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inckley fox

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inckley fox last won the day on 31 January 2015

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About inckley fox

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  1. I'm not arguing with that, of course. I can't stand the guy, or his politics. But the truth is that there is a huge difference between the sort of corruption, or underhandedness, or immorality which you're referring to - and which has mired plenty of politicians over the years, of all hues - and the suggestion that he was effectively a traitor, and a puppet for a hostile foreign government. As such, the overwhelming impression now will be of a leader who is a lot less corrupt than previously suspected. If the Democrats keep focusing on the character of Trump, rather than coming up with arguments to counter or rival his politics, they'll most likely lose the next election. I'm not saying that's right, only that they should face up to this reality if they want to win. So counter him with substance. He talks about jobs - so how will they generate the jobs? He talks about civil libertarianism - so which civil liberties will they guarantee? How will they offer a voice not only to 'identity politics', but to that 'forgotten majority' we always hear about? What's the alternative to a wall and what are its advantages? Come up with positive, clear, unifying and combative arguments rather than simply opposition which is as much focused on an individual as it is on his governance.
  2. What are the numbers like on that? How many MPs do the DUP and the ERG account for? And is there a danger that other Tories, sensing the opportunity for a softer alternative, will now turn their backs on May's deal?
  3. Personally I couldn't ever bring myself to vote for him, but I understand why people did and have never felt the need to dismiss those people as dumb. The Democrats, like mainstream 'progressive' parties over the world, have seriously lost their way. They have dug themselves a hole over recent years with the narrow range of issues they've covered. Their fear to tackle environmental issues deprives them of a moral one-up on Trump, and their failure to achieve anything for the working classes, or social mobility, has created a scenario where populist governments have pulled the rug from under the feet of progressives all over the world - to the extent that, in the short term at least, they've actually done more than most of their predecessors. In the meantime, as much as we may support many of the individual ideologies they attach themselves to - whether it's abortion, stem cell research, less stringent border controls, globalism, the championing of 'identity politics' - they aren't topics which unify people. I'm surprised the left and centre haven't looked inwards a little more over the past few years and focused on how they can speak to more people. Instead they seem to dig in with the 'we aim high' approach, which seems to mean either 'we're going to beat the same drums which failed to win support in the past, but even harder' or 'we're going to take a moral high ground over populist leaders'. Again, I personally agree with a lot of these individual viewpoints, but if you haven't got a unified, coherent philosophy, and one which speaks to all, you'll sink. You might agree with the reparations argument, or the MeToo agenda - and you might be right to - but those can also be divisive issues. Hysterically or not, middle class and poor class white people, and many men, feel isolated by these arguments, and often understandably, because the rhetoric isn't especially inclusive. In short, I believe Trump will either win a second term or come close enough to make his exit a controversial one because the focus has been on discrediting and defeating the man, rather than winning the arguments against him. There were plenty of people warning about this, especially while the economy remains strong, but it seems it was more important for people to focus on what a terrible person he was, rather than serious alternatives to his actions. When the guy turns out to be, in terms of corruption at least, a less terrible person than you thought he was, the whole thing falls apart.
  4. I love Scott 3 and Scott 4. When I was a teenager in the nineties and getting into music they were two of those old records that nobody else really knew, so they felt like they were more 'yours'. They taught me that Oasis weren't as amazing as I thought they were. 'The Old Man's Back Again' is obviously incredible and seems more and more relevant with the return of more polarized, extremist politics. 'It's Raining', 'Duchess', '30 Century Man', 'Seventh Seal'... so many great songs. I love the weird recent stuff too, 'Tilt' and 'Bish Bosch' are the first to come to mind. The one Ian Brown and UNKLE sample on 'Reign'. The weird squiggly thing where he croons 'XIXIII' over and over. Bowie would never have done 'Lodger' without him, Radiohead wouldn't have sounded like Radiohead.
