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  1. 120 points
    Player literally asking the fans to stop being bellends
  2. 103 points
  3. 77 points
    Claude Puel calls for a Leicester City reality check The City boss discusses the criticism he has received and the speculation over his future, as well as his public image Claude Puel has called for a reality check at Leicester City as he hit back at his critics. City are seventh in the Premier League, but that hasn’t stopped the Frenchman coming under fire from a section of supporters who have become disillusioned with his style of play and the inconsistencies of his young side. Puel has also been the subject of media reports that his job was in doubt on several occasions, and the criticism intensified after he made seven changes for the FA Cup third-round tie at Newport County, and paid the price as Citysuffered a shock giant-killing. Puel admits it has been difficult to manage the negativity that is around his team, but he believes considering the problems his side has faced in the first half of the season and the fact they are competing against clubs with more resources, his side have done a good job to sit seventh in the table. Puel accepts City’s title triumph of 2016 has raised expectations, but he said it wasn’t realistic to think they should be competing in the top six again and called for his emerging young players to be given more time and patience. “I think it’s a shame because for a club to continue to improve we need stability,” Puel said of the criticism and negativity around City. “Stability is not about the speculation around the club, inside, outside the club. It is important to support these young players who continue to improve and put in a good structure in the club, good basics to perform in the future. “We know the normal difficulties to improve young players and get results. Normally it is not possible to improve young players and have the result at the same time. Normally when we improve the young players they perform later. “There is a lot of pressure around the club, but we try to maintain good results and good improvement of lots of players. Leicester City manager Claude Puel leaves the touchline after the Emirates FA Cup, third round match at Rodney Parade(Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire) “Since the beginning of the season I think we have done some fantastic work. I am happy about the work we can do, the hard work my players have given in training and in games. “To finish seventh in the first half season with all problems we have had, it’s a very good performance. If people believe we have to be sixth, that it should be our place, it is not the truth. It’s not possible. “And if they think eighth is not good enough, it’s crazy. “Of course we have difficulties to get a good atmosphere around the club. We need to be clever.” City made seven signings last summer but after the sales of Riyad Mahrez and Ahmed Musa, they had an estimated net spend of just £25million. Puel said the truth was they couldn’t go out and compete with the top clubs in the Premier League for ready-made players, but instead were invested in youth they feel they can develop themselves. “The question is how can we perform at this club? Do we have the same possibilities and money as Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, or Everton, West Ham or Wolves? Do we have same possibilities? No,” said Puel. “How can we compete against these teams? We can’t buy the same players, experienced and consistent with a fantastic level. “We can perform if we can take some talented players, younger and develop them. Harvey Barnes trains with Leicester City for the first time after returning from his loan spell at West Brom(Image: Plumb Images/Getty Images) “Perhaps we have success. Then we keep them and in three to four years we can compete with the great teams. For me it is the only project we can have. “It was exceptional that Leicester won the title. If not it would be easy all the time to win the title. It was exceptional. If people think that was normal in the Premier League it is not the truth. “This club won the title and the expectation from all around the club, from fans sometimes and from people and journalists, the expectation is more advanced. It’s a higher level. “There’s a difference in the possibilities for Leicester and what people want to achieve and dream of, and what they are expect from us. “I accept this but all the time after a bad result there is pressure, and other teams with more money and more possibilities are behind us don’t have noise, speculation or other things. They can work with calm, without a problem. “We know the difficulties and the atmosphere around the club, for me and the players, for the club. “We have to manage this atmosphere and to try to keep all the time our calm and continue this project.” It was a similar story when Puel was manager of Southampton, who he faces tomorrow at King Power Stadium. He was sacked after one season despite finishing eighth in the table and taking the Saints to a cup final, but Puel was unpopular with sections of the supporters who didn’t like the football they witnessed. “Yes, perhaps (it’s the same), because before they finished sixth and the believed after sixth it would be fifth, fourth and so on,” said Puel. “Perhaps it was the same thing, I don’t know, but if we forget who we are it will be difficult afterwards. It is always important to be clever with ambition. “We need to have ambition but ambition to follow a project because the way is different because we cannot pay, we cannot buy. Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City warms up ahead of his side's clash with Leicester City(Image: Plumb Images/Getty Images) “For example, when we lost Riyad Mahrez how can we replace him with the same level? It’s not possible. “We need to find different possibilities with different talented players and with a different profile to give strength to the team. “It costs a lot of money. A good example is Riyad became a great player but he was not a great player when he arrived in the club. “He made progress and I hope other players in our team have the ability to become great players with passion and hard work on the pitch and in training sessions. “To keep the right mentality is the most important thing and some teams can have an interest in our players because they show the world what we can do and the quality we can put into recruitment of young players and developing them - sometimes to buy young players and sometimes to come from the academy and develop. “It’s the way for us.” Puel also addressed his public persona and how that has affected perceptions of him. As he is asked, he shrugs and offers a weary smile. “Ah, the image! I saw in the past a lot of images with different managers,” he sighed. “They had a fantastic image, but now their teams play in the Championship. “The most important thing is not to be spectacular on the bench, it’s to try to perform on the pitch and develop a club and to have good consistency to compete and to make progress and keep ambition, just this.” It seemed Puel was in fighting mode after weeks of speculation and criticism, but he vowed to continue to soak up any negativity aimed at his young squad and vowed he would not waver from his plan. “My job is to take all this pressure without giving pressure to my team and the club. I take this pressure,” he said. “It’s not a problem for me, but I want my players to play without pressure, with freshness and freedom and this is the most important thing to continue their development. “I can take the pressure. I am solid, I have the habits, it’s not a problem.”
  4. 58 points
    I classed myself as this after Man City, I was really annoyed but since then his tactics have been absolutely spot on and I've been delighted, we've beaten Everton, Chelsea and Man City and lost to Cardiff which could easily have gone the other way. His switch to three in central midfield was something no one on here suggested and it's been brilliant, even bringing through Hamza who now looks to me a better option than Mendy or Ndidi given the choice. What is really annoying is now those who wanted him out saying "it's the players" when we win but "it's the manager" when we lose - pathetic argument and echoes the morons saying the same about Pearson/Cambiasso. He makes mistakes, which manager doesn't? - but there is nothing better out there at the minute and he's bringing the youth players into a team that wins us matches. I'm happy to give him some time to build this team. He has ideas that I like, Ricardo and Chilwell are looking superb and I genuinely think we are only a couple of players away from a very good team. We are also 7th. I think people need to reflect on that. 7th best team in the country.
  5. 56 points
    What a guy. He never has to apologise to us. Ever. He gave me one of the greatest birthdays of my life against Sevilla. I reject your apology you ****ing hero.
  6. 56 points
    It’s all complete bullshit that Harry has kicked off. All these stories are being put out to the media by agents & the United side in an attempt to get a deal pushed through. Top set the price tag early doors & has made it crystal clear to Harry & everyone else that’s involved what the price is & It’s non negotiable! ....He was taught well ?
