inckley fox

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inckley fox last won the day on 31 January 2015

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  1. There have been scandals concerning King Power in the past, so it's not necessarily anything new. How the change of king affects this, I don't know. Hopefully there's no case to answer. What worries me is that - while £300m isn't a huge amount for them - if anything came out of this then it might be the first of many problems, rather than the beginning and end of their woes.
  2. I don't have an endless well of sympathy for Ulloa because he didn't handle the episode at all well. In fact, it's hard to think of many examples of a Leicester player being that petulant. I agree that the lack of a new deal is probably the source of frustration. Plus, I know that footballers are over-paid and spoilt, and that we shouldn't shed a tear for anyone who's on £30,000 a week. But the sad fact is that we're all paying supporters of a business which tends to pay those sorts of wages. It's all relative. And footballers will feel many of the same frustrations we feel in our professions, whether you get paid a grand a month, ten grand a month or ten grand a day. I get paid more than truck drivers, but that doesn't mean I moan less, work harder or sit idly by when there's a pay rise in the pipeline. We allowed some players to end up on vastly over-inflated wages while others were left out. King got a new deal, Ulloa didn't. Mahrez ended up putting in half-assed displays on a reported £100,000, Ulloa sat on the bench (reportedly) earning less than half of that. Whether we like it or not, that sort of thing is always likely to cause problems. But I'm not sure we're right to be focusing on money as much as we are. As far as I can recall, his complaints were (i) That the club told him that he should stay because they weren't going to buy a new striker, which they then went on to do. (ii) That he'd been led to believe that he could leave for a specific amount, and when that amount was offered the club reneged. (iii) That, at his age, the priority is playing time - and if he can't get it at Leicester, he'd prefer to leave. As regards (i), none of us could possibly know whether Ulloa's version of events is right. If that conversation did take place, then whoever made those assurances to Ulloa is clearly to blame. As for (ii), again, we don't know whether Ulloa is telling the truth about the promise. I'd hope he could see why we turned down an offer from Sunderland, but there may have been other offers. In Ulloa's defence, this 'gentleman's agreement' isn't the only peculiar promise referred to by wantaway players in recent times. So we can't discount the possibility that someone has said something they shouldn't have. And with regard to (iii), I think this is a reasonable concern for a player of his age. He did well for us - top scorer one year, scorer of some of the most important goals in our history the next - and he decided that, if he's not a priority at Leicester anymore, he'd prefer a new challenge. His public hissy fit, on the contrary, was not acceptable. But, without wanting to go too far down the road of likening his profession to any other, we've all thrown hissy fits - about money, broken promises, ambitions, whatever. Thankfully a moment of behaving like a spoilt brat doesn't mean you're a lousy worker. It just means you're a spoilt brat.
  3. I agree that having Pearson back could complicate the dynamic. If the board are prepared to work with him again, wish to consider him as a future option for Leicester (and if he wants to play ball too) then perhaps he could have a chance at their new club in Belgium, should that proceed. I don't think I'd look beyond that, not unless Shakespeare were pushing for it. I'm not sure how bad he was with the media, thoug. Many very, very abrasive top managers 'get something from their media contact' too, even if it looks awkward. I think, for his part, that he used it to help foster a 'siege mentality' at the club. At times I wonder whether the media darlings really use the press to their advantage. Take Ian Holloway, for example, who was full of wise cracks but let slip that he thought City may already have the points to stay up in 2008.
  4. While there's a chance I'd prefer not to take the risk. With Arsenal coming up (and Spurs, Man City etc.), a win for both Swansea and Hull could pull us back into it.
