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Cardiff_Fox

The "do they mean us?" thread pt 2

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44 minutes ago, Cardiff_Fox said:

Funny given all the negativity by Leicester fans, Racing Post who very thorough and thought out in their season preview say 7th for us. 

Thorough and thought out is as far from this site as the moon mate.

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The Guardian

 

Premier League 2018-19 preview No 11: Leicester City

Claude Puel is under pressure after inept performances at the end of last season and the departure of Mahrez

 

Paul Doyle

Mon 6 Aug 2018 08.59 BSTLast modified on Mon 6 Aug 2018 09.00 BST

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  Claude Puel is expected to deploy new arrival James Maddison at the heart of his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. Photograph: Plumb Images/(Credit too long, see caption)

Guardian writers’ predicted position: 9th (NB: this is not necessarily Paul Doyle’s prediction but the average of our writers’ tips)

Last season’s position: 9th

Odds to win the league (via Oddschecker): 250-1

Many bookmakers list Claude Puel as the favourite to be the first Premier League manager out of the door this season, a ranking that could be taken as something else for José Mourinho to complain about. So when Leicester kick off the new season at Old Trafford on Friday, the stakes will be unusually high. That is not to say that either man is likely to be sacked after one game of this campaign but that both are under singular pressure to start this season well – especially Puel.

The Leicester regime showed last year that they are not afraid to cut their manager loose if an ugly end to a season bleeds into the start of the next one (a variation on a previous theme, whereby Claudio Ranieri was cut looseafter a historically wonderful climax gave way to a bloody ominous start). They severed ties with Craig Shakespeare after only five league matches last season, making no allowance for the fact that those games included meetings with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. It was the right move. Persistent problems suggested no progress had been made nor would be. The lesson for Puel is that he needs his team to demonstrate quickly that they have become more comfortable with his methods than they appeared to be in the second half of last season, otherwise he could be invited to murmur his goodbyes and leave.

 

 

Leicester had initially impressed under Puel and shown signs that they were on course to develop into more than a counterattacking side, but then they lost their way and became less than the sum of their malfunctioning parts. Injuries did not help but nor did they explain fully why Jamie Vardy was so often isolated up front and the defence was porous, with Leicester conceding 60 goals in the campaign, more than relegated Swansea and West Brom. So, what has changed?

Most obviously, Riyad Mahrez has left. That will not as damaging a blow as may be feared if the another Algerian international – Rachid Ghezzal, who joined from Monaco on Sunday for £12m – integrates quickly into Leicester and the Premier League. The 26-year-old winger can be thrillingly incisive when on form but has seldom been consistent in his career to date. He will not share the burden of replacing Mahrez’s creativity alone.

Part of Puel’s brief is to renew Leicester’s team by blending in young players, which he has had a strong record of achieving throughout his career. Accordingly, Demarai Gray and Fousseni Diabaté can be confident of featuring more often than last season. There may even be times when both start in the event of the manager choosing to take Marc Albrighton off one wing. Irrespective of who plays on the flanks, Leicester’s chief creative duties look set to be performed by the youngster likely to be deployed centrally in Puel’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation: James Maddison.

The 21-year-old signed from Norwich City in June after an outstanding season in the Championship has sparkled during pre-season as a central playmaker and looks to have all the technique and cleverness to knit together Leicester’s attacks and improve the service to Vardy. He will operate in a similar space to where the dwindling Shinji Okazaki used to revel, but in a different way as Leicester aim to play more with the ball. Leicester could come to rely heavily on Maddison, especially if Adrien Silva does not improve. That alludes to another key question: is Leicester’s squad both bloated and too thin?

 Claude Puel is the bookies’ favourite to be the first Premier League manager to leave his job this season. Photograph: Plumb Images/Leicester City via Getty

Certainly they have too many players – such as Leonardo Ulloa, Nampalys Mendy and Islam Slimani will probably not make the 25-man Premier League squad if they are still at the club when the transfer window closes but the quality of that squad will remain questionable if further signings are not made this week.

Consider the centre of defence, for instance. Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans should prove an excellent partnership but, when they are unavailable – as is expected to be the case for the trip to Old Trafford, for starters – then Puel may feel obliged to turn to Wes Morgan and Yohan Benalouane. Morgan has been a terrific player and captain for the club but his best years are gone; Benalouane, at 31, is younger and slightly more mobile than Morgan but erratic. Perhaps Puel will put his trust in emerging talent here, too, and give a start to 19-year-old Darnell Johnson, who has looked precociously accomplished during pre-season?

The manager did something similar last season when he promoted Ben Chilwell to first-choice left-back ahead of Christian Fuchs. Chilwell contributed well to attacks but showed he had much to learn when it came to defending. At right-back, meanwhile, Puel has opted for a blue-chip solution, Leicester spending about £20m this summer to buy the Portuguese international Ricardo Pereira from Porto. A fast and exciting player who thrived under Puel when at Nice, Pereira should prove a fine recruit whose arrival pushes Danny Simpson to the fringes. But Leicester could still be an injury or suspension away from having to improvise by playing Daniel Amartey at right-back.

