 Hamza, Chilwell, Ndidi all under 22, tied down on long contracts and no release clauses, which should keep interested parties off our backs. Maguire proving his commitment to the club, guaranteeing his value rises even higher. Vardy and Kasper secured for perhaps the remaineder of their careers. That is seriously excellent business and proof of our ambitions. Again, some of the performances and results have been poor. But it was never plain sailing under Pearson was it? And despite that, in the long term, he pushed us forward as a club. As of Christmas 2018, we have a much stronger, balanced and younger squad than ever before. We’ve got a £100m world class training facility being built as we speak. We have a stadium expansion soon to be announced. We have a manager, I personally believe, who will help us grow as a club in the long term. We also have a young owner who I trust to make the right decisions for us. If he decides that Puel is not the right man, then I’d understand. But for now, we finally have a long term strategy in place, with a chairman, manager and squad all capable of sticking to it. I firmly believe we have a very bright future. As Claudio once said, szlowly szlowly.
  9. 41 points
    Ricardo is ****ing mint. Seriously one of the best right backs in the league. After getting found out the hard way defensively earlier in the season, he now looks imperious. https://streamja.com/1KZ2 The goal is here. In one passage of play, Ricardo wins the ball back, drives at three players, pulls of a "chop" to beat his man, and plays a great pass into Maddison. Class !
  10. 40 points
    Do Leicester fans not realise we cant expect every player to be able to do 90 mins every 3 days? We need rotation. Alright team for me.
  11. 39 points
    Played one of the better passes of the day to send Maddison in for the penalty. More than Albrighton or Gray did today. Don't know why he has been chosen as the scapegoat
  12. 38 points
    He deserves a lot of credit for remaining professional while out of favour IMO. He’s been a rock when he has come on recently.
  13. 37 points
    a few weeks ago I heard loudly near me. shoot gray! shoot Gray! shoot! Gray shoots and skies it, same voice shouts, don't listen to me you twat!
  14. 36 points
    Yo lads, you can just celebrate the last two results you know. You don't *have to* add your "but before that..." caveats. Just fvcking enjoy it. Seventh in the league having beaten Chelsea and Man City in consecutive games. We should all be living for this shit! Merry Christmas!
  15. 34 points
    Bin the highly rated young Turkish international who's looked pretty good so far after, what, 4 appearances; keep Simpson and Morgan who are both looking done at this level at the moment. Lay off the Christmas sherry chap
  16. 33 points
    Today walking away from the game made me realise why football fans can be such d*cks.. Yes we lost the game, we could and should have won, but it happens. Booing your manager when a clearly spent and injured Vardy is brought off is support now is it?! Makes us look like an entitled bunch of tossers, and ultimately we got what we deserved. Yes a poor performance, yes a terrible penalty. We had to change system today to try and break through and it didn't work. Walking out of the kop at full time the amount of cretins screaming abuse at our manager is classless and poor beyond a doubt. My view is you win some, you lose some. To taste the highs of man city and Chelsea you go through days like today. Our squad is still in transition and the quality isn't good enough beyond the first 11.. not Puels fault.
  17. 32 points
    People can slag him off, but i think we've been a weaker squad without him. He gives us that bit of flexibility
  18. 31 points
    If that doesn't stop the Puel Out nonsense, I don't know what will: right team, right tactics, right substitutions. Right man for the job.
  19. 29 points
    Diabete - Cheap buy from the French second division. Showed early signs of promise but not impressive since then. Still plenty of time for him and could do with a loan. He was worth a punt. Ricardo - Quality signing. Looking the complete modern fullback at the minute. James Maddison - Again, quality signing and picked up for good value in the current market. Danny Ward - Finally, a quality backup keeper! Johnny Evans - Experienced defender available for £3 million. Absolute no brainer. Started off shakey but has looked solid since. Soyuncu - Came with a growing reputation. Jury's still out as we've probably not seen enough of him to really comment. Benkovic - Doing very well out on loan at Celtic. Rachid Ghezzal - The odd moment, but generally poor. I believe that we could do with a couple of attacking players but I do believe that the recruitment under Puel has overall been very respectable. Thoughts?
  20. 29 points
  21. 29 points
    Merry Christmas Foxestalkers. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your families and a happy New Year. Onwards and Upwards. One Love 🦊❤
  22. 29 points
    Whatever happens, I really hope he gets respect from fans if/when he leaves. To negotiate the period we’ve just been through with the class he has shown, and an unbeaten run when we would have been forgiven for losing 5-0 every week is nothing short of incredible. Yes... the performances have gone to pot. And there’s clearly real issues that need solving. But don’t take away the quality that man has shown as a human being, keeping things together through the toughest of times.
  23. 28 points
    Great win. Ricardo is the bollux of the dog.
  24. 28 points
    Some of our current fan base are embarrassing. Every single person who booed today should take a serious look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are cutout to be a Leicester fan, or whether Man City, Liverpool, United, or Chelsea are a better fit for them. The title win has absolutely ruined our support. If people think sitting 8th in the PL is worthy of abusing the player's and manager, then I have no idea how these same people felt during the season we were relegated to League One. Iheanacho and Puel are like having Messi and Guardiola compared to some of the dross we've previously had to entertain in the past, yet both have been singled out for far worse treatment. I keep hearing people say it's an entertainment game and that they pay their ticket price so they are entitled to air their views. If that's your stance and you aren't prepared to support the team through the good times and the bad (not that sitting 8th in the PL constitutes a bad time) then why not do us all a favour and go and spend your money watching football in London or the North West. You'll be in good company with like minded people, enjoy yourself a lot more watching 'entertaining' football, and not annoy the rest of us by whinging and whining all the while. If football is as transactional as you claim and this club is not for you, fine, no one will hold it against you if you decide that there are other team's that you'd prefer to watch which may better suit your needs. At the end of the day no one's forcing you to pay your money to watch a team which has a long history of being highly inconsistent and average at the best of times. I'm personally not a fan of Period Drama film's, but I wouldn't pay to watch one at the cinema and then boo because I disliked the story.
  25. 28 points
    Absolutely awful. I'll probably trigger the huge in fight here but the sooner he goes the better. Chelsea and Man City two absolutely brilliant results back to our best, playing our way, playing solid, counter attacking, smash and grab football. Today, back to standard Claudeball. Getting bored of saying it now, you cannot play passing, possession football if nobody is going to move. It is all about movement. Maddison, forget the penalty, he should never have been given it in the first place, but he spent half the game next to Vardy on the shoulder of the last defender waiting for play to come to him. What are you doing, man!? Watch Bernardo Silva the other night against us, he's the pivot. He's there to run the game, so he's constantly moving towards the ball carrier to provide an option and keep the ball moving. Nobody plays that role for us. I think after a few months of Puel, you have every right to blame the players for not adapting or not being capable of playing his system. After a full year of his coaching and leadership when players still don't have a clue how to play a possession system and move and create chances, that's where the buck stops with the manager. Nobody is learning or getting any better. Whatever he does, they don't understand, it isn't working. We look great playing our old way, his way? Narh.
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