  7. 46 points
    Few years ago, went on a date with a Tinder match. Went for drinks on Brauny gate, started well had a few and went to Soar Point for a few games of Pool. As up to this point I was the gentleman and bought all the drinks, she said she will get us a round. I said I will have a JD and Coke, which she shouted DOUBLE at. I like this woman. Anyway, after a few more hours of drinking, we were both quite drunk and went back to Brauny Gate, where she knocked her drink over which went over my crotch. She flirtily tried to dry it herself, but as it was the first date and she was drunk, I laughed it off and went toilet to dry up. Anyway, we decided to get some late night food. The first food place we came across was closing up, doors locked and the staff mopping. I said lets move on and she started banging at the window, shouting. Ok she is fiesty.. So then she says she wants a subway. I ask her what she wants, Tuna Melt.. 20 mins in she's got bits of Tuna all round her mouth and out of nowhere she grabs my head and kisses me. Breath stunk like a cats arse. Pulling Tuna out of my mouth, I decided I dont actually really like this girl and call her a taxi. She refuses to get in and says she wants to come home with me. 'Ok, we will go to mine'.. I help her get in, seatbelted up, jump back out, slam the door and literally run away...
  8. 46 points
    LCFC "Hello Mr fancy foreign footballer, this is our state of the art training complex which includes bedrooms for players and a 9 hole golf course" Player "It's lovely, but I've got an offer from Newcastle, so I'm going to speak to them first" NUFC "Alrreeeet Pet, the shitters are on the right. Bring ya own bog role though. What ya reckon, up for signing with us pet?" Player "Yo no hablo ingles"
  9. 43 points
    I genuinely have no bitterness or ill feeling towards him at all. Man Utd are a huge club and can pay him huge wages that can set him and his family up for life. It's not his fault that they're an unbelievable mess behind the scenes and are the worst they've been on the pitch for 40 years. He served us very well, for all his faults. He represented us for England at a World Cup Semi Final. He led last year's Vichai March with his injured teammates. He behaved professionally and set an exemplary precedent on how a player should act when on the verge of a big move. He earned us a WORLD RECORD FEE when we all know he's not worth that. He also paved the way for Cags. Huge respect to him for all of that. So no, absolutely no bitterness from me whatsoever. Thanks Harry. (Though it is ****ing funny how it's all gone wrong)
  10. 43 points
  11. 40 points
    Jamie Vardy’s first match of the decade didn’t take place until January 23, 2010. Stocksbridge Park Steels’ Bracken Moor ground sits in the foothills of the Pennines, where the bitter wind rushes into the gaps in your layers of clothing like new rain filling the cracks of the scorched earth. So goes the local joke: If it is raining in town, it’s probably snowing at Bracken Moor. In January 2010, town got the snow too. FC United of Manchester were Stocksbridge’s visitors, a club built out of resentment and anger but also in the hope of creating something pure. At Bracken Moor, where supporters stand in the bar with a pint and survey the brown bracken of the mountainside, and stand by the touchline to experience the cacophony of gruff South Yorkshire swears, you certainly experience football’s realness. Bracken Moor’s official name is the Look Local Stadium. It has never looked anything else. Vardy’s Stocksbridge drew 1-1 with FCUM, despite being reduced to ten men midway through the second half when trailing 1-0. A bumper crowd of 761 watched Vardy toil but fail to score, booked for a frustrated rash tackle. Many of them huddled from the cold in the stand that now bears his name. One of those was Notts County’s talent identification officer, but Vardy did not bear mention in his account of the match. Another one slips through the net. Another synaptic link is missed. Of course, even Vardy could not have possibly predicted his rise. How could he, when the next morning the alarm would sound for him to get up and work a 12-hour shift at the Trulife factory, helping to manufacture medical splints and crutches? How could he, when there were younger men than him in the England national team and he was getting paid £30 a game to play? We enjoy the journey of a non-league player making it big because it reinforces the dream principle – nothing is impossible if you want it hard enough. Reality is depressingly different: social mobility is largely a myth, with economic and social inequalities often suffocating potential. Posturing the idea that anyone can succeed if they just work hard enough becomes counterproductive, absolving inequality of necessary scrutiny. Vardy had dreamt of being a professional footballer through his childhood and then been released by Sheffield Wednesday at the age of 15. College, a job, his mates, love life and money then become the priorities; football is marginalised to the fringes. We’re told to never stop dreaming, but life often moves too fast for dreams. Far less often, dreams catch back up with life. Less than six months later, Vardy finally became a full-time professional when signing for Halifax Town. Less than three years later, Vardy joined Leicester City in the Championship. Less than six years later, he made his England debut. Less than seven years later, he broke the the Premier League record for scoring in consecutive matches and won the league title. As a decade of English football draws to a close, Vardy is the hero in the most astonishing individual story. A cultural Hollwoodification has created certain expectations of how a rise like Vardy’s might play out. There’s the lightbulb moment, when the magnitude of opportunity clicks and maps out a path to the top. There’s the Rocky montage, where we see Vardy sacrifice everything for punishing training runs through the Pennines. There’s the cliff-edge setback that pushes the schmaltzy narrative to the point of disaster, only for our protagonist to claw their way back to safety. The truth is often a little more prosaic, if no less unlikely: Vardy just started scoring goals and found that he couldn’t stop and never wanted to. “I didn’t ever sit down and plan all of this,” Vardy once said. “It’s just happened how it has happened.” There is a story told by Leicester City owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha about how Vardy initially struggled after joining the club. His fitness was lacking, and Aiyawatt had received reports from coaches that Vardy was turning up drunk to training. When the then vice-chairman met with his striker and asked if there were any personal problems he wished to discuss, the answer surprised him: “He said he didn’t know what to do with his life now. He’d never earned such a large amount of money.” For professional footballers who rise through academies, success usually comes incrementally. Even those who burst onto the scene at major clubs have been emotionally and psychologically prepared for what might follow. There is now a conveyor belt of advice and support. For Vardy it’s different: he had learned to cope with life outside of the dream. The rapidity at which his situation changed left him without the tools to deal with it. Everyone assumes that you make and then immediately live the happy ever after, but for Vardy life initially became less rather than more straightforward. It can be hard to process such remarkable promotion because it is so difficult to explain it away as anything other that good fortune – the psychological complexity of the ‘Why me?’ dilemma. In 2010/11, when Vardy scored 24 goals for Halifax, a striker named Ross Hannah scored 35 times for Matlock Town. Hannah was eight months older than Vardy, was also released Sheffield Wednesday at 15 and also played at Bracken Moor for Stocksbridge. He scored 89 goals in two seasons for Matlock. Two days before turning 25, Hannah signed his first professional contract with Bradford City. A manager was sacked, opportunities were limited, goals didn’t flow; Hannah is now at Gainsborough Trinity, back in the Northern Premier League. Vardy’s story was different, but it’s easy to wonder ‘Where did it all go right?’