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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. He was a good signing for us at the time, of course. Top scorer in his first year and crucial to survival in spite of a few lacklustre periods of form in an ever-changing strikeforce which lived off scraps. The next year there was a genuine question mark for the first half of the season as to whether he or Okazaki was our 'ten', and he scored some of the most vital goals in our history. So perhaps there is room for sentiment in football after all (you could argue that his hissy fit last year should have put paid to that), or perhaps he's there because Slimani will be sold as and when the right offer comes in, and Leo's much cheaper. He's out of confidence and match sharpness. I hope he's not one of those footballers who just decline at 30/31 and never recapture form. The only caveat I'd add is that the two target men strikeforce hasn't been kind to either Ulloa or Slimani. The only aspect of their game we were seeing, without any meaningful bridge between midfield and attack, was their inability to hold the ball up. It was very poor, but not in the most helpful of circumstances. Anyway, I groan when I see him in the side at the moment, but I wouldn't write him off entirely at 31. Oddly, I thought we might have loaned him out for a few months once it became clear that Slimani would be with us till January, just so he was sharper for the second half of the campaign. Looking at him last night, he might need something like that.
  2. Like most, I thought the only solidly impressive outfield performances came from Morgan, Dragovic and Okazaki. But guys who don't play week-in week-out are bound to look rusty. At one extreme you've got Ulloa who wasn't particularly promising, and the fear is that he's one of those players who's passed his sell-by date early. At the other you've got Chilwell and Gray who made mistakes but also looked the part for much of the second half. Ndidi put himself about a great deal. He covered the pitch, did the work of more than one man and consequently, considering how tight things were, made errors because he was committing himself where others weren't. You've got to appreciate the work-rate and suspect that he'd make less mistakes if things depended on his blood and toil a little less. And I agree with the criticisms about Amartey's positional sense but his distribution down the line was good and he improved as the game wore on. It's worth noting that there was criticism on Saturday about Simpson playing too centrally and causing Mahrez to get pinned back in the RB position. So it's not necessarily Amartey's failing there. Albrighton and Iborra had truly bizarre games. Slimani looked useful, if a bit erratic, when he was finally allowed to explore all aspects of being a CF, rather than just making the long ball stick. You could say the same for Ulloa, I suppose, but the truth is that his injury got Shakespeare out of jail. The two target men selection was always wrong and should, I thought, have been switched in the early stages.
  3. Is Shakespeare the right man for the job?

    I've not decided yet whether he's managing us like an Assistant Manager. A lot depends on how well the dynamic works with him and Appleton. Normally the no-nonsense guy is at the top and the friendly arms-round-the-shoulder type is closer to the players. If there are major questions about our DoF, perhaps we can remedy it that way (if it needs remedying). Or perhaps we could expand the chain of command by bringing in a further coach. I'd always prefer to see a club making changes within its existing structure before it opts for a more severe change. We don't need to lurch into action just yet, but it is a concern that last year we made no serious attempt to change the shape of the wider management structure, we simply waited until February and sacked the boss. Hopefully we can do things in a more proactive, helpful and less abrupt manner this time round.
  4. The big question for me is whether we try to address the midfield issues - no goals from open play in a while, lack of protection for defence etc. - with an experimental change of shape, or see if there's a serious chance of the 4-4-2 working for us this season. I'm not sure how much Shakespeare agrees with us about shape, based on those post-match comments. I understand them to a degree - he was saying that the opposition did a better job of dropping the ACM into midfield, wide players tucking in, but the truth was that we were outnumbered, and while I'm not going to slate CS, I thought his comments were wide of the mark. I saw one of the pundits say that we were involuntarily driven into a sort of 3-6-1/3-5-1-1 at times on Saturday. Simpson was often operating as an extra CB, leaving Mahrez to track the winger. Chilwell was often more advanced than the other defenders. Nacho was very deep, often with 30-40 yards between him and Vardy. Albrighton was having to muck in in the centre of the park. So if we're going to find ourselves forced into that sort of shape, it makes sense to have people doing what they're good at. A proper RWB in Albrighton, a proper ACM in Mahrez/Gray, more freedom for Kelechi to be a striker and get closer to Vardy. Alternatively, he could use this as a chance to see whether there's really any prospect of the 4-4-2 working. A lot of people think this hinges on Silva signing but obviously we can't depend on Silva being the new Drinkwater because (a) he might not be able to play for a while (b) we've still been over-run in midfield for the past year, even with Drinky and (c) players get injured or lose form. So at some point we need to show that we can both make a better fist of it than we did on Saturday and get results from top six sides.
  5. As much as I love Leicester

