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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. Man City Post Match Thread 0-2

    It's too early to say whether this Manchester City side are one of the best in the EPL's history. We're not even a third of the way through the campaign and they have plenty of guys among their ranks who have stumbled in recent years as the season progressed. They've gone through an exceptional patch of form, look fantastic, but they'll have to sustain it for a lot longer. Plenty of other sides have excelled over a quarter of a season every bit as much as Man City without winning anything, so I'm not sure we should be shrugging and saying 'you don't stand a chance against them lot'. They will drop points, cracks will emerge and Shakespeare learnt that you can't dismiss games against the top teams as 'bonus matches'. We haven't earned a point off any of the top sides yet and if you want to finish in the top half that will have to chance. As for today, I thought Man City only came out of first gear in fits and starts, especially second half. They were comfortably on top, thoroughly deserved their win - and yet benefitted from an especially negative home side which never truly competed, and never caused them a headache. It always disappoints me to hear fans saying 'oh well, they're too good for us.' Clearly that's true, but we failed to give a top side a serious work out today, and I think if you're the penultimate champions of the league, playing at home, you have to be a little annoyed not to have given a side cause for concern. 25% possession, two shots, zero on target testifies to that. I was disappointed to see the huge grins on our players after being so totally outclassed, because it seemed to suggest that they were helpless in the face of Man City's brilliance, which isn't a mentality which has prevailed at Leicester over the past few years.
  2. Come Home Nigel

    It wasn't an error, obviously. There are cases when returning managers aren't successful, though often that will have more to do with managers being older, the game having changed, methods having changed and circumstances at a club having changed. There are also cases when they are successful - as was the case with Leicester and with Pearson last time around. It was one of the two or three most important appointments in our history. The point I've been making is that, if it does ever happen, it might be better if the circumstances were such that they required a team-builder like NP. But to suggest that a manager who is known for long-term planning, and who led us to the brink of our greatest achievement thanks to that long-term planning, would represent a conservative or backward-thinking appointment - that doesn't make sense. It's the wrong argument. Equally absurd are the arguments which state that Pearson wasn't all that wonderful at Leicester, the arguments that remind you of one specific defeat or run of poor form in the course of a lengthy success story, and so on. I don't think we're ready for a Pearson-esque restructuring and he might not be ready for us either. But claims that 'you shouldn't go back' / 'he was a horrid man' / 'he wasn't all that good anyway' / 'we're bigger than him now' are just silly, and undermine a reasoned argument for us looking elsewhere.
  3. Come Home Nigel

    People are talking about taking the club forward and moving on without really reflecting on what that means. I remember this great chap called Craig Levein who didn't want to work with any of the dead wood from the Adams era and very quickly moved them on. That was a fresh start. And a few years before that we had another great chap called Peter Taylor who wanted to brush aside all of these tired old veterans from the O'Neill era. Fast forward a few years and we had this lousy side who'd only managed to climb up from the third tier to the second tier play-offs, and this world class manager called Sven breezed in, cleared the decks, and gave us another fresh start. Sometimes you need to move forward and fast, and have the time, resources and opportunity to do so. At other times it's not the right thing, or just not viable. The new boss will have 11-13 games before he can make any sort of change to the squad. Nearly a full season before he can introduce a fresh start. He has to work with the past, rather than the future. Now I feel Pearson may be too closely associated with a powerful minority of players to be as effective as he might be, and I feel he will need patience to introduce the sort of radical change he favours - so the issue with him is that he'd take us forward more than we need to be taken forward. It's got nothing to do with the fact that he's been at the club in the past, or that he'd send us back into a long-forgotten, dark old era. People are speaking as if the last time we 'went back' it all went horribly wrong. It didn't. And it wasn't a step backwards either. The argument falls apart before it even begins.
  4. Come Home Nigel

    Was it 'just looking backwards' in 2011? I thought we went further forwards thereafter than ever in our history, though lots of people told us that it was a step backwards. It seemed an incredibly basic argument back then to say that a very radical manager with lots of new ideas, who just happened to have been at the club in the past (and done a pretty good job too) represented a step backwards. And it was proven wrong. The main argument for going for someone other than Pearson is that now isn't the moment to look as radically forwards as Pearson tends to. We need a guy who can get the whole squad on board (Pearson's affiliations with our longer-serving players could be an issue there) and achieve stability, solidity in the short term. But if you want a revolution, to build a squad from scratch, to forge a new team of young players full of potential, then the guy who did it last time is already employed by our owners, and in the past he's had no trouble with moving on guys who were his own stalwarts in the past (see Gallagher, Oakley, Berner, Weale, Howard etc.). Pearson is the opposite of a move backwards, it just might be that he's too extreme a step forwards right now.
  5. Next City Manager?