. Vardy did not choose to be scouted or signed or selected or feted or hated. As he says, this just happened. Vardy’s game was forged in amateur football; that is still conspicuous in the relative refinement and homogeneity of the Premier League. He actively avoids putting on muscle because he believes it slows him down but the power still exists, like a greyhound whose owner’s livelihood depends on fractions of seconds and grams. Vardy is also the great grifter of English football, delighting in riling opponents to gain a psychological advantage. Anyone who has pitched themselves against a gnarled, snarling Sunday League central defender can identify. Like Wayne Rooney in his pomp, Vardy possesses a football brain and a technical skill that belies his persona and image; athlete meets aesthete. The chip against Tottenham in 2017, the goal against Liverpool in 2016, the volley against West Brom in 2018; each fabulous finish taken at least half a second before the goalkeeper is expecting it. That is the sign of an intelligent forward. Vardy has a natural composure even when performing highly technical actions. The greatest talents are those that seem to even catch the beholder off guard. This isn’t a pure story; it would be unforgivable to pretend otherwise. When at Stocksbridge in 2007 Vardy was convicted of affray after a fight outside a nightclub (he says he was defending a friend with hearing difficulties who was being mocked for his disability), and in 2015 Vardy was filmed by a member of the public telling a man of Asian origin to “walk on Jap” in a casino after believing he was looking at his cards. Vardy’s personal apology soon followed, supplemented by an excuse of ignorance caused by ill education. But Vardy knows these incidents stick to a reputation like glue. Vardy’s rise and reign can basically be pitched as a battle of him vs the world. Everything behind the psychology that drives his game is fuelled by proving to himself and everyone else that he belongs in a place where he never expected to be. Even the famous chant that celebrates him reinforces his everyman difference: “Vardy’s having a party. Bring your vodka and your charlie.” He is different to the rest, and that difference defines him. The tremendous record against the biggest teams? An extra desire to prove his worth against the elite. The taunting of opposition supporters? Proof that Vardy uses their abuse as fuel to drive him. The “all me, all me” celebration after breaking the consecutive goal record? An auto-response to the realisation that he had made it. The breakdown of relationship with his parents, who have still not seen their granddaughter? “It’s their loss. I’ve got a family I need to look after.” It becomes both self-fulfilling and irreversible: The better Vardy plays, the thicker the protective wall he places around himself and his family. One of the usual results of rapid progress is a hardwired fear of returning to whence you came. Fear either builds or breaks you. Perhaps Vardy’s greatest achievement is making this extreme individualism fit perfectly into the team ethic. His on-pitch personality is infectious. Choose a different elite striker with more grace but less demonstrable hunger, and Leicester’s title victory may not have been possible. Leicester City vs the elite, Jamie Vardy vs the world; glory through symbiosis. Vardy began the decade as a footballing nobody. He will end it as a somebody, the sixth highest Premier League goalscorer of the last ten years. While the other high-profile stars of Leicester’s title-winning team needed to leave the club to sate their professional ambitions, Vardy rejected his big move. Maybe that was recognition of Leicester’s faith in him and the integral role that faith played in his success. Maybe that was to repay those supporters who adore him like no other player in their lifetimes. Or maybe Vardy just came to the conclusion that there were no bridges left for him to cross. His dreams caught up with his life and surpassed it long ago. There’s no need to force it. It’ll just happen how it happens. Daniel Storey
  12. 37 points
    We really are turning into a deluded billy big spuds lot of fans when they use embarrassing against teams that give there all. A lot of us really have forgot what we were all about now that’s embarrassing.
  13. 36 points
    Please lowest possible opponent at home, Colchester, Oxford or Manchester United will help us progress into the semis
  14. 35 points
    scenes if tielemans looks up his name on Twitter and sees a picture of himself and just turns and looks behind him
  15. 35 points
    What a man. Enjoy your retirement Rob!
  16. 35 points
    Gif form, as I'm sure you'll all agree is needed for this incredible moment.
  17. 35 points
    “They had a fantastic image, but now their teams play in the Championship." ???????
  18. 34 points
    It's the 21st century and homophobia is rife still in football.
  19. 34 points
    We're officially saved, duderinos! Hirst scored as well! Two remarkable events on one evening ;-) ;-)
  20. 33 points
  21. 33 points
    Planet Football28th August 2019 https://www.planetfootball.com/nostalgia/a-tribute-to-esteban-cambiasso-and-his-final-stand-with-leicester-city/ Esteban Cambiasso was never the obvious choice for an import who would thrive at a newly-promoted Premier League club, but he did all that and more in his year at Leicester. When Leicester City returned to the Premier League in 2014, there was little to suggest things would be much different to their relegation from the same division a decade earlier. They might have won the Championship at a canter, but their summer signings weren’t the kind to fill people with tons of confidence. Leo Ulloa and Tom Lawrence were brought in to boost the Foxes’ attack, but the most eye-catching deal was the one that saw Ulloa’s compatriot Esteban Cambiasso move to the East Midlands. Cambiasso had never played in England before, and he hadn’t played anywhere that wasn’t Inter Milan for a full decade. The Argentine played more than 400 games for Inter, and was on the books of the Italian club when he rounded off one of the finest ever World Cup team moves against Serbia & Montenegro in 2006. Still, a defensive midfielder, who had turned 34 a couple of weeks before joining – was this really what Leicester needed? Could he really gel with a Nigel Pearson squad? As it turns out, the answer to both questions was a resounding ‘yes’. A surprising impact Cambiasso’s arrival was greeted with references to plenty of other out-of-the-blue arrivals, from Youri Djorkaeff’s Bolton stint to Attilio Lombardo joining Crystal Palace. However, a lot of these were attack-minded players whose impact could be quantified far more easily than a man who was never picked for his scoring ability. Even if Cambiasso ended up thriving, it wouldn’t matter if the goals didn’t arrive from elsewhere. It was strange, then, that his first goal arrived in the sort of game that couldn’t be more different from the sensible, solid football he had provided under José Mourinho en route to winning the Champions League with Inter. Leicester and Manchester United had already exchanged five goals by the time Cambiasso pounced to turn the ball home after a Jamie Vardy miscontrol, but if there was ever any doubt about his commitment to his new club then that vanished the second you saw the passion that went into the celebration, Cambiasso’s final tally of five goals was more than he managed in any of his final three Inter seasons, but none were more important than his strike against West Ham in March. Leicester had dropped seven points adrift of safety with a 4-3 defeat to Tottenham, and it could have been an excuse for some of their players to down tools after recognising an already tall order was on the verge of morphing into an insurmountable task. Indeed, if you wanted to resort to cliché, the close-to-retirement South American with a Champions League title to his name would surely have been the hot favourite to decide this wasn’t for him. Yet Cambiasso was one of the main reasons the Foxes kept fighting. Early in the game against the Hammers, he let fly with a belter of a left-footed shot so pure it felt as though it represented the way he sought to dig the team out of the hole it had got itself into. It was if he was saying “we don’t need to give up”, looking at the way his compatriot Carlos Tevez helped wrest West Ham from a similar position after his own 4-3 loss to Spurs in 2007. With one swing of the boot, he loudly told the Premier League “no. I’m not done yet”. “I think the most important trophy is that Leicester City play next season in the Premier League,” Cambiasso said upon receiving his Player of the Year award at the end of the season, having helped the club pick up 22 points in their last nine games to climb from last to 14th, staying up with a game to spare. “I’m more of a team player than a star and I like the group trophies more than the individual trophies.” He opted to turn down the option of a contract extension despite having, in his words, “lived one of the most important years of my career”. Little did he know that, if he’d stuck around, the next year was poised to be even more special. However, when Wes Morgan and his Leicester team-mates lifted the Premier League trophy in 2016, they’ll have known none of it would have been possible without Esteban Cambiasso giving them the platform to thrive.
