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inckley fox

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inckley fox last won the day on 25 July 2015

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About inckley fox

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  1. I never said I was expecting him to get it right over the next few games! I said that, if he has already taken us to the next level as some fans say, then we might hope to see some evidence of that over the next few matches, because at the moment what has happened early in Rodgers' reign is very similar to that of Shakey and Puel. Personally I think those people are wrong. We're still a work in progress, as we were for much of Puel's reign. We haven't yet been taken to the next level. Brendan hasn't waved his magic wand and cured all our woes, just like Puel didn't before him, and just like Shakey didn't before him (taking nothing away from any of them, of course, for what they achieved early on). It would be unrealistic to expect that, even if people wanted to believe it was true. That all would be hunky dory just because we'd banished the tyrannical Frenchman. And people are simply wrong to say that we've got results against sides that we couldn't have got under Puel, because he got better results against the same sides! What I see is a phenomenon we've seen with every new manager for the past few years - some superb early results followed by a dip in form. It's what happens next - and by that I mean over months, not a few games - which will prove whether Rodgers was the right appointment or not. And I think there's a perfectly good chance that he was.
  2. In what way are people rewriting history? (That's not me being awkward, by the way, it's an honest question).
  3. I agree about the handball rule. I think it's laughable. For my part, I'm not sure that we're quite using VAR in the right way, but VAR will still get a lot of undeserved bad press due to this.
  4. Well, if the referee has a doubt he'll call on VAR, and when VAR is called on, the VAR takes precedence. So when ten players throw their hands up in the air in disbelief before he's even had chance to indicate the goal, he'll probably have his doubts and call on VAR. That certainly would have been the case with the Maradona and Henry handballs, whether we want to acknowledge that players' reactions influence refs or not. They do, and they will. And 99% of injustices in goal decisions are knife-edge decisions, not apparently clear-cut, flawless goals where the ref doesn't have an inkling that anything's amiss until after the net bulges. Basically it's a straight choice. Do we want football to be a little more accurate (than, for instance, how accurate it would be if refs called a goal review when they felt the need), and damage the single most enjoyable moment that any fan or player can possibly experience in what is, after all, a sport and a form of entertainment? Or do we want to accept that there are always going to be errors, regardless of how much we use VAR, so maybe we should limit its use to the aspects of the game where it won't adversely impact on the experience? I'd go for the latter, personally. Like I said, the line has to be drawn somewhere. We can't achieve perfection. So I think we should use technology where it achieves a good balance between accuracy and entertainment value, not where it doesn't.
  5. No, not necessarily. VAR's remit would be purely cards and penalties unless the referee asked it for help. For instance in checking a goal where they're worried about an off-side, infringement, handball etc. In those cases and only those cases would VAR be the superior ref. That would mean the bulk of goals could still be celebrated without fear of a review 60 seconds later. When the ref points to the centre circle, it's a goal and that's final. When he makes the VAR signal, we know VAR will make the decision for him because he's not sure. For the vast majority of goals, a ref won't feel the need to consult VAR. Most goals are clear-cut. When that's the case, you give the goal and everyone can enjoy their moment. Very, very occasionally something will be missed, but unless we hand over full control for 90 minutes to VAR, some things are always bound to be missed. If we use VAR as we do now, we'll pick up the hand in today's game, but we won't do anything about the handball that leads to a corner that leads to a goal. So we're already drawing a line in which crucial moments VAR intervenes in, and which it doesn't. I'm just suggesting that we push that line back a touch in order not to do the game unnecessary harm. If we slightly reduce the scope of VAR, it will still see a huge improvement in the officiating, with only a minimal impact on the flow of the game, or the spectacle. If we leave things as they are, I think it's going to fundamentally damage a game of football's single most euphoric moment. And I don't think we need to do that.
