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StriderHiryu

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StriderHiryu last won the day on 28 April

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  1. Nice read and I love the optimism. I think hoping for a spot in the top 4 is getting ahead of ourselves given that since the title win the highest we have finished is 9th. We should look to lock down 7th and a return to Europe first, something which is not as straightforward as many think it is. However, the crux of the article we all know to be true - we have a great core of players who have improved as the season has gone on. If we could add one or two more players of the Ricardo quality level to the team, especially in attacking positions, we could be in for a very exciting season indeed. I think we will have a good idea of what to expect 10 games into the season. In 18/19 we were 12th after 10 games with a goal difference of 0 as a comparison.
  2. Echoes my thoughts and sentiments exactly. I think that Vichai and co had this dream of us playing a technical brand of attractive football similar that was very European in nature. Something we have of recent start to see take shape. But this was a classic case of trying to do too much too soon and not understanding where we were as a team. The squad we had was not suited to that type of football and I'm not sure that Sousa was ever the sort of coach you need to get you out of the Championship. Some managers have done very well playing a technical style in the second tier, notably Brendan Rodgers, Daniel Farke, Nuno Santos and Marcelo Bielsa. But to do it you either need to "cheat" like Wolves did when they signed players that were capable of playing in the top league like Neves / Jota or to have a coach that has been able to ingrain their philosophy on a young squad over multiple seasons like Farke. Bielsa I think is the outlier whose improvement with Leeds has been incredible to see, but even then they are not coming up which shows just how difficult it is. I do think the lessons learned in moving Sousa and then Sven out of the club and going back to Pearson shows great humility in accepting that the club got their appointments and strategy wrong and were prepared to be humble enough to accept that and fix the issues at hand. Another reason we are all such fans of our owners.
  3. Maguire is a positive character on the pitch. Hard working, doesn't give up easily. Attitude is pretty good for the most part though he does hang his head a bit when he makes a mistake. He's not a commanding centre back but more of a support one, so I'm not sure he's captain material in that sense. Off the ball in an attacking sense he's good, makes himself available and good at reading where to be to help out teammates. Defensively off the ball though he's suspect. I've seen a number of times him being the last man to step up when running the offside trap or being in the wrong position in the build up to an attack, which puts him in trouble. These are moments not caught on TV, but trust me, these incidents are not isolated. Honestly for all the criticism Wes Morgan was getting earlier in the season, whenever I've watched the team it was Morgan who was always in the right position defensively and leading Maguire. Now it's the same but with Evans. I think all of this can be improved, but it's why IMO Maguire is nowhere near the Van Dijk level just yet. Overall Maguire reminds me a lot of Rio Ferdinand when he was at Leeds. He's got the ingredients and just needs to be polished up. With Ferdinand, he got put next to Vidic and the two became arguably the best centre half partnership in Premier League history with 5 titles won and a Champions League. I think he's a dangerous signing for Man U though, unless they also sign Koulibally. Lindeloff is decent but not a commanding type of player.
  4. Not from me, he is actually better right now. But you never know with players like this if they will be able to make the move to another league and adapt as that's always a risk. Just because Ricardo did it, there is no guarantee Telles would. Chilwell has the better potential though. Many teams are looking at the number of sprints per game Chilwell has (highest in Europe for a left back I believe) and probably believe that he can be molded into a truly world class left back. He is also from our academy so it would be sadder in me eyes if we start selling players we took a long time to develop. However, if you lost Chilwell and gained Telles, you might actually have a better team in the short term. Personally I would have thought a much bigger team would be in for Telles. To be honest I am sort of surprised Man City aren't one of them! Ricardo was a player I was 100% confident would be a great player for us. I'd be exactly the same on Telles, he's just a damned good and very consistent player. I felt like we only got Ricardo because of Puel, so unless Telles is secretly Northern Irish I can't see him here! And anyway I'd prefer we kept Chilly tbh.
  5. Let's say there was a deal in place to pay Monaco X amount of money plus Adrien Silva for Tielemans, Monaco would probably only agree to the purchase of Silva as long as they stay up. If they get relegated they wouldn't be able to afford his wages and so he'd come out of the deal and we'd probably have to pay more as a result. So that could be a potential reason for a delay, as well as the French season not being over yet.
  6. A bit off topic, but I just want to say that personally I think it's good that Top doesn't just throw money at the club. Man City won 6-0 today, but it's IMO a hollow victory. Pay the best coach the most money and bankroll him with the best players money can buy = win trophies. That could be any club in the world and any city. Our title win was one of the best moments in the history of all sports because of the way we did it. I am loving the new club strategy and seeing three academy graduates in Hamza, Barnes and Chilwell on the pitch at the same time as we tonked Arsenal 3-0 made me just so, so happy to see. When Barnes scored his first Leicester goal he went mental and I know that Hamza will be the same. That means a lot to me to see actual LCFC fans out representing us. I do think Top will reach into his bank balance at some point, because let's not forget that Vichai paid off all of LCFC's debts as soon as they brought the club. So there is a precedent for it happening as it's been done before. But I am fine with it not being done as long as the club reinvests profits back into the team and infrastructure to improve. And so far they have done it every year!