  5. It might sound a bit 'civil libertarian', but I don't see why we have to react to everything we dislike by banning it. I'm not sure you should infringe on freedom of speech, or of the press, purely in order to damage something which you consider immoral. The Sun is powerful because people aren't educated enough in, say, politics to dismantle what it's saying. But you could say pretty much the same about the Mail, Express, Star, Mirror and so on. In fact you could also say it about our main political parties. Look at the Brexit debate and try to pull apart the lies of Boris Johnson on one side or George Osborne on the other. I agree that a newspaper has a theoretically essential role in a free society, and that what The Sun does puts the press's role under the spotlight to an extent that people trust politicians more than they trust those who are meant to keep an eye on them. I see that this is dangerous. So I'd understand lawmakers making a stand by saying that when an article is found to be misleading then an apology of the same dimensions, in the same place in the newspaper, and for twice the duration, is an obligation. In other words, if you lie on your front page then your next two front pages will be an equivalent apology. Such a move would change practices because for a month or two half of the newspaper's prominent pieces would be apologies. In its own way, it would serve to educate readers. But you have to hesitate before you ban something. Just because I despise The Sun, or The Mail, or The Mirror, doesn't mean I have to support authoritarian measures in order to make my point. Even when it slags off Leicester City...
  6. I see what you're saying, but is he the sort of person we need to be ruthless with? If you clear out Wasilewski, Mendy, Musa, Kapustka, possibly Ulloa, perhaps even King and Slimani, and if you lose one or two others, then we'll be grateful for players who can continue to grow into the side while newcomers bed in (and others, as is always the case, don't). Amartey, naturally for a 22 year-old playing his first full year at this level, is still learning. I think he's done enough to be allowed to continue to do so. As far as midfielders go, I remember Robbie Savage's first season was pretty unspectacular (when he was 23-24), as was Gary Mills' (at 27 or so), or even Gary McAllister's. And a lot of people thought we should get rid of Drinkwater for next to nothing just a couple of years ago. So Amartey may continue to progress, or maybe he won't, but I'd be happy if he were to remain part of our plans.
  7. I think a lot of our players are limited. Wasn't that what made our title win so spectacular? Lots of guys who played a perfect, precise part in a team unit, regardless of their apparent ability. He might have his limitations too, but he's held his own in the side at times this season, and he's seven years younger than the average age of our starting eleven. I think that requires some degree of patience. I also don't believe that his performance today, when he was far from one of our worse performers and was playing only his second full league game in the right back slot, and in a weakened side, is a fair motive to use against him. As for what he offers, well, his distribution stats all season long have stacked up favourably against King, Mendy and Drinkwater, including for forward passes. He's strong, he has good interception stats (if not anywhere near Kante or N'Didi levels), and would appear to be fairly versatile. His attitude is good too, which counts for something when you consider the questions which have been asked of some of our players this season. If you're looking at our roll call of fringe players and wondering whether they can come in and do a job, or maybe more in the future, he compares positively with many of the others.
  8. I don't think so - I was explaining why I don't think he should be loaned out. I think you were saying the opposite!
  9. I must admit, I thought King was an obvious weakness in our side whenever he featured ahead of James in the Championship. When he's afforded space in the centre of midfield, and when there's little pressure for us to pressure the opposition, he looks tidy enough. But most of the time he doesn't cover anything like the ground which a player of his limited capabilities needs to cover at this level. Nor did he, for a lot of the time, at a lower level. I've been unimpressed by Drinkwater pretty much all season, but I felt King left a lot of work for him today. I don't know whether the stats support that observation; but 'distance run' can, of course, be misleading anyway (12km at a low speed vs. 11km at high speed etc.). His lack of application surprised me, actually, because you'd guess that whoever it is that's plotting our future squad development wouldn't have had Andy King at the fore of their plans, and this might be one of his last opportunities to change that. All told, I thought that he - like Chilwell, Benalouane, Amartey, Gray - was a case of a fringe player failing to take his chance today. But I felt that his failure, there at the heart of a midfield two which needs to press, track and intercept constantly, was more costly than many of the others. I know the CM queue isn't a long one, but I think he should be moved to the back of it.