  22. 33 points
    With respect mate, it honestly baffles me that someone can back Gray and Ghezzal for game time in one sentence and question Evan's in the next. Ghezzal has done nothing. Gray hasn't improved since we bought him and Evan's was our best CB last year. Incomparable.
  23. 33 points
    I’ve just seen a troubling news report from the Vatican ......
  24. 33 points
  25. 32 points
  26. 32 points
    In light of Rudkins appreciation thread, it looks like the wrong person was getting the majority of the credit. “Sports Agenda understands that Leicester chief executive Susan Whelan was entrusted with dealing with the process for the club, and that the figure she commanded for the defender is seen as recognition of her sterling efforts. Whelan, who has a close relationship with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, does not usually look after transfers, but took the lead here — and she and the club will be satisfied with the outcome. The fact that a female chief executive played such a key role in a world record transfer for a defender also represents a substantial step forward for football.”
  27. 32 points
  28. 32 points
    Hey guys. I 'm a Liverpool fan popping in. I just want to say that I think you are a great team. I also think that you are more than good enough to finish in the top four next season if your team is not broken up. I was obviously rooting for you guys today and can't fault anything you did. You were so good that it took a 30-yard pot shot from a Centrehalf that had not taken a shot outside the box in 6 years to beat you.
  29. 30 points
    He’s the manager who has beaten Chelsea and Manchester City and pinched a point at Liverpool this season but Claude Puel still divides opinion. The Leicester City coach has come under increasing pressure from fans and his own players for his style of play. So what are Puel’s Leicester all about? For this week’s Game Dissected we take a look at their strengths and weaknesses. Two numbers: one weakness, one strength Two hundred and twenty. That is how many chances Puel’s Leicester have created in the Premier League this season, which puts them 13th among Premier League teams, with fewer chances than Fulham (252), Crystal Palace (232) and Southampton (231), who are all farther down the actual table. Thirty one. That is how many goals Leicester have conceded in the league. Only Liverpool (14), Manchester City (20), Chelsea (23) and Tottenham (24) have conceded fewer. Here, in a very crude and simplistic way, lies the crux of the Puel dilemma. His sides can be tough to beat but they tend to be a bit laboured in possession and a bit predictable in their build-up play, struggling to score. They have scored three goals or more only three times this season. They beat League One Fleetwood 4-0 in the EFL Cup, beat Huddersfield 3-1 in the league and scored three against Wolves but lost 4-3. They may be low down the rankings when it comes to chances created but the graphic below tells a story about how they like to attack. With players providing good set-piece delivery, like James Maddison and Ben Chilwell, it is unsurprising to see Puel’s side having created the second most chances from corners and free-kicks. With tall players such as Harry Maguire, Jonny Evans, Wes Morgan and Wilfred Ndidi in their team it is a sensible approach. The other statistic is also telling in terms of Puel’s style. Along with Bournemouth, Leicester have scored the most goals from fast breaks. Indeed counterattacking suits Leicester under Puel and it served them well in their wins over City and Chelsea. The graphic below shows the average positions of Leicester’s starting XI in those two surprise victories. In both games Leicester had only two players positioned predominantly in the opposition half. In both games they scored goals with fast breaks after winning the ball back: one by Marc Albrighton to equalise against City and the other Jamie Vardy’s winner against Chelsea. Ricardo Pereira’s winner against City came from a corner. When given the chance to counterattack Leicester play some impressive football, with fast-paced passing, clever movement and their forward players often finding space. The only problem is that they need the space to cause problems. When the opposition sit off Leicester a bit more and allow them to have the ball, they struggle. This was shown in Sunday’s defeat against Manchester United. The average position maps for both teams are shown below. As we can see Leicester had six players in the United half and centre backs Maguire (15) and Evans (6) are not as deep in their own half. By contrast it is United with more players in their own half. Possession also fits into this understanding too. Puel’s side surrendered possession in the wins against Chelsea (27.9 per cent) and City (33.9 per cent) but they had 44.8 per cent of the ball against United. Too slow, too cautious So how does this style play out on the pitch? The image below is from the early stages of Leicester’s defeat against United. United’s Paul Pogba has got down the left wing but is faced with a Leicester side in good defensive positions. They have seven players back in their own box with defensive midfielders Nampalys Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi in front of the defence. Pogba attempts a pass to the edge of the area where Jesse Lingard (and Ander Herrera next to him) are lurking. Mendy easily pinches the ball back (he has made 49 interceptions this season, the seventh most of any player in the league) and releases James Maddison. A potential counterattack is thwarted by a clumsy foul by Lingard. This is what Leicester wanted against United: to sit deep, frustrate and pounce while United players are out of position. The only trouble was that, having conceded an early goal after a poor pass by Pereira, United could play Leicester at their own game. Playing Mendy and Ndidi as a two-man midfield is perfect for Leicester’s Plan A. They were less effective when United sat off. The image below shows Mendy on the ball just over the halfway line and with every United player back behind the ball. As we can see, both the left back Chilwell and the right back Pereira are pushed high on the wings. Chilwell and Demerai Gray are both standing in space with arms raised calling for the ball, a pass which is very much on and would release two Leicester players in threatening positions. Vardy is also calling for the ball, a more difficult pass which would have to split Pogba and Nemanja Matic. As the image below shows Mendy plays safe and passes sideways to Pereira. The right back gives the ball back to his midfield team-mate who passes sideways to Ndidi who collects the ball in the position shown in the image below. Again there is a potential pass to Leicester’s left and, with United still shifting across the pitch, a quick ball to Chilwell could give the left back chance to create with Gray and Maddison. But, like Mendy, Ndidi slows the play and is too cautious, delaying his pass to Chilwell. By the time the left back gets the ball United have moved across the pitch and Chilwell’s cross is blocked. Maddison is one of Leicester’s most creative players. He has created 57 chances in the league this season; not only is that by far the most of anyone in his side but it’s also the fourth highest for any player in the Premier League (it was no surprise to hear boos from the home side when Puel took him off halfway through the second half). But against teams defending as United did, the space for Maddison to shine is limited which is why Leicester’s full backs are important to their play. Chilwell is Leicester’s second-most creative player with 25 chances created while Pereira has created 20, fourth behind Marc Albrighton (21). But if midfielders like Ndidi and Mendy — whom United seemed happy to sit off and have the ball — aren’t braver on the ball and willing to play quicker, more incisive passes then Chilwell and Pereira will struggle to get on the ball in threatening positions and in space. Perhaps a reflection of how Ndidi and Mendy are told to play safe is shown in two examples below. The image below shows Ndidi — with Chilwell and Pereira both out wide — playing an easier pass to Maguire. Perhaps frustrated by his team’s struggles to break down United, the centre back carries the ball more than 50 yards, as the image below shows, eventually winning a throw-in off Ashley Young. The image below again shows Maguire setting an example to his team-mates. With United pressed back on the edge of their area the ball falls to Maguire who, unlike his midfield team-mates who are nearby, does not delay his pass, fizzing a first-time ball between United’s midfielders and wide to Chilwell who wins a corner. Maguire stepping out with the ball not only highlights what a promising modern centre back he is but also shines a light on the cautious approach of Leicester’s midfield. If it takes a 50-yard run from a centre back to drag the opposition out of position it suggests that their play is a little too predictable. It was not until the second half that Leicester upped the tempo but still couldn’t create many clear-cut chances. The example, below, arguably their best chance, came from a late counterattack. With United on the ball near the Leicester corner flag Ndidi intercepted a poor pass from the United right back Young and released Harvey Barnes. The young winger beats two United men before returning a pass to Ndidi, below. The midfielder does well with the ball on this occasion, flicking it on to Shinji Okazaki who, as the image below shows, fizzes a first-time pass into the space vacated by Young. This was Leicester at their best: tenacious in winning the ball back and taking advantage of the space left by their opponents. Barnes shows great pace to collect Okazaki’s pass and gets into the box as the image below shows. With the United centre back Eric Bailly drawn out to close down Barnes and Ander Herrera not quick enough to get back, Vardy is able to find space in the box and should do better after Barnes plays the ball straight to him. The United match was a frustrating watch for Leicester fans (I’m not just guessing at that either, I was sat with three of them when watching it) and it summed up the issues with Puel’s style. It can bring impressive results against big teams but is a little limited. It’s important to say that in singling out Ndidi and Mendy I do not think that they are bad players. Both are excellent defensive midfielders but can seem lacking when tasked with breaking down defensive opponents. Perhaps the addition of Youri Tielemans, recently signed on loan from Monaco, will help add that missing midfield link and help the likes of Maddison, Barnes and Vardy shine. But will Puel be brave enough to sacrifice defensive solidity for added midfield creativity? He may have to if he is going make the Leicester fans happy.