  5. I have a very, very fanatical old friend - the sort with every programme, shirt, headline you can imagine stashed away - who treats ex-Leicester men as if they are all icons for having worn the blessed shirt. The only exception is Dennis Wise. Other than that, there's always something positive. Junior Lewis - his debut was excellent. He did his best. Ade Akinbiyi - well, if it wasn't for the price tag he wouldn't even make our worst 100, let alone our worst XI. Zjelko Kalac - okay, maybe he would, but he'd have won the 96 final for us if it'd gone to penos. To him, former managers are kind of like monarchs, and he has a good word to say about literally all of them. Right down to McLintock, Taylor, Bassett. The defence of Bassett is more convincing than the defence of Taylor. For me, he was a bit of a dinosaur by the time he wound up at Leicester, but his CV was much better than he got credit for. And, though he was the wrong man at the wrong time, he did his best in impossible circumstances.
  6. I mentioned him! But yes, I am too young to remember him. I'm also too young to remember Louis Ford, whose glorious reign ended over a century ago. I am aware of how terrible a manager McLintock clearly was for us. The defence of him that I read was years back, in the Mercury maybe, in a sort of 'pros and cons' article about different managers. In his defence they said that form had already collapsed late on in Bloomfield's reign, and that a large section of the crowd was calling for a change in manager, something which people often forget when they talk glowingly about the Bloomfield years. McLintock was clearly out of his depth, but the Leicester job wasn't as easy as people thought, and the squad needed dismantling. Maybe that was being kind, I don't know. As for Taylor, well, his legacy was worse than McLintock's in that, two years after McLintock left, we were back in the top flight. A few years later we went up and stayed up. On the other hand, Taylor's legacy was relegation, near closure and a financial collapse which deprived us of a chance to be competitive for a decade and a half. He achieved all this on the back of our most successful era to date, and with plenty of money in the bank. Perhaps it could be argued that McLintock's legacy was only less severe than it was because of the quality of the two bosses who followed over the next 7-8 years, whereas Bassett, Adams, Levein, Kelly, Allen, Megson and Holloway were our managers in the 7-8 period after Taylor. With the very debatable exceptions of Bassett (on account of the bleakness of the situation when he arrived), Adams (for achieving a grain of success when times were tough) and Kelly (for his initial success), they really weren't the best of bunches. For my part, I always sat on the fence and took the view that these weren't great managers, but that progress was virtually impossible for anyone in the immediate wake of Taylor.
  7. You can only play Devil's Advocate up to a point with Taylor because the reign was the most disastrous in terms of legacy. Even our recovery in 2003 was hamstrung by financial restrictions which came about because of his misspending. Yes, you can blame the board for allowing it, but in the right hands we'd never have used that money to bring in Benjamin, Akinbiyi, Cresswell, Lee Marshall, Lewis, Wise, Jones and so on. We didn't get over that downfall until we went up and stayed up a decade and a half later. My point was that, regardless of him being our worst manager, we have to give some credit for people who managed to grind out results at any level. We can't simply put it down to the previous manager, because a certain level of success has to be credited to the incumbent coach. He managed to win games, lead us to 1st, take us to 4th by the start of March, end up with a mid-table finish and one tiny grain of credit has to be conceded for that. If we're going to strip him of all that credit, we'd have to redistribute a lot of credit for other managers who came in and enjoyed a bounce. Pearson would take more credit for the title, for example, which isn't necessarily sensible. I think you deserve credit for the type of bounce Ranieri - and Kelly, Shakespeare and co. - achieved, without necessarily believing they were competent in the longer term. On the other hand, there are managers in our history that we can't spare any credit for whatsoever. Allen - it's hard, unless you place a lot of emphasis on that Watford game, or excuse his mis-spending and incompetence on the grounds that the chairman was to blame. Or Megson - we slumped from 11th, I think, to 17th, and then he walked out and we went down. Do you excuse him on the grounds that he dropped us in it? And Holloway - again, you can always have some sympathy for a manager who walks into that situation, but he still achieved nothing positive whatsoever, only our lowest ever finish. It was 100% a failure, with no six month-long surge up the table, or mid-table finish to his name. Sousa, Louis Ford in the Fosse days, and above all McLintock - we can't even counterbalance their disastrous reigns with a glimmer of positivity, regardless of whether blame for the collapses we endured under them can be left as decisively at the manager's doorstep as in the case of Taylor. On balance, I'd say Taylor was our worst manager. The others achieved nothing (I read a write-up on McLintock which said 'at least he recognised the need for change', but I don't think we can credit him for pre-empting the rebuild under Wallace!) and yet there were better excuses for their failures than in his case.