    Maybe the owners are the issue. They were tremendous in the second tier and did well for a year or so after that, although they should thank the over-performance of staff for winning the league (their investment wasn't key, but rather how well it was used). But they've not done such a good job at responding to that success. And I don't think it's right to hide behind the argument that 'we weren't all that good anyway, what did you expect'? It's a cop out to say we were just plain ordinary, albeit with lots of luck, hard work and a sprinkling of excellence. We were where we were on merit but did a very poor job of dealing with it. We were not at all proactive and actually took too long to react to fairly inevitable problems. Half of that league winning team were in the autumn of their careers and they've slipped into winter before we could keep up. Some have surpassed their wildest dreams and ambitions and lack the desire of before. Some have left. We knew this was going to happen. We're all very ready to blame Rudkin for everything, but maybe the board's interest has waned. We've made a meal out of signing Silva for two consecutive seasons. We didn't bring in a like-for-like replacement for Kante. We let go of our Head of Recruitment and didn't replace him for five months. A gap has continued to emerge between what the recruitment side of things brings in and what the manager appears to need. It took us a year from the moment Ranieri said he needed a CB to the moment when we actually brought one in. Then we let go of a key player without being sure of his replacement. We've not looked like a well-run club for some time, and I think the board have to face up to that if we want improvements. It's a curious thing that, at the ground at least, you're more likely to get away with critical remarks about pretty much any of our league-winning players, or Shakespeare, or Ranieri, or Pearson - and, obviously, Rudkin - than of the board. Perhaps they've been a little too immune to criticism, and perhaps it's very convenient for them that others can take the flak.
  6. Huddersfield Away Pre Match Thread

    I don't know, the line-up he listed has the potential to fall into a back 5. Plus you have the personnel to switch to a 4-4-2 without making a sub. I liked the suggestion a lot. I suspect we won't go for it because the likes of Dragovic, Iborra and - if we go with him ahead of Shinji - Iheanacho will probably be best incorporated into the team while we're employing a more familiar system. Still, I have to say, as much as I love the guy, King really shouldn't be in the side. Even with a James injury and a three man midfield I'd prefer to see us look elsewhere. Considering he's been with us since the dawn of time, he rarely seems to offer us what we need. Or at least that's been the case for the past two seasons or so, if you look at our points-per-game rations with/without him in the side. The James injury, couple with the Silva situation, is a major concern.
  7. Only Leicester

    Our greatest managers were Hodge, Orr, Gillies, Bloomfield, O'Neill, Pearson, Ranieri. When you look at what happened to them it's scary. Hodge got ill and died. Bloomfield, Orr, Gillies were forced out (and one of them didn't last much longer). We wanted O'Neill fired after 12 games and he actually had to come out to meet protesting fans. We fired Pearson (twice in six months, after having previously forced him out) and Ranieri (within a year of the title). Even if you extend it to people like Little it's bleak stuff. A fan spat at him when we were 1-1 at half time, on our way to the play-offs and promotion in 1994. He never forgot it and later said it was the moment he decided to leave when he could. We don't go easy on our heroes. On the other hand we loved Martin Allen and Sven.
  8. Is Shakespeare the right man for the job?

