Foxes A to Z, John Sjoberg, League Cup winner and Wembley Final appearance v. Manchester United

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A teenage centre-half when he followed Jack Lornie’s route to Filbert Street. John made his initial impact for City’s first team as right back, taking over from Len Chalmers just prior to the start of the 1963 Cup run, and climaxing his first season as a regular with a Wembley appearance against Manchester United.

He was a stalwart of the League Cup campaigns of the next two years (scoring the decisive semi-final goal at Home Park in 1965 and was still shuttling between number 2 and number 5 shirt, with effective case until the arrival of Peter Rodrigues, to hold on the right back position. Settling thereafter in to a central defense position.

His partnership with Graham Cross in the heart of the Leicester City defense was one memorable and John displayed a craggy consistency and imposed his areal mastery on many a first division game. The quality tempted Matt Gillies into giving him a spell as centre forward during 1967/8, but John’s back four abilities were more vital City’s strength and shape, and it was notable that the club’s 1969 relegation occurred in a season where jiggling injuries severely limited John’s appearances, and indeed kept him out of the Cup final line-up. Two years later, he was a key member of the 2nd division promotion side, and took the testimonial game against Derby after championship was secured, attracting a crowd of around 24 000.

During his latter Leicester City days he had started a printer business, and it was to this that John returned after a very brief spell of six league appearances at Milmoor. After his playing retirement John was often seen at both Filbert Street and King Power, until his sudden death in 2008.

FACTFILE: 

  • Full Name: John Sjoberg
  • Position: Defender
  • Date of Birth: 12.06.1941
  • Birthplace: Aberdeen
  • Nation: Scotland
  • Major League Career:
    • 1948-73, Leicester City (336/15)
    • 1973, Rotherham United (6/0)

Links: Pinterest, Wikipedia

Leicester City, Claude Puel, is it all bright on the right side?

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To see todays performance v. Newcastle United it is no fault whatsoever in the way Leicester City goes into the game and easily picks up three points from this event.

Daniel Amartey is playing to his very best, and Tcf has seen him impressive in other games in this position before, especially last seasons performance v. Leeds United in the Carabao Cup, showed promise, but then against better and top opposition he is easilly exposed one to one and falls flat to the floor.

The right side at Leicester City were during the fantastic PL win season two years ago a defensive fortress and one giving the team a great possibility to combine the switch of Mahrez and Albrighton.

Danny Simpson who played most games on right back in that season and also did so in the next two seasons to come, were often exposed heavily, but with Kante covering for a more offensive role of Mahrez and Albrighton switching over, made Simpson so crucial.

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Claudio Ranieri, Craig Shakespeare and Claude Puel have all been sceptic about using Danny Simpson and tried alternative players, but again gone back to use him. Simpson is to date the best right back at Leicester City since the days of Steve Whitworth, so this is really a difficult situation.

Simpson was the one playing at right back in those fantastic wins and showing his best skills against the best players in the Premier League, so far no other right back has managed to do that, and others have been heavily stressed against the best clubs.

We surely believed Ricardo Pereira was signed to build on  the standards of Danny Simpson, and when he was seen as “finished” that Pereira would be taking over the job. The big surprise is to see Daniel Amartey covering the right back position.

Amartey (23) has in a way been retrained to fill the right back, since he at FC Copenhagen and for his country Ghana was or is used in totally different positions, covering the central defender or defensive midfielder role, places that also Claudio Ranieri used him.

Amartey could of course grow into this position and in the last two games against two weak teams, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United, he has been playing better, but without almost no pressure, and not exposed or threatened much by the opponents.

Would have loved to see Marc Albrighton in the team, up on the right flank or to the left switching as he did a few years ago, and Tcf believe that Leicester City are better with the former Aston Villa flank midfielder in the team.

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Sadly, Claude Puel disagrees, using Amartey, and Pereira further up in the field. The problem is that as we predicted, Pereira is not adaptable to defend against the best teams in this division as we all could see against Bournemouth. Amartey is not adaptable to be an attacking right back and surely sitting low and just like Simpson, not showing enough in the offensive part of the game.

So then why is Danny Simpson not used in every game, and why is Amartey a preferred choice in front of Ricardo Pereira, this upsets balance in the team and makes it a problem. Pereria, Diabate and Ghezzal are all players brought in by Claude Puel, what is the real purpose and what was the grand plan, to build a squad or peak a first 11?