    I said just this to a workmate earlier. He said words to the effect of 'O'Neill didn't do much at Norwich, Pearson had barely managed before Leicester, Ranieri had been fired by Greece. On the other hand things had been going swimmingly for Taylor, Levein, Allen, Holloway and Sousa.' It's so hard to know who'll be the right man for the right moment, who'll get the rub of the green at the pivotal moment. As for the former, you pick the best guy available and hope it works out, but the best guy won't necessarily have been a rip-roaring success everywhere he's been. It was a scrappy win, in a dire game against Huddersfield in 1996 which gave O'Neill the chance to become a great boss for us. It was a last gasp win at Forest in 2013, and some fortuitous results, which did just enough to keep Pearson in a job, and therefore win us promotion a year later. On the other hand, a suicidal second half display at home to West Ham in 2002 cost Bassett the chance to pull us out of the drop zone and turn our season around. Whether you succeed or fail, almost irrespective of pedigree, depends at some point on a critical moment going your way. I fancy the idea of Moyes much, but there are guys out there who may be well suited to us, but for whom things just didn't fall the last time around.
  6. Come Home Nigel

    I remember lots of 'don't go back' comments in 2011 and felt this sentiment undermined people's arguments back then too. A forward-thinking ex-manager is more of a step forward than a backward-thinking new manager. I'd love to see Pearson back one day and I'm sure he'd look to the future again, try to craft a new side which - like the last one - reflects his own drive, discipline and belief. However I doubt the time is right. He's closely tied to those same players who've badly let themselves down since winning the title, as opposed to the newer players who've had to do all of the adapting, while veterans do precious little in the way of accommodating them. His old management team is unlikely to reunite, now at least, and he hasn't settled on a new one yet. He's finding his feet again in the game and if that goes well, a year or two from now he may be the perfect man again. For me, he's the guy you bring in if it's gone horribly wrong and you have the time, patience and undeniable need to build a brand new project. Right now, though, we need a guy who can work with our existing squad and look for new solutions, with a ready-to-roll management team, until he can begin reshaping the team, 10 or 12 games from now. If we get it wrong, we could be practically relegated by then.
  7. Shakey Sacked

    There's truth in this. If CS had been savvy he'd have heeded Micky Adams' advice from back in 2002. Adams made a successful transition to manager (whether you think he was subsequently a good boss or not) by instructing players to call him 'gaffer' instead of 'Micky' and establishing new red lines. He worked hard to look the part. Shakespeare didn't. Coupled with the fact that his leadership depended on consensus, it deprived him of authority. Added to that, his 'consensus' was never, you have to suspect, with the expensive team of misfits we assembled from January 2016 onwards, but rather with those that had come before. So I agree that this accounts for his fate and for the failure of many players to be successfully integrated into the line-up. But your recruitment is judged by how well new players do when they come into the team - and they've not done well. Yes, part of that is because we could and should have done more to help their transition but a big part of it is also because some of these players weren't worth anything like the money we spent on them and, to an even greater extent, because the recruitment side of the club hadn't established a clear, unified sense of how to move forward with the footballing side. Their targets, as good as they might have been, simply weren't what we needed. I don't think our response to that can, for all their flaws, be 'but what Ranieri and Shakespeare wanted for the team was wrong, and the DoF / scouting network were the ones who were right.' Lots of players - good and bad - fail to perform at clubs, and that tends to dictate whether they're a success or not, not how much pedigree they had elsewhere. Hopefully, a handful of those lousy signings from the past couple of years may yet turn out to be shrewd buys, but right now they're still just lousy signings.
  8. Shakey Sacked

    The owners were crucial to us winning the league for their investment back in the FLC but there were other crucial and far more exceptional contributions along the way. It wasn't the £7,500,000 they spent on Vardy, Kante,Mahrez and Drinkwater which sealed it for us. It was having staff in place who could identify talent worth twenty times that amount, and at that price. And it was having players who performed to the absolute peak of their ability, way beyond what you'd expect for the fees we paid. The board don't come out of this well. Their hogging of the limelight during the title celebrations feels cringeworthy now. They've fired two of the greatest managers in the club's history and one of its greatest coaches in the space of a few years. They've fumbled key transfers by cashing in before they splash out. They've allowed a DoF to clash with bosses, dominate and bungle transfer policy, and yet given the manager the bullet when he failed to fix the leaks. I'd grown to believe that CS wasn't long-term management material, though I felt we needed to get the timing of his exit right to keep players on board, and give both the boss and the players time to look for new solutions. I thought we might have been able to deal with the DoF situation first. Maybe brought in support for the manager. But no, we're a shambles. The genius behind our rise looks increasingly like it was Pearson or Ranieri or Mahrez or Vardy or Kante or Schmeichel, rather than the clowns in charge right now. Their restructuring will have to go way beyond switching bosses if they want to fix the 'malaise'. Whether it's through luck or footballing nous, many of KP's gambles have worked out in the past and for that reason (rather than because we owe them everything) they deserve some patience. With the owners, not with some of their cohorts. But they're going to have to get this one right. The club has been horribly mismanaged since May 2016. They have to take responsibility for that. Or you could just blame those nasty, lazy, good-for-nothing back-stabbing bastard players (who once won us the league).
  9. Kasper

    There are question marks over everyone right now. It's not as if he sticks out like a sore thumb. But he's been a great goalkeeper for us for many years and there's no reason to think he's passed it. All keepers have a dip in form here and there - so did he, back in the FLC. It'd be nice to think that we'd be a bit more patient when one of our greatest ever players is a tad out of sorts. Especially when everyone else is too.
  10. Poll - Shakey In or Out?