  8. It's impossible to argue a case for Taylor being anything other than a disaster. However I once debated this with a fan of another club who said, 'look, the guy got you to 13th in his only full season, and wasn't given enough of the next season. It's not easy to get a side to 13th. That's not a disaster.' It took half an evening to explain why it WAS a disaster - the misspent finances, the misplaced loyalties, the chaos which followed - but what stuck with me was that achieving a 13th place PL finish alone meant Taylor had something to show for his reign. We can't say that about Frank McLintock, Bryan Hamilton, Ian Holloway, and - glancing through 'Of Fossils and Foxes' - you could also look at someone like Louis Ford, a century ago. So, while his legacy was perhaps the darkest, it's hard to call him our worst ever manager. As for comparisons with Puel, I wouldn't want to draw any personally, other than one. Some very good posters wanted to give all the credit for our finish last season to Puel, and none of it to Shakespeare. Others, a few years back, were reluctant to give much credit to Pearson for winning the league. By the same measure, we can't credit O'Neill with us being in 4th place in early March 2001, or for the mid-table finish, and we should give some of that credit to Taylor. You could also argue that the side which let us down against Wycombe, and played throughout the slump, contained a host of O'Neill-era legends who, given the esteem in which they're held, should have done better. And you can blame Taylor for letting Lennon go, or pushing Guppy out, or bringing Akinbiyi, Lewis and Wise in, but you can't blame him alone for others whose form fell apart, or those who were too old by 2001. You could equally argue that not all of Taylor's signings were catastrophic. In fact, his transfer policy wasn't much worse than Sven's, or Ranieri's. Rowett was a success, injuries aside. Davidson, Walker and Scowcroft served us for many years, and played their part in our promotion in 2003. Sturridge was popular, even if I was never a fan. Okay, it's a shaky argument, and we all know that - in truth - he was out of his depth. He bore more of the blame for relegation in 2002 than Bassett or Adams ever could. He made three of our worst ever signings, and at a cost. The 13th place finish papered over the greatest collapse in form in our history. The board can take the blame for the extent of the spending, but ultimately it was the degree to which it was misspent which shafted us, and meant that even when we came back up in 2003 we were financially hamstrung. We didn't truly recover from his reign until 2014. And yet, in spite of all that, incredibly, (and even if he is our worst ever boss) I think it's hard to say he's the manager who achieved the least at Leicester.
  9. The obvious conclusion to draw from those stats, looking at the pedigree of some keepers who are in and around Schmeichel in the placings vs. that of those who do really well in some of these charts (and based on our knowledge that he doesn't have a fantastic command of his area) is that the picture which emerges is unclear at best. You'd probably be better off not dropping Courtois, Ederson and Schmeichel (two of those were shortlisted for FIFA keeper of the year, for a start) for Pope, Lossl, Gomes or McCarthy, who on the face of it look better in some regards. The distribution stats for this season can be looked at too, and they show Schmeichel's distribution (of which I've also been critical, and for years) to be better than most, even if part of that is that he's playing riskier balls to feet, rather than longer balls to nobody in particular. That's a tactical thing as much as an improvement on his part, and it brings pros and cons, and we saw that on Sunday. Someone also floated a stat at some point indicating that a lower percentage of goals come from his errors than for most other keepers, so some perspective is needed. This discussion came about, in truth, because a group of people decided that Schmeichel is a dreadful person who gets managers fired at will, and not an especially good goalkeeper either. As regards the first point - the accusation that our star men are loathsome snakes is one I'd expect to see thrown about in the press, because it fits in with the great tragic fall from our fairytale peak, but it's a bit more unsettling when Leicester fans are behind it. In some instances, it's the same people who'll have you believe that - among other things - Vardy is also overrated and a traitor, Walsh wasn't a great scout, Puel seldom put a foot wrong, and Morgan is the cause of all our woes. I'm not sure how much validity these people have, especially when you see the level of bitterness, aggression and even hatred directed at Schmeichel at times. But Schmeichel was never mentioned in the sackings of Sven, Pearson or Shakespeare. In the case of Ranieri and Puel, there were unsubstantiated stories (and in the Ranieri case, rubbished stories) and the business of his father speaking out in a pundit's capacity, and yet his commitment hasn't been at fault, nor that of the other demonised old boys like Morgan and Vardy. I'd argue both of those managers did enough to undermine themselves, and that in some cases you'd expect players who cared for the club to raise question marks. There has never been discontent on the scale you've seen at other clubs, nor anything unprofessional. The accusations are based on conjecture. The critics based their case largely on him costing us a lot recently, when what we're really talking about is an error here and there and performances which secured us a couple of points against Brighton, and cost us a 4th goal against Palace, and a point against Watford. It's hardly damning stuff. I'm all for discussion, even if it's critical, but it shouldn't slip into people being hysterical, bitter and unreasonable. My only suggestion would be that we put in a fraction of the energy we spend on slating our legendary players, scrambling for evidence of blame with very little justification (and in many cases precisely the opposite), into actually behaving like Leicester City fans for once. Because at times it feels like Forest or Spurs fans are trolling the forum.