    A lot of people were very encouraged by the signings this summer and it's too early to say that Iheanacho, Dragovic, Iborra won't step up, like Maguire has. Personally, I think it's hard to defend recruitment when you sell a key player and don't replace him. Plus, the Maguire signing wasn't a response to what we needed in summer 2017, it was a response to something we'd needed in summer 2016 when Ranieri was desperate to bring in a CB. So we're trying to strike a balance between playing catch-up and not flooding the squad with new faces that don't necessarily fit in right away. If I had a groan, it'd be that we're not uncovering talent, which is what our success was based on. On the one hand we're not graduating younger players - which I understand because I'm not sure Chilwell should be in the side over Fuchs, or Gray over Albrighton, and I'm fairly sure that Thomas / Hughes / Ndukwu / Knight / Barnes aren't first team material yet. On the other hand, we aren't uncovering talent in our transfer policy either, we're bringing in guys who we hope can hit the ground running. Guys that sides above us don't especially fancy. I appreciate that we have to take care of the short term and avoid another relegation scrap. I appreciate that we've still managed to pick up what seems to be a bargain in Maguire. And I appreciate that when you're a bigger club you have to pay bigger fees for the Vardys of the world and can't give them the first team opportunities that we could before. But I'd like to see evidence of a new, ambitious project at the club based around what worked for us before, rather than us fishing for the established talent which is either too well-established for us to stand a chance of signing, or not wanted by anyone else. Some evidence of a scouting network would be nice. This is just a personal opinion rather than a critique of the club's business. On paper we made some good additions and, if these guys add to what we've got, we'll reflect positively on our recruitment.
  9. Is Shakespeare the right man for the job?

    I'd go along with that. The logic behind the substitutions has been fine even though they haven't necessarily had a positive effect. Some of them were probably wrong and we can see that with hindsight, even though they made sense or even seemed overdue at the time. Others seemed questionable at the time. But it's hardly the defining problem of our season. When a side has declined it's too easy to lash out at the manager but the decline was always going to happen unless we did incredibly well in the market, which we didn't in summer 2016 and we didn't on Deadline Day 2017 (neither of which, I'd guess, had much to do with the boss). The decline itself has more to do with psychological factors ('where do we go from here? I've done everything I could have hoped for at LCFC'), age (six of the title-winning eleven now being into, or well into their 30s) and the two key departures. It doesn't mean to say we can't improve how we do business, reduce the age of the squad, build for the future. But if we focus on the substitutions of the current boss, or even on a sprinkling of bad performances, instead of thee factors, then we'll be failing to see the bigger picture.
  10. Is Shakespeare the right man for the job?

    You could judge him positively on a whole series of games, rather than the ones where we fell apart with nothing to play for. We fell apart at some point or other under all of our great managers - I remember more than one drubbing against Arsenal, Man U, Sheffield Wednesday under O'Neill. One-off games create an accurate picture of a manager. Only time will tell whether he has the tactical nous. I'm not sure most of us know what we're talking about when we bang on about tactics. Pearson was meant to be tactically terrible and Ranieri a genius, but I know of one member of our league-winning side who quite categorically insists that Ranieri was awful tactically, nobody ever knew what he wanted of them, whereas Pearson was much better. I remember an interview with NP once when he said that he laughed when he saw the formation they put on the screen at the start of games, because people had often got the system totally wrong. Tactical effectiveness is best judged through results. It is a 'bits and pieces' squad. Amartey will need to step up if we're to have options at RB. New signings (Maguire excepted) are yet to establish themselves. The CM position is looking threadbare without Silva and Drinkwater, so someone will have to seize their chance. Still, if we're cobbling things together then it's not CS to blame, but rather the weight of gravity. Players were always going to want to leave and they were always going to grow old. Two of our title-winning eleven have left. Two guys in their early 30s are edging towards their mid-30s. Four guys in their late 20s are now in their 30s. But if we put aside the passage of time, the blame would have to lie with the team-building of 2016 and the guys who buggered up the Silva signing.
  11. Is Shakespeare the right man for the job?