  10. He's played his third or fourth full game as right back for the club, the first in the PL for around a year, and after most of the season in a different position. He's 21, 22 - a couple of years younger than Kante was when he arrived in CM, and six or seven years younger than Simpson when he arrived (with a fairly unspectacular CV) at right back. For a fair part of the season, when we were looking poor, he was rightly keeping King and (for a short time) Mendy out of the side, and at times out-performing Drinkwater. You only have to glance back at our 'player ratings' on the History section to see that he was often one of our better performers. Yes, Kante and N'didi have done much better, but the poor form of other key players - whether it was down to muddled planning on the manager's part or not - had a far bigger part to play in our troubles than Amartey's shortcomings. Today showed that we lack effective cover in a few areas. Left back was one, though I suspect Chilwell is in the process of learning the role. CB was another. In CM I thought King was woeful, lacking anything like the sort of application which a person of his capabilities needs to offer. And Slimani scored and put himself about but didn't - understandably, of course - provide the sort of link-up that Okazaki does at his best, and which is central to our game when we're playing well. A shaky first five minutes aside, I don't think Amartey was anywhere near one of our bigger problems. As such, if we're looking to add more in the way of effective cover for next season, and players who can grow into the side, learn and gradually replace some of our veterans, then loaning Amartey out would be a terrible move. He's the sort of player we have to continue to integrate into the side if we're serious about having a long-term plan. And I continue to be surprised by how keen some people are to jump on the guy's back. I'd never claim for one minute that he looks like a world-beater, or even necessarily a world-beater in the making, but people have been wholly unreasonable where he's concerned. For years we used to talk about 23, 24 year olds like Stef Oakes as 'ones for the future', hanging on to forlorn hopes that they'd somehow make the step up. Why we're so impatient and dismissive with Amartey, I'm not sure. I hope it's not for the obvious reason that he was, in terms of the starting eleven, the initial replacement for Kante and, therefore, people have confused him being much worse than the world's best defensive midfielder for him being ****.
  11. I'm not sure why this is being talked up so much. I've been in Spain for the past few weeks and it's noticeable that the rhetoric from their politicians has been very calm, and - until today, at least - it's been very hard to see any sign of conflict in their press. For instance, you couldn't find any mention of Gibraltar on the El Pais website yesterday, and even the more Conservative El Mundo (which tends to talk up the Gibraltar issue more) had it as a minor item. Their Foreign Minister was interviewed yesterday and said he preferred the idea of a 'Soft Brexit' and very quick agreements in place with Spain to protect workers from the respective countries. Hardly anyone was mentioning Gibraltar at all. Indeed, over time I've noticed that it's very rare that the Spanish and the British are both talking about Gibraltar at the same time. Even today, the rhetoric is quite calming by Spanish politicians ('we don't understand why the British are getting so heated'), and there's a sense of confusion as to why people like Howard, Tebbit and the English press have talked this up so much, and so aggressively. If you look far enough down the articles in our press, there tends to be an appendix which says 'the Spanish haven't actually pushed for sovereignty to form a part of the negotiations', simply because the appetite isn't there right now for this sort of dispute. It seems to me that it's a very conscious decision on the part of some of our Conservatives to make this more of an issue than it is and (knowing how politicians can encourage media to focus on one story over another) I have to wonder what it is we're distracting attention from. Either that, or this is our negotiating technique. And if it is, it probably shouldn't be.
  12. So you're in the 'let's go and get ourselves relegated because we're a bunch of miserable, snivelling traitors' camp, are you? Is it possible to be a fan and hold that opinion at the same time? I'm not saying you're wrong to do so, but it sounds like you've arrived at a point where you're no longer a Leicester City supporter.