  10. I wouldn't argue with you for a second about Maguire having loads of potential, nor that our coaching and tactics are responsible for some of his problems. I agree we should let him develop and fully get behind him, even though the 1.5 goals per game we concede with him in the side is a problem when it's only 0.8 with him. Like you say, not all of that is his fault AND, like you say, we shouldn't be expecting him to be the new Moore either. My point was purely that, on the day, and for whatever understandable reason, Maguire was poorer than Wes, and some people aren't reflecting that. And, in fact, over the course of the season we've tended to leap on Wes's errors - with people seeming to think it's a travesty that he's in the side when he's outperformed several of our players defensively, and at a ripe old age - while many conveniently overlook the more frequent errors by Maguire. I know and I appreciate that this is because there's a player in Harry that we can encourage to blossom, whereas in Wes it's a matter of when the full stop arrives. But it doesn't excuse people lacking balance, or being aggressively critical of Morgan.
  11. It's never been all that good. People used to say it was when it evidently wasn't. The difference is that now he's trying to get balls to feet, and within a shorter range. The mistakes are more costly.
  12. The fact that people think Maguire had a better game than Morgan shows the extent to which people watch a game with a pre-conceived set of ideas about who's going to be decent, and who isn't. I like Maguire a lot, but today was a bad day at the office for him. I've watched this game twice now. If you study it in even the remotest of detail and think Maguire outperformed Morgan, or even came near, then please provide a studied analysis of why it is that being constantly caught out of possession, mis-controlling the ball in perilous situations, misplacing passes to Chilwell and missing out on 50-50s outdoes an intermittently flawed, but mostly respectable display on Morgan's part. Just go back and watch it again, please, and with an open mind this time. And Chilwell is great to watch, but his attacks rarely come to anything, and his defending is very questionable. In terms of effectiveness, he's a real mixed bag. I'm sure he'll get better, but I think people are easily fooled by the enthusiastic bombing forward.
  13. Yes, his distribution is flawed, and yes, he made a crucial mistake. If you think Ward needs a chance based on your knowledge of Ward from having seen him over time, then fine. But if you're arguing that Schmeichel has always been over-rated, should be grateful to be with us because nobody else will ever want him, that he's helped get the last three managers fired, or that he's been a liability all season, then you'd be better off booking a pleasure cruise with Graeme Souness and Danny Murphy than supporting Leicester. If we're going to turn on a goalkeeper, or any player, this furiously when he makes a mistake then this club will be a dark, dark place for a lot of people. And why be so bitter and divisive when there are so many reasons to be positive? On the down-side, there were suicidal errors all over the pitch today. I just watched it back, and pretty much everyone was responsible. Even Gray - I thought he did well when he came on, but there was one totally unnecessary cross-field ball which nearly resulted in a goal for the opposition. Maguire was amateurish in the build-up to the free kick early on, and that wasn't the only occasions. Ndidi played some hospital passes which allowed Watford in. Chilwell and Maddison - both good in patches - surrendered possession too easily at times. A goal could have come (and in the case of Maguire, did) from any of their errors. It's a feature of our game because of our determination to build from the back with players who aren't yet comfortable building from the back. As for Schmeichel, we owed him a huge debt for the three points in the week, when he pulled off a world class save. In contrast, today he saved us early on but was at fault for the winner. A week ago, he cost us a fourth goal at a stage in the match when the game was over. That hardly makes him the primary cause of our woes. Has he been 'constantly' bad, as some have stated? Grow up. Is he at an age where he's past it? No. Has he got pedigree as a keeper based on what we've seen in the past, or is he likely to be an impediment to success? Come on. If you're looking for evidence that Schmeichel's distribution is sub-standard at this level, you'll be sorely disappointed by the stats which show his distribution to be better than that of most PL keepers. You'll also be sorely disappointed if Ward steps in, because if we expect him to spray the ball to feet within a fifty yard range, he'll make mistakes too. His distribution isn't great, of course - when people were full of hyperbole for him 3, 4, 5 years ago I was one of the first to point out that his movement of the ball wasn't all that hot - but people go over the top. His problem is the same as that faced by lots of our players - that he's a guy who isn't all that great at spreading the ball to feet, and over shorter range, but that he tries to do it nonetheless and sometimes makes mistakes. And if you'd watched today's other games, you'd have seen similar problems from more than one keeper. Our problems today were as a result of many self-inflicted wounds, often from us going backwards when there were positive options in front of us, and then players pegged back playing overly-ambitious forward balls which allowed Watford in. In KS's case, he really should have done better. But he wasn't the only one.