At least Leicester have strength in depth in goal, where the arrival of Danny Ward from Liverpool reduces the dependency on Kasper Schmeichel, meaning that the unavailability or even departure of the Dane might not be ruinous. Meanwhile, even the dependency up front on Vardy might be lessened if 21-year-old Kelechi Iheanacho develops as hoped following a first season during which he looked limited, sharp but not dynamic. There are a lot of ifs as Leicester try to transition from their title-winning team to a fresher and more rounded outfit.

 

At their strongest Leicester could boast an impressive-looking spine: Schmeichel in goal, Maguire and Evans in central defence, the splendid Wilfred Ndidi anchoring midfield, Maddison pulling strings and Vardy skinning defences. Around the edges may flit spry and nifty youngsters. Together they could form an attractive and formidable unit. That is the theory. But Puel was unable to get his players to put that into practice often enough last season and towards the end some seemed to have tuned out. If the manager succeeds in inspiring better performances following a few good summer additions and more time with his squad (the interruption of the World Cup notwithstanding) – and despite the loss of Mahrez – then he will deserve high praise. But the way Leicester limped through the final months of last season means that, if there is little evidence of improvement in the opening months of this season, Puel may be asked to take a hike.

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I'm pleased someone posted that Guardian piece ^^^ as I read it this morning but hadn't seen a link on here to it (before searching just now)

 

Because I found it to be a decent review, nuanced and impressively knowledgeable - as if written by someone that knows us (or has taken the time to find out) and football. As a rule, I find the Guardian quite limited on football and tending to 'over prose' the subject without really addressing it.

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11 hours ago, Dan LCFC said:

I quite rate the guardian for football to be honest.

Which bit, Barry Glendenning chatting shit or everyone else writing flowery nonsense about Jose Mourinho?

 

Also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45087444

 

Apparently we were lucky last season and got 7 points from goals after the end of added time :unsure: is that counting nonsense like Bournemouth, where 6 minutes got added on, they wasted 3 of them then protested long enough that Mahrezs free kick was taken half a minute after being awarded?

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Very balanced view by the Guardian, shows we have reason to be positive and optimistic.

 

However it's still shows that Puel or anyone else has a massive job on there hand to reshape a squad exposured by aging players past their best and a poor couple of transfer windows! 

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Schwarzer and Upson on the debate suggesting if there is a side that could crack the top 6 this season, if they had to pick, they’d pick us :ph34r:  Think mid table is much more likely, but who knows :dunno::scarf:

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12 hours ago, The Doctor said:

Which bit, Barry Glendenning chatting shit or everyone else writing flowery nonsense about Jose Mourinho?

 

Also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45087444

 

Apparently we were lucky last season and got 7 points from goals after the end of added time :unsure: is that counting nonsense like Bournemouth, where 6 minutes got added on, they wasted 3 of them then protested long enough that Mahrezs free kick was taken half a minute after being awarded?

Nothing in-particular, I just think articles they write on football are generally quite decent.

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12 hours ago, Dan LCFC said:

Nothing in-particular, I just think articles they write on football are generally quite decent.

Used to be, but I swear every second article this summer has been about Mourinho losing the plot. 

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I hate Glendenning, he admits he doesn't actually watch much football and it shows. I used to listen to the guardian football weekly podcast but stopped because of him, the totally football show is far superior.

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On 08/08/2018 at 13:28, Stadt said:

I hate Glendenning, he admits he doesn't actually watch much football and it shows. I used to listen to the guardian football weekly podcast but stopped because of him, the totally football show is far superior.

 

Totally Football Show is vastly superior. I quite like some of the guests who cone the Guardian podcast but Glendenning is the most unbearable human being. 

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16 minutes ago, Livid said:

Talksport Drive last night....

 

- “Let’s talk about Leicester”

 

- “They managed to hold onto Maguire”.....ten minutes talking about Man Utd, Mourihno, Their Board...

 

That was it! 

Absolute embarrassment. 

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On 08/08/2018 at 12:28, Stadt said:

I hate Glendenning, he admits he doesn't actually watch much football and it shows. I used to listen to the guardian football weekly podcast but stopped because of him, the totally football show is far superior.

1 hour ago, Koke said:

 

Totally Football Show is vastly superior. I quite like some of the guests who cone the Guardian podcast but Glendenning is the most unbearable human being. 

I don't mind either, but I think The Football Ramble is way better then both of them! 

 

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1 hour ago, Livid said:

Talksport Drive last night....

 

- “Let’s talk about Leicester”

 

- “They managed to hold onto Maguire”.....ten minutes talking about Man Utd, Mourihno, Their Board...

 

That was it! 

Does that tw@ Durham still do drive. No surprise really if it is posh w4nker.

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6 hours ago, Grebfromgrebland said:

Talksport literally talk about man u all day. 

if I was a paying advertiser on the station then I would be fairly happy about that ...........

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On 10/08/2018 at 10:11, Koke said:

 

Totally Football Show is vastly superior. I quite like some of the guests who cone the Guardian podcast but Glendenning is the most unbearable human being. 

A lot of people think this. I'm in the minority ; he makes me laugh. 

 

What is it that gets your back up? 

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9 minutes ago, Line-X said:

City v Burnley (66-67) on Classic MOTD right now BT Sport. 

Thanks Davie Gibson with a lob :wub:

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