All credit to Claude Puel for the performance v. Newcastle United, but without using Marc Albrighton and Danny Simpson, the way the team is composed at the moment, it’s difficult to see that this is the master plan for the long term future.

We are all happy with a great win away at St James Park, but hopefully January will see the players needed signed to bring in the right balance to the right, and please ship out those you don’t need anymore. Can’t see the pattern with Ghezzal, Albrighton, Pereira and Amartey ambulating and switched from game to game.

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We all could see against Bournemouth how the back positions were exposed, how difficult things became for Chilwell and Pereira in a game against a team that put pressure on the Leicester City defense. How stupid Morgan and Maguire looked when they tried to solve a problem with a two man defense.

Would have loved to questioned Puel about his right side strategy and what his plan is to cover this crucial part of a team and system. This type of rotation between so many players in two positions that surely are crucially important to keep steady and well build.

We are all looking forward to January to see if this will be taken care off or if Puel will switch and twist, sorry, cannot see a central defender such as Daniel Amartey being a right back when the going gets tough and the tough gets going.

Newcastle 0, Leicester 2, positives and negatives, player ratings and match report

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Leicester came up to St James Park as favorites for todays game with a good run of games under their belt. Newcastle and Rafa Benitez has a bit of a crisis and were also without their top target man Jose Rondon.

As always Tcf is not in line with the team selection of Puel and as we had predicted Wes Morgan was back, partnering Harry Maguire, who had been under a bit of criticism, had his rest against Wolves, and was back to his very best.

Pereira was pushed forward, giving space for Daniel Amartey at right back and today against a team like Newcastle, Amartey functioned as an alternative to the right, but again Puel has a bit of problem with the right back position.

The game was relatively open in the first 30 minutes without really being a very entertaining affair. In the 30th minute Harry Maguire went up for a challenge in the Newcastle penalty area and a handball from Yedlin results in a penalty

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Jamie Vardy is the preferred penalty taker and he converts, City are in the lead. Vardy’s shot is down in the left side corner and it’s a good penalty never really any doubt about the outcome. Leicester controls the situation and goes into half time with a secure lead.

Newcastle looked pure, just pure, during the game and it’s easy to see that Rafe Benitez is struggling to find a solution, and again not able to put almost no pressure on Kasper Schmeichel and Leicester City during 90 minutes.

2nd half is again very much Leicester City and to see the team in this way is great, 59 % ball possession and really tearing Newcastle apart. The 2-0 goal was a beauty from Harry Maguire going so high in the air that you would think he would come down again.

James Maddison’s corner is also perfect for Maguire to hit, high above the birds, and so well placed that the Newcastle goalkeeper Dubravka has no chance to save it.

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Leicester dominated this clash after 2-0 and full control as earlier said against a Newcastle team without spirit, but that is not Claude Puels concern. To see this team today, not as Tcf would have seen the line-up, is encouraging and all credit to Puel who shows that he was right in his team selection.

No one is wrong in selection when you win a football game, and as long as Claude Puel win games, then no one can complain. When you win 2-0 away and also have more possession than your opponent, you are immune.

The defense today looked solid and especially the partnership between Wes Morgan was one working well, but again this Newcastle team was weak and without any striking power at all, looked totally toothless.

  • Positives:
    • Winning away is always a bonus, great credit to the manager and team
    • Maddison and Maguire running the show, great performance
    • Vardy scoring from the penalty spot, good taken penalty
    • Keeping a clean sheet, solid defensively
    • 12 points, just three points behind a top 4 spot
    • Puel a bit out of the pressure zone, hopefully he will get things right
    • To keep possession and also scoring goals is showing solidity
  • Negatives:
    • Knocks on Vardy and Maddison, hopefully nothing serious
  • Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6. Amartey 6, Chilwell 6, Morgan 7, Maguire 9, Mendy 7, Ndidi 7, Vardy 7, Iheanacho 6, Maddison 8, Pereira 6, Subs: Albrighton, Iborra,

Match Stats: H/A

  • Possession: 41 / 59
  • Corners: 5 / 9
  • Shots on target: 3 / 3
  • Shots wide: 2 / 4
  • Fouls: 10 / 5
  • Offsides: 1 / 0

 

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