  14. If the board encourage players to have a voice, they'll have a voice. We've not seen those players let the side down in terms of work rate, and they haven't been among the worst performers of Puel's reign. Neither has there been any breathtaking show of insubordination, only a few grumbles and a bit of media gossip. There was no problem with the previous boss, and only a bunch of discredited gossip regarding the one before him, who appeared to have lost the plot anyway. Bearing in mind Puel made enough odd decisions to undermine his own stewardship, and that you'd expect the professionals who worked with him to raise an eyebrow here and there, I'd say there's not enough to go on for us to call for star players to be ditched. And I suspect there's not enough to put off big name candidates for the job, including (perhaps) Rodgers and Benitez. If Puel was let down, I'd look at the players who've emerged post-Pearson rather than the 'Old Guard' - Mendy and Maddison being in such dreadful form in our recent poor run, Iheanacho, Ghezzal, Maguire, Gray. The 'Old Guard' may have got a bit old, but their effort levels have remained admirable enough, Vardy included. No, he's not in top form, but he's not the first striker to suffer under Puel, and if he's been poor in the second half of Puel's reign, he was the stand-out star of the first. Above all, though, it's just a case of a manager trying to implement a style which has had questionable success in the EPL in recent times, not having the players to implement that style and, at two different clubs, getting fired as a result. In our case you can throw a few weakened team selections for cup games into the equation, and a miserable post-Wycombe-esque collapse in form in the aftermath. I don't think we need to go searching, dagger in hand, for any serpents' heads. And I think potential new managers will see that too.
  15. I agree with a lot of this, especially regarding how Pearson encouraged player power, which is part of the reason why the transition to Ranieri was so smooth, and why we won the league. It makes sense that our players are more involved than they would be at other clubs, even if it's something which is tricky for a manager to handle at times. If you have a problem with that, you should really direct it to the upper echelons of the club, and Vichai even, who fostered that kind of relationship. I doubt it was a major factor in Ranieri's exit regardless of the totally discredited media gossip, and the only players who openly clashed with Shakespeare, to my mind, were Drinkwater, when he was sold, and Gray when his agent held talks with the board behind the boss's back. The old guard had nothing to do with it. I'm not so sure that 'player power' is responsible for Puel's exit either. You can point to far too many own goals on his part, for starters, and until very late in the game on Saturday I think our effort levels were very good, and have been for a long time. That there is discontent behind the scenes I don't doubt, but the manager's unusual decision-making has been a far more obvious factor when things have gone wrong this season. You can pinpoint the errors in team selection, substitutions, systems. You can only really judge the players on how they perform and, while Vardy's not been in top form, I think the players as a whole have put in shifts for their manager. As for whether we should continue to encourage players to have such a prominent voice, that's another matter. I'd have thought that if you have characters like Schmeichel and Morgan who appear to have earned that kind of voice, then with strict limitations it can work. It's happened at a huge number of big clubs down the years. Perhaps the problem is more when you extend that to - for example - King, Simpson, Gray, Fuchs, James... a whole host of players who are in and out of the side, but feel they have the right to go above the manager - I can imagine that's not a situation which can't go on for long.
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