  7. To be fair one team didn’t bother to turn up. But I agree with what you’re implying. And Man City as good as they are, they are just a club bankrolled to the tune of 1 billion plus over the last 10 years. Personally it’s one of the reasons I really like our strategy of developing players from the academy. If you just go out and pay the best manager the most money and buy him the best players sure you win but you’ve just proved cash is king. Sad to see a score line like this just 3 years after the best underdog story in football!
  8. He’s the sort that I think they’d stick with even if relegated. They are looking to change their style as they were an awful team to watch. Of course they’ll want to stay in the league but this manager strikes me as the type that could really do a job long term. He’s proved it in his last two jobs. That said it will be a major struggle for them next season. Norwich are already better IMO and the Blades look solid. If Villa come up they will probably spend and have a shot of surviving too.
  9. It should be noted that possession football wasn’t a Rodgers invention as we played possession under Puel too. However, it was safety first passing under Puel whereas we are creating far more chances with Rodgers. We start with a better tempo and play with more intensity which ironically was one of the buzzwords of the much maligned Puel. To answer your question properly: - Most of our players are comfortable on the ball and don’t just hoof it. - But we are still often too timid and prefer to play it backwards to safety. The reason we want Tielemans to sign is that he’s our most forward thinking player. He does lose it a lot but equally he’s likely to provide the killer pass. - Some players struggle under a high and fast press. Ndidi specifically has successfully been targeted by many teams. - We don’t always grab control of the game. At our best a combination of Ndidi, Hamza, Maddison and Tielemans run the game. But they can’t yet do it every game. Teams looking to sign some of our players should note this - they aren’t yet the finished product. - Our wide areas are our biggest room for improvement. Mahrez got 12 goals / 10 assists in his last season but Barnes, Gray, Albrighton, Ghezzal combined did not reach those numbers. Somehow the living legend that is Vardy still got 18 goals but if he was given assistance we’d tear it up. Overall though everyone is very excited. I think preseason will help a lot and will expect the team to run a higher press than we currently do after the players are conditioned physically. I expect a new wide player and even if Tielemans doesn’t sign, we know they type of player we’ll need. As a result I’d be disappointed if we aren’t top 7 but it depends on other teams too. Someone might make a “holy crap!” type of signing like Man City / Chelsea did when their new owners came in.
  10. This is a worrying trend BUT a number of the mid table teams were in a transition year: - Wolves had just come up. - Leicester changed over multiple players (Simpson, Okazaki, Fuchs, Kante, Huth, Morgan, Mahrez, Drinkwater all gone or played a much reduced role this season). - Everton brought in a number of new players and a new manager. - West Ham brought in a number of new players and a manager. Of this group, Wolves, Leicester and Everton seem to have the best structure in terms of moving forward and I'd expect all 3 to close the gap. All 3 also did decently against teams above them this season. When we won the title, Man City, Liverpool and Manchester United were all in transition periods. Spurs had a very young / naive team, Chelsea had the dreaded "Mourinho 3rd season syndrome" and Arsenal were, well just being Arsenal. All this meant the door was open and we took maximum advantage. This season it's been the mid table clubs that have rebuilt, and should be stronger next time round. However, if the same gap appears next season too, then I think it's a warning sign that the league is a two or three tier system, which is to the detriment of the game.
  11. Ah but I think our club is aiming to actually lock it down rather than just compete. The Premier League and Champions League are much harder to compete for, but I see our aim as being the English Sevilla, who are always in Europe and sometimes in the Champions League, but never really challenge for the title. We aren't there yet, but I think that's the aim. And it's challenging because there's not much to choose between ourselves, Everton, Wolves, Watford and West Ham as the league table showed.
  12. I think the aims are: - To be a self sustaining club. - To play good quality football that entertains the fans. - To be a competitive team that qualifies for Europe every year (top 7) and is capable of winning the “lesser” trophies. - To develop exciting young talent from around the local area with a clear route to the first team for talented and hungry players. - To continue to give back to the city and make fans proud. I think we are on track to achieve all of this in the next 5 years. And if we do I’ll be very happy. I’ve already seen us win the league so as long as I’m proud of the club and entertained when watching us I’m very content. Sure beats league one!
  13. Surprisingly useful this. Biggest thing for me is seeing Tielemans high on a number of lists despite playing just 13 times for us. We all know he’s good but that underlines it for me.
  14. Looks like he has potential. RB Leipzig are another team that are known for developing youth, but perhaps see their current forwards as settled and can't give this player enough time? Or he's just nowhere near as good as they thought he would be.
  15. Yes you are right, though I don't give Watford much chance to be honest. Though I would like it if they won it! Don't like the Oil clubs cleaning up on the trophies, it just flies in the face of our starting 11 that cost less than half the price of Raheem Sterling and going on to win the league!
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