  30. 29 points
    Is what you get when you put your e-mail address as your username.
  31. 29 points
    Whoever is responsible for us not signing a Striker in the window needs sacking ASAP. Bringing on Okazaki and Iheanacho when you need a goal is like eating sand when you're about to die from dehydration. Iheanacho did more defensive work for United than he did for us attacking. Fvcking useless
  32. 28 points
    Article from Rob Tanner about Steve Walsh At the back of a small cafe towards the rear of a gift shop in the Leicestershire village of Rothley, the unassuming figure of Steve Walsh sits with his wife, Val, quietly drinking coffee. The crumbs of a very-much-enjoyed cake are still on the small plate in front of him. The 66-year-old fits into these humble surroundings, having remained quietly out of the limelight throughout his career as one of the most important scouts and recruitment gurus in the Premier League. Having lived locally during his time as Leicester City’s assistant manager and head of recruitment, he knows the area’s coffee shops well, but not half as well as he knows where to find hidden footballing talent. The softly-spoken Walsh, whose Lancashire accent hides his Irish ancestry, was once dubbed by Sir Alex Ferguson the “most important influential person in the Premier League” as a squad of players Walsh largely found and recruited, at a cost of just £21 million, claimed the Premier League title, defying bookmaker odds of 5,000-1. At Chelsea, he scouted and wrote reports on Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien, and worked under a succession of managers, including Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas, but his most famous finds have been Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, who played such huge roles in Leicester’s title triumph. His work at Leicester prompted Everton to make him their director of football, but he didn’t find the same open and unrestricted environment at Goodison Park that he enjoyed at the King Power Stadium, with the likes of Andy Robertson, Harry Maguire and Erling Haaland slipping through the net. After leaving Merseyside in May 2018, he has remained in demand as a recruitment consultant but is taking things a little easier these days, enjoying travelling with Val. Walsh is back in Leicestershire temporarily to see old friends and to watch his former club take on arsenal as they once again look to upset the Premier League’s elite, and he takes the time to reflect with The Athletic on his career. Born in Chorley to Irish parents, Walsh and brother Mickey were obsessed with football from a young age and while his brother went on to play as a striker for Blackpool, Everton, Queens Park Rangers and Porto, Walsh played non-League as a defender for Chorley, Morecambe and Leyland Motors, but from an early age he was involved in organising teams, including a seven-a-side outfit when he was just 12. While playing semi-professionally, Walsh worked as a PE teacher at Bishop Rawstorne High School in Croston, took his coaching badges and managed Lancashire Schoolboys, including the future Leicester captain and namesake Steve Walsh, Steve Thompson, Franz Carr, Mark Brennan and David Lee. “After playing, I had joined Bury and I was still teaching full-time but I was on call to do some coaching, take the reserves and sometimes the first team, doing stuff in the holidays,” Walsh recalls. “The logical next step was to do the analysis. I did that for Bury and helped coach. I was a general dogsbody. I would coach, wash the kit, drive the minibus. Then I went to Chester City and did a similar role there. You do everything: put the nets up, watch the opposition etc. I was very much involved in that.” In 1990, he was asked by Gwyn Williams, Chelsea’s chief scout, to do some part-time work watching opponents and providing reports and the role became permanent. “I was working in analysis, going to watch the opposition,” Walsh says. “There were no DVDs in the early days, no recordings, it was based on what you saw. You would go and watch a team or a player and write a report. “While I was there, the club was managed by Glenn Hoddle, Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli. I was working really hard and had other offers from clubs, including Notts County, and from there I went full-time at Chelsea. “Jose Mourinho was there by then with Andre Villas-Boas and Frank Arnesen as director of football. Lee Congerton was there, Brendan Rodgers was looking after the under-21s, Paul Clement was looking after the under-16s and Steve Clarke was first-team coach. Mick McGiven (youth coach), I worked with him quite closely. We had a good bunch of people. I grew up with those people. “It was a good environment for me. I was doing European scouting, watching Zola, Tore Andre Flo, Drogba, all the players they eventually signed. It wasn’t 100 per cent me, I was just part of the process. “When I joined Chelsea initially, they were lucky if they stayed out of the bottom three but it just got better and better. Then Glenn came in and stabilised the club, took us to a cup final against United, we lost 4-0, and then he was taken for England. “We had a succession of foreign managers. I was in Nigeria around about the time when Roman Abramovich took over, working with Bryan Robson and Geoff Hurst, coaching the coaches in Lagos as part of the Pepsi programme. I saw Abramovich was coming in and I wondered what would happen to me, but it was good.” Abramovich’s arrival sparked unprecedented success at Chelsea, especially under Mourinho, who Walsh says he is still on good terms with now. He feels Mourinho lost his way during his tenure as manager at Manchester United, and blames the club’s recruitment policy. For Walsh, recruitment is crucial to any club’s success, but it has to be recruitment with a purpose and a plan, something that didn’t seem obvious during United’s recent transfer activity. “I had more to do with Villas-Boas than Jose, but I did have a good relationship with Jose, and still do,” says Walsh. “He was very driven in those days. He is probably more mellow now. I remember we got beat 3-1 by Spurs. No one planned to get beat. We were top of the league. The next day it was like going to a funeral down the training ground. He was really driven and still is. He is a real character and a real winner. “He would be the first to admit that he probably needs to reinvent himself now a little bit. Obviously, it didn’t go right at United. Pep Guardiola was asked in an interview with a newspaper how he accounted for his success. He said 80 per cent of it was recruitment. I think Jose may have lost sight of that fact. “You have to work out what you want and need. Don’t try to attract players with no plan: ‘He’s available so we will take him.’ Alexis Sanchez is a good example. During the title-winning season we only lost three times but two of those were against arsenal. They pasted us at Leicester, 5-2. We played well and Jamie scored a remarkable goal, but Sanchez was outstanding that day. He was instrumental in both games. “But it is not about collecting players, it is about having a clear plan and a strategy of how you want to play. “When Jose signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton, I remember saying to him, ‘You have to be careful with Lukaku. He is a big baby, you know.’ He said he could handle him. I don’t think he really got Lukaku on-side mentally, which you have to do. That is the case with him and Paul Pogba. They aren’t my type of players. They are more about themselves than the team. I wouldn’t have touched them. Because they are good players doesn’t mean you are going to get a good team out of it. Mourinho of Manchester United gives the ball to Romelu Lukaku against Valencia in 2018 (Photo: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images) “United have made a lot of signings. Look at £50 million for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Now, perhaps it is too early and he will improve, but my eyes tell me when he gets the ball he is not the best. He is a good athlete and very quick, strong, and a good defender, but United don’t need a good defender, they need someone who can play, get on the ball. “If I had been at United, I would have said, ‘Put your £50 million away, go and get Kieran Trippier for half that. He is an England international. He isnt a great defender or a physical specimen, but he can play right-back and get the ball in early and you have strikers who can score goals.’ It is common sense.” Walsh left Chelsea to become chief scout at Newcastle United under Sam Allardyce. That is where he first met Nigel Pearson, who he would form a successful partnership with at Leicester, although their early relationship was tested when Walsh would send Pearson off to scout players across Europe. “Previously to that, Nigel had been with Glenn Roeder but he (Roeder) had been sacked and Nigel stayed,” Walsh remembers. “He was forging his relationship with Sam but he had also brought in Steve Round at the same time. They did the coaching between them. I met Nigel and we got on. “Sam had a big thing to say, ‘When the international break comes, you make sure these coaches get out and watch some games and players. They need to look at players for you and help with our database.’ I sent Nigel to watch a full-back in Switzerland. He wasn’t pleased. Sam was in the room at the time and Nigel had obviously lined up something else. So I gave him the task and he just said to text him the details, and after he left the room Sam said, ‘He is definitely going. Make sure he goes.’ Nige was fuming. I badgered him, and he wrote a report for me, too.” Pearson would soon calm down, and when he was offered the chance to take on the manager’s job at Southampton he turned to Walsh to advise him on recruitment and scouting. “When he got to Southampton he didn’t have any help, so I offered to help him talk about players,” Walsh says. “So when he got the job he called me up and said he needed an agent, so how could I ever recommend anyone other than my brother? So, he ended up representing him. He got him the job at Southampton. “He called me up and said he wanted me down there. I asked, ‘In what role?’ He said whatever one I wanted! I flew down and had an interview with the board, and they were on-side with it, but then they all got the sack. Rupert Lowe had come back and sacked everyone, including Nigel. Nigel then joined Leicester.” Pearson would take Walsh — and Craig Shakespeare from West Bromwich Albion — with him as assistant managers. “I didn’t know Craig until we met up at Leicester,” Walsh added. “Now I stay with him from time to time. It was so much fun. Nigel is funny. He can make light of things. If he was in a good mood, we were all in a good mood. He was exactly what the club needed at the time.” It wasn’t just the recruitment on the pitch that Walsh was concerned with. He set about building a team off the field that could help find talent at the right prices, as Leicester were still operating on a minimal budget under Milan Mandaric, who had taken over the club as it recovered from entering into administration in 2002. Walsh embarked on building a scouting network that would eventually uncover many of the side that would go on to win the Premier League title in 2016, looking in areas and in leagues that many clubs were not. “There wasn’t much at Leicester when we went in,” he remembers with a smile. “The first time we were there, Ian Holloway had just left and all the staff had left. The decks were cleared. We had a blank canvas to start again. “It is about people and about bringing the right people to help you achieve your goal. It is about building it with the right people. I have had David Fallows, who was with me at Newcastle. Dave is at Liverpool now. I brought in Gavin Fleig. Gavin looks after the recruitment for Manchester City’s New York and Melbourne teams. Also Ben Wrigglesworth, who is head of recruitment now at Wolves. Rob Mackenzie went to Spurs. I could go on. Laurence Stewart was with me at Hull but was poached by Manchester City. I took him to Everton and now he is at Leipzig. “You need those people who have good analytic brains. You need them to do the number-crunching and a lot of the leg work, so when you go out to watch a player a lot of the work is done. You aren’t going in blind. “You could watch any game in the world and like a player, and you can tell whether that player will fit into what you want to do, but you need other things. You need the back-up to convince the owner that if I am spending £50 million of his money I am not wasting it. I am not going to write down on a piece of paper that he is a good player and hand it to the owner, I need to back it up with the stats and video footage of what I want to highlight.” It was this approach that convinced Vardy to join Leicester. Walsh gave the then-Fleetwood Town striker a video presentation of his strengths and what they wanted to develop in him, similar to the one he would give the club’s hierarchy to convince them to spend £1 million on a player from non-League. But in those early days, there weren’t millions to spend. Very little in fact, and the loan market was Walsh’s domain, calling on his contacts at Premier League clubs. “In the first year we didn’t have much money,” he says. “I think we had five goalkeepers on loan in that first season. We had loads of loan players. “Tom Cleverley came in from Manchester United, Jack Hobbs from Liverpool, Michael Morrison from Oxford United for £20,000. We had Chris Powell on a free from Charlton, Kerrea Gilbert came in on loan from arsenal to play right-back, although he couldn’t take a throw-in, strangely. “I remember on one occasion we handed a team-sheet to Andrew Neville (director of football operations) and he told us we couldn’t field that team because we had too many loan players. I told Nige. He said, ‘I’ll do what I want.’ I had to remind him that we were breaking the rules and if we won we would lose the points. We had to change the line-up. But it worked as we got promotion, and it kicked on from there.” But only for another season. Pearson, Walsh and Shakespeare almost took Leicester straight through to the Premier League, but for a penalty shoot-out defeat at Cardiff City in the play-off semi-final and Yann Kermorgant’s woeful Panenka penalty. With Pearson’s sometimes abrasive approach rubbing up chief executive Lee Hoos the wrong way, they were all shocked when Hull City were granted permission to speak to them – an indication Leicester were looking for a new direction. While they were at Hull, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and King Power took over Leicester, Sven-Goran Eriksson was given millions to spend on a new team of big-name signings, and Walsh’s template was ripped up. But the trio had unfinished business with Leicester and when Eriksson’s approach, which saw a dozen players arrive in a single summer, failed, those still at the club championed Pearson and his team’s return. This time, it would be a completely different ball game. “When I came back, we had to start again because Sven-Goran Eriksson had been in, so there was no strategy, which was great because, again, we had a blank canvas on which to work,” says Walsh. Once more, Walsh and his recruitment staff would be scouring untapped areas to find talent. One of their signings who captured the imagination was diminutive French winger Anthony Knockaert, discovered by Walsh at Guingamp. They paid £2.5 million for his services. “He was great, Anthony, for