  6. We've not though. We got one less point last season under Rodgers than we did against the same sides under Puel. And the fixture we just drew at home was a 2-0 win under Puel last season. At the moment Rodgers is four points down on that comparison. There are similarities between the two. Both like to play out from the back and want to evolve our style into something easier on the eye (and they're both willing to play two DMs at home too!). They like to develop youth. I genuinely believe the board looked for a manager with a similar footballing philosophy to Puel's - which was a philosophy they respected - and simply went for one with a better man-management record. In terms of style the main difference I see is that Rodgers' sides press a lot more than Puel's. Their fitness will have to be greater. And he doesn't much fancy Ghezzal or Mendy even though, in contrast to that, he has built his team around Puel's signings and young players that he helped to develop. And Rodgers has another key thing in common with Puel. He's had the same electric start to his reign that all three preceding managers also enjoyed. Whether it ends the way Ranieri's, Shakespeare's and Puel's did when fans and players became disillusioned with his methods and systems, we'll have to wait and see. But it's one win in the past six for us, and three games without a goal. It could well be the familiar story of the Leicester manager who gets off to a flying start, tries to evolve our footballing style, and then suffers for it. Hopefully not. Rodgers, like Puel, is a good manager. Possibly a better manager. Over the next few games we'll get a sense of whether he really has already moved us on to the next level.
  7. I'm all for VAR but think you have to separate the things we can do comfortably without adversely affecting the flow of the game or the spectacle, from those which we can't. Working on the principle that we're never going to achieve absolute perfection, and that human error will always play some part in the game, we have to know where to draw lines. The use of technology for goal-line decisions (which could easily be expanded to bylines), and of VAR for red cards and penalties is excellent and only adds to the quality of the game. Of course, it isn't in all cases perfect, especially when you include subjective terms like 'clear and obvious', but it broadly works. However the goal-checking is deeply divisive. I appreciate that change takes some getting used to, but I'm not sure a 30-60 second delay before you know whether a goal is a goal is ever going to be a great idea. There are some easy changes they could make to fix these problems. Firstly, scrap the 'clear and obvious' terminology, because I can't see how that last minute decision was clear and obvious in the Man City game, but the manhandling in the box wasn't. So you have to make the VAR ref, who has access to superior information, the superior ref, with the power to overrule the match-day referee. They make the call on incidents that the referee has missed, and they take the responsibility for those decisions. Secondly, limit VAR to penalties, cards, and to goals where the referee or linesman believe there may have been an incident, and so instead of pointing to the centre circle, they make the VAR signal. If they don't call for a review, which they should be encouraged not to for the vast bulk of goals, then it's a goal, regardless of whichever niggles VAR may have picked up on, or even off-sides. If the linesman thinks it's marginal, he'll ask for the review. If he doesn't and it's wrong, tough luck. And don't get me started on that handball rule. There will be a lot more headlines this season unless they either change it, or limit the use of VAR.
  8. Personally I wasn't too impressed by Pereira either. There were a handful of good runs, some promising attacking link-up, a couple of important interceptions, but he was caught out several times by the direct ball, didn't manage to pose the sort of attacking threat that full backs need to when you have such a narrow shape, and surrendered possession cheaply at times. It was far from vintage stuff from him. I wouldn't single Chilwell out because we simply didn't look like an effective attacking unit. Vardy had one chance and was largely out of it, Perez was poor, Maddison (regardless of what Phil Neville says) was poor and brought a good few moves to a premature end, Tielemens struggled, and I thought both attacking full backs had a tough time of it. Chilwell especially. It's no coincidence that, in contrast, Wilf looked the best he's looked for ages, Soyuncu was excellent, Evans very good, and Hamza did his job tidily enough even if there was an element of over-kill from having two defensive midfielders. It's not unusual, when you set up defensively, for your more defensive players to be more comfortable. And I'd also agree with those saying we can't get too carried away by a first game to the season. A point against Wolves isn't a disaster at all. But I can understand people wanting to talk about Chilwell, because he's one of those players who is going to need to develop in terms of his end product if we're to fulfil our objectives for the season, and that performance fell way short of that. So I suppose people will start threads about him for one reason, and for Soyuncu for another. It's not necessarily an assault on one of our own. I also totally get the concern from people. Wolves were the away side, and a team we're aiming to finish above this season, and yet they came a good deal closer to winning that game than we did. It's our third league game on the bounce without scoring, and one of the principal criticisms of our last manager was that there wasn't enough attacking intent. And he played a line-up which hadn't played together in pre-season, and a system which we've only seen (with some subtle differences) in the weakest of our pre-season performances, in order to cancel out an opposition team rather than take our game to them. It's also a formation which he's said he intends to use a lot this season. It was very negative, and the manager - as much as anyone else - will have to learn from it.