    I think all managers need consensus. Most, I'd guess, achieve it by saying 'look, here's the plan' and everyone else having faith that he's got it right. Others, including Pearson, have closely involved players in the decision-making process and achieved it that way. Even Ranieri, early on, listened to the players' thoughts on systems and training routines and achieved his greatest success when he stuck to that advice. The problem, when it's come to major changes at Leicester, has - for a few years - been that there's little appetite for it. At times that's a good thing (summer 2015) and at times not (the first two thirds of last season, and right now). As regards the system we play, if the players dictate the pace of change then that change may be more successful than if a new boss were to arrive and clash with those players. So my hope is that we made a change tonight, it worked, and there's a team-wide agreement - together with the manager - that we need to try some new ideas.
  11. Next City Manager?

    I think the management structure as a whole needs looking at. The scouting / recruitment sides of the club - Macia's and Rudkin's departments - don't seem to be working effectively with the 'footballing side'. Huge amounts of money have been spent on failed signings. New players are poorly integrated, or go unfancied by managers. Then there's the Silva business. I don't think Shakespeare can be the first head to roll after that fiasco. Back in Pearson's day, he'd set up the scouting network - so they were his men. At first there was no DoF and NP had a central role in the transfer policy. But these aren't Shakespeare's men, those that are left. Macia and his crew even less so. Even with Walsh at the club, it was going wrong because there wasn't a clear, unified sense of how to take the team forward without the Pearson-era leadership. That needs to be addressed sooner or later. There's imbalance in our management set-up. Very little experience. No ex-attackers on the coaching staff, only lower league GKs, CBs and DCMs. We could introduce a more experienced coach to work with CS, or a more football-minded DoF (perhaps an experienced boss looking for a possible path back into top flight management). A Nige, a Sam, an O'Neill. Some of those may even be willing, in time, to take on the manager's role and continue to work with CS, if they've already established a relationship. CS doesn't look the part, it's true, but there are other problems at the club and there are alternatives to firing him.
  12. Poll - Shakey In or Out?

    Yes, he has been royally shafted by the Silva business, so if he takes the first bullet there'll be a lot of angry people at the club. With an international break just a few games away, I'd give him the chance to extend the unbeaten run and perhaps look for answers in different places. You should pause before making a clean break from the staff behind our success. After all, he achieved his objectives last season and isn't really to blame for the ridiculous shortfall of personnel in midfield. We saw a change in shape late on today. Shakespeare depends too heavily on establishing consensus, but perhaps he can shift that consensus after tonight. Maybe they'll acknowledge the need for a longer-term change in shape and get behind it. And maybe his authority isn't what it should be, and he needed to wait for a moment like that to implement a change. It may have been a long time coming, but perhaps a change achieved that way will be more successful than what happens when a new boss comes in, with his own ideas.
  13. Poll - Shakey In or Out?

    We've asked the question before and been wrong. On at least three occasions with Pearson. On one with O'Neill too.
  14. Poll - Shakey In or Out?

    I'll vote 'stay', but I think you'll have to do a poll like this each week until he either goes or gets better. Things have to get better soon.
  15. Next City Manager?

    He went down with Newcastle. No, he wasn't to blame, but his relegation-dodging pedigree isn't too reassuring. You never know who's going to click. Even if, say, Ancelotti wanted to come, it could go wrong. He's not managed anything other than a top end club in two decades and we've come a cropper before bringing in high calibre bosses who aren't right for our predicament. Who'd have thought Pearson would be a better fit than Sousa and Eriksson? A lot of the names could work out - but it's a huge risk. Wagner finished 19th in his first season so he's no more of an impact boss than Pearson. Tuchel doesn't know this league. Howe may well be a one-club man. I think we'll hold on for a little longer to give CS the chance to find the answers, and see how tidy a job Pearson is doing in Belgium in the meantime. If the board look elsewhere, it could well be for someone with 'survival pedigree', which isn't necessarily as mouth-watering prospect as the names in the poll. I don't think Pearson has to be seen as a step backwards. It wasn't a step backwards in 2011. He's a team-builder, so a forward-thinking ex-boss is more likely to move us forwards than a conservative-minded new face. The problem with Pearson is that he needs to find his feet again for now, he's unlikely to reunite the old backroom team and may be a better option if it all goes wrong and we need to start a project from scratch a year from now, and have the patience to let it happen. In the short-term, we should look at how we can help Shakespeare, either from above (a football-minded DoF) or below (someone new in the coaching staff), before rushing to a decision. Remind him that he needs to come up with new answers and give him the chance and backing to do it. After all, the board did just sell his star midfielder and balls up the replacement. And as awful as we look, a point away is a decent point.