us, but Nigel was never fully having him,” Walsh says. “I was pushing him in team meetings and Nigel would say, ‘If you mention him one more time I am going to knock you out’. I would say, ‘Well, if you are going to leave your best player on the bench, it is up to you’. Eventually, he got into the team. Anthony Knockaert of Brighton faces former club Leicester City in February (Photo: Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images) “I went to watch him. I tried to have a scouting system but I didn’t have anyone in France at that time. I would send scout David Mills, who is still at the club, to go and watch and then I would go. There was a video system but, in those days, even back eight years ago, there wasn’t the coverage there is now. The systems were Pro Zone, Scout 7 have a system and there was one other. You can pretty much get anything on anybody at any time day or night. There are big companies who have invested a lot of money into it. “I think I sent Millsy out to watch him and tell me what he thought. I watched him first play on video footage and I remember his brother had just died. He had a shirt on underneath in tribute to his brother and when he scored he took his club shirt off and revealed this t-shirt with a tribute ‘For My Brother’. “I met him, his girlfriend and his dad. I went to watch him play and I took a friend of mine, because I had a place out in north France. My friend was a good French speaker and he came to have dinner with them, to translate. His English wasn’t bad, but his father, who has sadly died, couldn’t understand. “Anthony was a good signing for us. It was ground-breaking, I suppose, for Leicester in those days, to sign Anthony. When we won the Championship we had Anthony on one side and Riyad Mahrez on the other. Anthony could be very frustrating as a player because you never knew when the ball was coming in. He would check back three or four times before he crossed it. I remember Jamie saying to me once, ‘Don’t sign any more of these French players,’ because he was sick of Anthony. “I signed Riyad and N’Golo Kante after that. I saw Jamie at his villa in the Algarve not long ago and I reminded him of the time he said don’t bring any more of those French players in and then I signed Kante. He said, ‘Alright, alright!’ But Anthony was a part of Leicester’s success.” But while Pearson had laid the groundwork, guiding the club to the Premier League and keeping them up after a great escape, Walsh and Shakespeare would lose their leader and the man who brought them together when Pearson was sacked. His successor was familiar to Walsh from their time together at Chelsea, but he remembers there was genuine shock within the camp when Claudio Ranieri arrived during a pre-season training camp in Austria. They were expecting someone else! “I was the only one who knew Claudio because I had worked with him at Chelsea. I was doing match reports for him back then,” Walsh recalls. “He said to me once a long time ago, ‘Steve, you are the best.’ When someone says that to you, you remember it. Me and Craig were taking the team. We didn’t know what was happening. I had a call from Jon Rudkin (director of football). They were flying in on a private jet and we were going to meet the new manager. That was the first time he told me it was Claudio. “All the players were expecting Big Sam Allardyce to come through the door. There had been so many rumours. But Claudio walked in and he called me over and seemed pleased to see me. I took him upstairs and introduced him to the players. They were all like, ‘Who?’ Jamie and Kasper Schmeichel were the first to react. Gary Lineker said the same thing, didn’t he? It was amazing what followed. It was a great time for us all.” A big feature of that incredible season were Ranieri’s entertaining press conferences and comic phrases. He rang an imaginary bell and shouted ‘Dilly-ding, dilly-dong’ to attract his players’ attention and after the media got wind of it, when Vardy revealed his attention-grabber, Ranieri would repeat it in press conferences, affairs which would become more and more comical as the season progressed and his players continued to navigate unchartered waters. “It was good when he did that stuff in press conferences because if deflected the pressure off the players,” Walsh insists. “Nige would never have done that, and he got the press on-side. If you were English and saying, ‘Dilly-ding, dilly-dong’ they would have had you committed. But as a foreign manager with limited English, you can get away with it. Even Jose Mourinho would do it at times. Some of his phrases he uses…” Where do you go after such a high as winning the title as 5,000-1 underdogs? For Walsh, it was time for a new challenge. Everton, his brother’s former club, came calling with the offer of becoming their director of football, paying £800,000 compensation to Leicester. No longer was he just overseeing recruitment, now he was given the responsibility of overhauling all of the club’s football operations… or so he thought. Walsh is reluctant to reflect too much on his time with Everton. It is still too soon after his sacking 18 months ago for him to go into much detail, but it is obvious sitting across the table from him that there is a sense of frustration. “While I was at Everton, I offered them Andrew Robertson and Harry Maguire deals, when they were at Hull, and it was worth £20 million for the pair,” is one of the things he does reveal. “Everton wouldn’t take them. “I had a deal done for Jonny Evans too before he came to Leicester, but again they wouldn’t take him. Erling Haaland, the striker with Salzburg, I had him and his dad at the club with a deal done for €4 million. The club wouldn’t back me.” Walsh stops himself from revealing any more, but while he is disappointed his time at Everton didn’t work out as planned, he is not bitter. He is enjoying himself, travelling with the extremely patient Val, a retired head teacher, seeing some of the places they had always dreamed of going to. He is still working too, helping out his many contacts in the game when they ask for help and advice, offering tips on scouting and even checking out a player or two for other clubs. Walsh’s skills are still very much in demand.
  33. 28 points
    Absolutely loving it. This is everyone else telling the so called Big clubs to go **** off and find and develop your own talent rather than just trying to fleece ours. With the increased TV money clubs no longer have to sell to survive. The clubs that have actually scouted, invested in and developed talent are holding all be cards at present. The only downside I see is that players and their agents will also see what is happening and they ill be more reluctant to sign long term deals without get out clauses. Once the current crop of contracts starts to run down then the power may shift towards the players as the clubs will not want them to go under freedom of contract. Well done and a great bit of foresight by LCFC to get most of their best players on long term deals.
  34. 28 points
    We are looking to win for us and us only. If we effect the title race then so be it but our club comes first.
  35. 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.
  36. 27 points
    Gazza has now arrived at the scene with a fishing rod and some sandwiches claiming he is a friend of Rebekah Vardy.
  37. 27 points
    People complaining about the style of football yet want the likes of Dyche and Rafa. Couldn't make it up
  38. 26 points
    So... 2nd in the league. Best defence. 2nd best attack. Billionaire owner. World record fee received for our 3rd choice CB. 5th highest for profit wasn't it? What Universe do people still live in where they think Leicester can be ripped apart so easily in this current day and age?