  9. It will be interesting to see how it affects the total number of goals scored in the league. It might balance out in terms of the number of penalties given. I'm not a fan of the handball rule change either, regardless of whether a combination of that and VAR won us a point today. The authorities already muddied the waters by putting terms like 'hand to ball / ball to hand' into the rule book, or debating what is and isn't going on in a player's head to constitute 'intentional'. We've now added a new complication - the consequence of a handball. If handball occurs in a move that leads to a goal then certain things are handball which aren't at other times... which in itself is going to lead to debate. When does the build-up to a goal start? If you handball accidentally to win a corner and score from the corner, should that be any less handball than if it bobbles off you in the box without you knowing? For me it needs simplifying as a rule rather than repeatedly complicating... So, do we allow pretty much any handball unless there's a clear, visible attempt to connect with the hand? Or do we follow Lineker's suggestion and simply call handball for everything that touches the hand? One or the other for me. As for VAR, it's wrong to diminish that moment when you celebrate the ball hitting the back of the net. Tempering that with the agonising wait that follows may create a different type of excitement, and may make the game more precise, but it detracts massively from one of the most important elements of the game as a spectacle: the euphoria of a goal. And above all else, football has to be a spectacle. That's what makes them all so filthy rich in the first place! I'm in favour of using VAR to help settle yellow/red cards, for goal-line and even touchline decisions, and for penalties. But its use for offside and especially the verification of goals has the danger of taking away from that spectacle. I know we want everything to be as perfect as it can be, but a degree of human error is necessarily part of the game. In time I'm sure they'll figure out a way to introduce technology to help in those sorts of decisions too, but until that point they should focus on using it where it works. And if we're so desperate for everything to be 100% spot on, I have no idea why we don't worry ourselves a little more about the standard of the referees themselves, which has slipped over recent years in the EPL.
  10. It's one of those games where, if Puel were still in charge, we'd be worried that lessons hadn't been learned - and not solely because of the two DCMs. There was little service for Vardy. An unusual and defensive-minded team selection for a home game. Lots of sideways passing and possession for possession's sake, the sort of thing which - to me - was much more successful in the EPL about a decade ago. It was our third league game on the bounce without a goal. We did nothing to suggest we could achieve our season aim of 'knocking at the door of the top 6'. Wolves had the best chances and if the rules were what they'd been the last time we played, they'd have won. We can moan about them being too negative, but they were the away side and did more to score than us. Obviously it's not the end of the world, but it is disappointing. Frustrating too, because when many of us saw the line-up and set-up for the game it seemed painfully obvious that we'd struggle to create chances. We're all armchair experts, I get that, and the manager knows best - but there's no doubt Rodgers will have to reflect heavily on this game if he's to fulfil his own aspirations. It was far from good enough, and we'll be in for a lot of 0-0s and 0-1s at home this season if we don't learn a lot from this.