  13. I think I've put plenty of blame on them, and for many of the reasons you mention. You keep saying nobody is criticising anyone other than Ranieri, but it seems to me that there's plenty of criticism, some of which may be justified, of the players, the board and especially Rudkin. You just appear not to want to acknowledge it. Is anyone really arguing that the blame lies purely with the manager? Surely most of us agree that this is all a horrible business, and very unfair where Ranieri's concerned. What some of us are adding to that is that, in actual fact, you can understand the logic behind the board's decision. That's obviously not right. Clearly Ranieri was in a position to go to the board and request that people in certain positions be hired / fired. Do you truly believe that he didn't have that sort of sway in the aftermath of the title? He is known to be skeptical about psychologists and has spoken to that effect. Way explicitly indicated that it was Ranieri's explanation for his dismissal that he would have liked to have heard. It's easy to see that the manager had a pivotal role in this decision, whether it's relevant to our current plight or not. When it suits you, you tend to suggest that Ranieri wasn't to blame for x, y or z because his remit didn't extend to this particular matter. We can't be sure how great a role he played, for example, in transfers. But every so often I see someone excusing Ranieri of all responsibility for our errors in the market. And yet he confirmed more than once that he had the final say, and we know that certain targets were initiated by him. As for the pre-season programme, he may or may not have neglected to exercise a veto. We don't know how far-reaching his powers were, though I think it a little unrealistic to shield him from criticism by playing the 'someone else had that job' card. If he was so totally impotent, why would we need him here anyway, when his only remaining function was - if we're to follow your line of reasoning - to be betrayed on a weekly basis by the players, at our expense? There's no reason to deny the obvious truth that he had a big mandate this season, made some very big calls, and got enough of them wrong to be sacked.
  14. Journalists are writers. They love tragic heroes, traitors, villains and victims. The angle on this story was a no-brainer for them: Ranieri had been betrayed. Of course there are pundits who buy into this and others who are too daft to understand the ins-and-outs, the shades of grey rather than just the blacks and whites, of a story like this one. And there are vested interests too - managers, for instance, and people who would actually enjoy the symmetry of Leicester going down. But you could clearly see their angle when Rob Dorsett, one of the most frequently incorrect sports reporters I've ever known of, was chasing Ranieri's car down the road - "Do you feel like you've been stabbed in the back, Claudio? Have you been betrayed?" None of these people actually care about what's best for Leicester, what will keep them in the top flight. That's the board's responsibility. They care about what sells, which is fairy-tale dreams-come-true, perhaps with a dastardly act of treachery thrown in for good measure. We don't actually know what has happened. We can see that players should be doing more, but it's hard to know whether that's down to self-belief, confusion at tactics or sheer laziness. We do know that Ranieri made some decisions which, especially with the benefit of hindsight, were unwise. We know the board did too. But we don't know whether there was serious dissent, and if there was, we know little about how it manifested itself or how justified it was. If Schmeichel, our player of the season so far, was worried and stood up to be counted, then that could as easily be a good thing as a bad thing. So why should we be swayed by any of this? Why would any true fan wish to pick the side of our greatest ever manager over our greatest ever set of players, or our greatest ever board? It's right to be devastated at Ranieri's exit, but it's totally wrong to fall for the fairy tales and tragedies spun by the sports press.
  15. No, that's not what I said at all. I said 'the first' to be held accountable, in terms of his job. Managers are the ones held most accountable for results, and the ones who more often than not pay for it with their jobs. That's not to say that other people aren't held accountable. Players are dropped, disciplined, put in their place, listed, moved on etc. In the summer we'll see more of that. Backroom staff are, and have been fired. All I'm saying is that managers tend to pay the price first, because boards don't fire themselves and you can't dismantle an entire first team (and second team, because that couldn't muster a performance for Ranieri either) and coaching staff in the middle of a season. But no, at no point have I called for Ranieri and Ranieri alone to be held to account, nor suggested that he would be the only one. In fact, Top's statement seemed to imply that this wouldn't be the case. I have no idea where you've got the idea from that this is my viewpoint, because it can't be from reading what I've actually written.