  39. 26 points
    They have been honoured for their bravery ByCiaran FaganCrime Correspondent 04:00, 26 JUN 2019 Heroes: (left to right) Pc Kevin Marsh, Pc Michael Hinton, Pc Steve Quartermain, Sgt Mike Hooper (Image: Leicestershire Police Federation) Four police officers who risked their lives at the scene of the King Power Stadium helicopter crash have been nominated for a national bravery award. Pc Steve Quartermain, Pc Kevin Marsh, Pc Michael Hinton and Sgt Mike Hooper all suffered burns as they tried in vain to rescue the five occupants of the helicopter. They were first on the scene after the aircraft fell from the sky and burst into flames shortly after taking off from the stadium on the evening of Saturday, October 27. They were unable to save the five people inside - club owner and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, two of his staff, the pilot and another crew member. The National Police Bravery awards are held by the Police Federation of England and Wales and honour officers who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty. The four Leicestershire Police officers spoke today after they learned of their nominations. Sgt Hooper said: “The day started as any other day does – we were there to police a football match. "What we faced by the end of the evening was something that we wouldn’t have expected. “It was extraordinary circumstances and something that no police officer would ever want to face in their entire career. "We only acted instinctively how any other police officer across the country would have reacted. “We were just doing our job. "We have had to come to terms with the fact that we couldn’t save the five victims.” Pc Marsh said: “I’ve never really thought about what I actually did that evening but placed in that situation would I do the exact same thing again? Yes, I would.” Flowers laid outside the King Power Stadium (Image: Will Johnston Photography) Pc Quartermain said: “It’s a real honour to have been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards. "I think being nominated probably represents the actions that we took on that night but also the actions of the other officers who were exceptional in managing the operation and recovering everything else afterwards, as well.” Pc Hinton said: “To be nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards is overwhelming and really honouring. “I feel really proud to have been nominated and to represent Leicestershire Police.” Dave Stokes, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, said: “Our four officers acted with real bravery, rushing towards the crashed helicopter. "In the blink of an eye, they risked their own lives in an attempt to get to the occupants. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha acknowledges the fans during a lap of the pitch after the Premier League match between Leicester City and Bournemouth (Image: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images) “Sadly it wasn’t with a better outcome and our thoughts remain with the loved ones of those who lost their lives that night. “When the officers were told Leicestershire Police Federation had nominated them for The National Police Bravery Awards, they became emotional and said, ‘yes we risked our lives in an attempt to save those five people in the helicopter, but isn’t that just what we do?’ k A silence is observed in memory of Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha prior to the Premier League match between Leicester City and Burnley at The King Power Stadium City 'honoured Vichai's memory' “They should be incredibly proud of their courageous actions that night.” The event – the 24th National Police Bravery Awards – is sponsored by Police Mutual. John Perks, chief executive officer of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is very proud to be supporting the Police Bravery Awards for the 11th consecutive year. "My colleagues and I are deeply honoured to be able to show our appreciation for police officers’ bravery in keeping us safe.” https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/heroic-police-officers-were-burnt-3019055
  40. 26 points
    its ok. By the time the page fully loads, the rumour has been disproved
  41. 26 points
    you appear to be new around here we have this post once a month - it goes like this: "I'm the best fan, I stay to the end" "I'm a real fan too but I have a train to catch" anyone with half a brain in their head has the opinion "people do what people do, just move the fvck out of my way so I can see the end of the game" happy to help
  42. 26 points
    The fanbase is ridiculous. We have a transitional mid table premier league side with promising academy players playing in the first team and you can hear tens of thousands of grown men's hearts breaking when we're told we'll have the same manager until the summer.
  43. 26 points
    I heard this on the way out of the ground and it really got my goat then and now. Who the **** called for that as our best team before hamza's first game of the season? Nobody. This is a classic case of people rewriting history to suit their own agenda, but im calling BULLSHIT. This was puels idea and his alone (ok probably with the rest of the coaching teams) it most definitely was not any fan's idea, nor was it obviously his best team.
  44. 25 points
    Not me, I'm loving the team spirit this club has. May our players never take themselves too seriously.
  45. 25 points
    I just heard, for the first time, "Kloppage Time" .
  46. 25 points
    Just noticed Vards has topped the PL scorers charts tonight
  47. 25 points
    This is so cringe, what goes through your mind to think that slagging your own players off on social media is a good idea
  48. 25 points
    For Euro 2016 v Russia we were stopping about 40mins drive out of Marseille on the coast. We got a train in on the Friday morning but there were no trains running Friday night. Absolutely steaming, been running from the Russians attacking us all evening and we just wanted to get back to our campsite. Could we find a taxi either around Marseille to flag down? Could we fcuk We ended up in these backstreets and inside this dingiest looking boozer you’ll ever see, full of Algerian’s who were looking at the 5 of us like we’d walked into a Wild West bar. The landlord didn’t want to know, when I was asking if he could call us a taxi (using google translate- my French is shite ?) It seemed like the ‘locals’ were becoming more and more hostile, especially after the landlord started making ‘shooing’ motions wanting us to leave. All of a sudden one local who’s sat down at a table and isn’t one of these starting to surround us spots my leicester tattoo on my leg ’LEICESTER LEICESTER! MAHREZ!’ Well the whole atmosphere changes instantly. All these locals shaking our hands, taking pictures of my leg ?, and it really went off when I bought my leicester flag out the bag ? Ended up having a big photograph with about 20 Algerians holding my flag ??. Then one of them decides he’ll call his mate who then drove the 5 of us the 40mins back to our campsite ?
  49. 25 points
    The saltiness towards Mahrez is astounding. We got some very good years out of him and he chose to inevitably leave a year or two after he could have realistically done so. He went to Man City to win trophies and has won 3 of them first off. It's a success all round for him. To say he'll feel like he might not deserve them because he didn't play that regularly is weird. And sounds so bitter. Makes it sound like he should feel bad for moving but as the stats show (and just pure facts really) he was used more than a 'bit-part' player and actually played a decent amount. It's not like he's just sat on the bench like a 2nd choice goal-keeper who comes in only when Ederson is injured or for the odd cup game. Let him have his success at Man City without sounding so salty about it. He had his success here and we should remember the fact he played his part in winning the league and playing Champions League (!!!) football with us!
  50. 24 points
    Find it interesting that Maddison has 2 assists in 1237 Premier league minutes (that's about 13.7 games) which is, what, one every 7 games? Meanwhile Iheanacho has 3 assists in 811 PL minutes (9.01 games) which is one every 3. Iheanacho has been turned in to a figure of ridicule for, largely, being crap as a number 9 despite stating his preference to play at 10. Meanwhile, Maddison is heralded as our Lord Creator. They're the same age, one has been sent off for diving this year and gets treated like a hero, the other has created more for Jamie Vardy in less time yet gets cheered ironically off the pitch when he's subbed. ****ing disgrace the way we treat Iheanacho, frankly. He's called "lazy", yet I've seen him running around closing defenders down. I personally don't think he's lazy, he runs around as much as Maddison, he's just being expected to play as a 9 and move like a 9 which he has no idea how to do. He's not a centre forward. Maddison has weighed in with more goals and plays significantly more key passes per game (2.3 vs 0.8), generally out to the wingers, which is his default. But for all the excitement about how Maddison would be slotting through balls to Vardy, Iheanacho gets much closer to him, gives him far more support and has assisted more goals for him than JM. Now I'm not claiming Iheanacho is better, I'd probably still play Maddison and I'd probably still play Maddison at 10 (he's dogshit at left mid) but it's definitely food for thought.
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