  11. It's important not to over-react, obviously. It's a long season and Wolves are a good side. A point is no disaster. On top of that there were some important performances - Soyuncu was good. Ndidi and Evans likewise (though I have to say, as much as he's one of my favourites, I'm not sure I agree with all of the praise for Pereira). However we can't kid ourselves. Today was poor: Very predictable and negative. Little was created. Chilwell, Maddison and Perez were way off the level. It panned out exactly the way you'd have expected when you saw the line-up - narrow, slow in build-up, totally lacking in positive attacking play. I don't want to slate our attacking threats too much nor praise our defensive players too much because it's no coincidence that virtually all of our attack-minded players struggled in that system, and pretty much all our more defensive players thrived.
  12. I think another winger would have been overload. We've got Albrighton and Barnes who have featured as out-and-out wingers. Gray who they've obviously decided should be given another chance. Ghezzal, if we choose to register him and fail to off-load him to a European side. Pereira has played as a conventional winger on the right as well. Then there's Perez who is, I'd imagine, frequently going to play on the right of a 4-3-3 / 4-1-4-1 this season and encouraged to cut in. Maddison has often been asked to do the same from the left. Praet has been played on the flanks before in a similar sort of role. So we've got five wingers for two slots and a further three slightly less conventional wingers who can fill those roles too. Yes, the 4-1-2-1-2 will be used too, but I think it's merely a case of us giving ourselves another string to our bow. It's a way of sticking two up top, or combatting sides that crowd out the midfield. And if you look at heat maps of a diamond and of 3-5-2, they're often not too dissimilar - one midfielder often drops back into the back-line, the full backs are advanced, the midfield is crowded out, two up front etc., so it may even be a case of Rodgers having tried and discarded 3-5-2, but still needing a means to the same end. Of course, Praet is definitely the sort of player that could help us make something like that work. I wouldn't be shocked if Rodgers saw the Stoke friendly and thought we lacked the personnel to really pull that formation off, and that this realisation nudged us further towards signing Praet. But I'd be surprised if the signing indicated that the Plan B was going to become Plan A, not least because Praet may also have a lot to offer in Plan A.
  13. Oh, I definitely agree with that. We got a great deal, and Maguire was far from one of our best performers. He'll have to develop a lot and cut out the errors if he's to be a hit. And it's a weird situation because, while I wish him well as an individual, I hope he's an abject failure at Man U because I honestly wish them nothing but unending despair. But expectations and self-estimation got a bit out of control among some fans, to the extent that there was a belief that we were going to spend big to emulate or surpass the likes of Man U, and players would turn their noses up at them in order to sign or stick with LCFC. That was never realistic, and having such lofty expectations would only end in disappointment, and criticism of the team if we achieved a perfectly respectable 7th-10th place finish. If you look at the examples I gave from our history of our fans being unreasonable - the abuse of Little, Gillies, Bloomfield, Pearson, O'Neill and so on - a lot of those were down to people getting carried away with their expectations and being let down when what they hoped for wasn't forthcoming. Over the past day or two we've seen some of those fans who got a bit carried away already bemoaning the fact that we're losing a key man, wondering whether Rodgers might have second thoughts about the club, and suggesting that we need a massive flagship signing to repair the damage. I honestly think that by building expectations up so high, they end up deflated by the inevitable reality, and spouting off a load of nonsense when it happens. But I agree with you totally, and definitely don't think there's anything uniquely wrong with our fans - quite the opposite. A friend of mine once met O'Neill, and he said something to the effect that our fans stood out because of just how dedicated they were to their club, for better and for worse. The same high expectations which have caused a toxic atmosphere in the past have also carried us to achievements which, for clubs in a similar position to us, would be way above their station. So we have to take the rough with the smooth. We have to put up with people spouting over-the-top tripe, as well as causing earthquakes when things are going well.
  14. It was well covered at the time, and he spoke about it in an interview some years back, explaining that he decided then that he'd leave when he got the chance. It was as he went down the tunnel at half time. Can't remember the specific match.
  15. Why Ake? He's in a shocking defence and we're going to be short of height at the back. Surely that would be madness?
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