    I don't see a serious argument for replacing him unless it's the same argument by which you didn't want him in the first place, which would be unfair. I understand the groans because there have been decisions which haven't worked out, especially when he's chosen to surrender the initiative in games. The team has been competitive without ever being impressive. But it's early days and the guy's earned his chance. Some of you expected that he wouldn't be good enough but you can't let those expectations get in the way of making balanced judgements. It's frustrating that we've declined so much since we won the title but CS shouldn't bear the brunt. Plus, if the club has managed to sell a key player without sorting out a replacement, we'll have to go easy on him. And perhaps rethink where the blame lies if it all goes wrong. That said, I certainly don't agree that we shouldn't worry about results against the big teams. I remember both Bassett in 02 and Adams in 04 talking about games against the top sides as 'bonus points', when in truth nobody ever attains a mid-table finish without picking up points from the top five at some stage.
  12. 2017/18 U23s, Development, U19s etc

    I thought it was a lot slower paced and a lot less physical than I remember Family Night Football being back in the 90s. Might be me. I'm not sure how much more useful than a training game it could be for getting people up to speed. Iborra stood out because he's clearly a footballer and a fair few out there weren't. Josh Gordon was an example of someone who looked a light year away, as it stands, though that could change. Iborra was well off the pace defensively, though. I suppose that could be down to how much he was willing to stretch himself. Thomas seems to have a problem judging the distance of his delivery. He did well but his crossing looked oddly amateurish at times. Iheanacho did well, but if his toe's hurting him as much as it appears to be you're best off sticking a camera in there (if you can do that with toes) or giving him 2-3 weeks recovery time. Go with Okazaki / Slim or 4-2-3-1 (if we have the personnel) and get him to hit the ground running. If there's a player lurking deep within Musa, now might be the moment. Don't manage the injury like we did with Drinky last year and have him perpetually off colour. Of course, it might just be one of those things that he has to work through over time. It was interesting that we seemed to sit on the three goal lead and struggled to do so. We actually changed shape substantially when we went three up. It's interesting for two reasons - (1) that the first team CB pairing of the end of last season couldn't keep out a bunch of kids (yes, I know Huth won't be flexing his muscles in a work-out like this, but even so) and (2) that u-23 and u-18 game plans and formations usually mirror first team plans, so I hope it isn't a club-wide approach that we get into promising positions in games and then stand off. Because we don't have the players for it, it seems. Oh, and Eppiah and Knight showed a bit of promise. Wood did fine too, without ever really excelling. Hamza was an odd one. Played a key role for us without ever really looking like a guy who'd come close to making the step-up.
  13. Working abroad

    I used to do it. The time you spend with them will be the best time you've ever spent with them, you'll really appreciate it. They will too. Your 12 year old will be fine. Lots of 12 year olds don't see their dads for months at a time, years on end. It's a small thing and it'll brace him/her well for later life. When the five months are over the reunion will be all the sweeter. I wouldn't spend too much time on the phone or skyping or whatever, though, otherwise you won't make the most of what should be an interesting experience. Give yourself a few weekends in Denmark too, so you can get to know your new home. Otherwise you feel like a prisoner who's let out at the weekends. The folks back home will understand, I suspect. This is what worked for me, by the way. I know it sounds very imperative what I'm saying, but I'm not arrogant enough to believe that there aren't other things that work for other people, or circumstances which differ from mine.
  14. Who should play in midfield with Ndidi?

    Looking back at that game, I'm inclined to think you have a point.
  15. Chelsea post match 1-2

    If he is, please don't 'manage' it like they did with Drinky's injury last season. If he needs three weeks, let him have three weeks. Go with Shinj in the 4-4-1-1 or try a 4-2-3-1 without King in the advanced role, where he lacks the creativity, and perhaps with Iborra factored in somewhere. Perhaps.