Crystal Palace 1, Leicester 1, positives and negatives, player ratings, and match report

Brendan Rodgers had signaled that he would consider resting key players for the game against Crystal Palace, but at the same time field a team capable of winning, but with the rotation he decided few or no one would expect almost anything down at Selhurst Park.

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Brendan Rodgers must be said to show great braveness doing so many changes after selecting an unchanged team for the Man Utd game, and it looked as a genius act with a team well balanced and starting positively taking control and command.

Crystal Palace were eager to get something out of this game after a number of difficult results lately and when Leicester missing their chances including a penalty with Kelechi Iheanacho showing fans how you can frustrate us all, tragic attempt and no goals after the first half.

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Leicester again started the 2nd half positively making many attempts but a well placed and lively Crystal Palace goalkeeper (Guaita) making good saves and keeping “Palace” in the game. But it came a bit out of thin air when Andros Townsend found Wilfred Zaha and his finish ended behind Kasper Schmeihel, Palace were 1-0 up.

Despite that Brendan Rodgers had made a decision to change almost the whole team, Harvey Barnes was still in there, and he shows what a quality finisher he is, scoring a great screamer after 83 minutes, and Leicester came close late on as well and could have taken all three.

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Still a few games to be played tomorrow, but with other results going in the right direction for Leicester, 2nd in the table, must be an electric alert to Brendan Rodgers that he must admit and understand that Leicester City is a title contender, and this must be the last and final resting of players this season, he needs to understand that juggling this team around will not win you any medals, just play the team you believe is best on the day.

Jonny Evans kept the team together and again shows his quality playing some of his best football and with a former Premier League and Champions League winner in the heart of defence it’s time to try to go for a top place this season, it’s possible

  • Positives
    • Getting back after again being a goal down
    • Playing a 4-3-3 system, please settle this as you go forward
    • Jonny Evans, fantastic performance, great work
    • Harvey Barnes, don’t drop him again Brendan Rodgers
  • Negatives:
    • Brendan Rodgers not singling out his ambition of taking this team places
    • Strange to see Gray on the field, what type of plan was that, but credit to Gray
    • Kelechi Iheanacho taking penalties, please change that for the future
    • Making too many changes to have a chance to win the game
  • Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6, Justin 6, Thomas 6, Evans 8, Amartey 6, Mendy 7, Praet 5, Choudhury 5, Iheanacho 5, Barnes 7, Perez 6 Subs: Vardy, Tielemans, Gray
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  • Leicester City, Man of the Match
    • Jonny Evans

Match Stats (H/A):

  • Possession: 33 / 67
  • Corners: 2 / 5
  • Shots on target: 1 / 3
  • Fouls: 10 / 7

England international and special defender among hottest targets, despite Rodgers talking down moves in the market!

Brendan Rodgers considers his moves carefully as he decides talking down any hope for fans to see an exciting addition to the squad in January, but there are names circulating and making it difficult to just ignore every talk of a player linked to Leicester City.

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No secret that Demarai Gray and Islam Slimani are considering moves away from the club as they are at the moment playing “academy football”. Christian Fuchs and Wes Morgan are more or less certainties to be out of the first team picture when this season is over, with Morgan set to take on a role at the club and Fuchs moving on.

The club have a number of players out on loan and the light might be out for the likes of Matty James, Filip Benkovic, Darnell Johnson and Josh Knight, with Daniel Amartey slowly returning, but might be seen just as a cover and nothing else, as his career has gone down hill since joining Leicester City back in 2016.

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This should see additions possible with Jesse Lingard being linked, the former England international who is one of a number of Man Utd players to reach full international recognition in the post era of Sir Alex Ferguson, being influential during the 2018 World Cup playing most games reaching the semi-finals. A year later he was part of the squad winning the bronze in The Nation League finals in Portugal. Lingard has fallen a bit out of favor at Man Utd under OGS and lost his place in the England set up but at 28 years of age still a player with a lot to offer.

A number of experts, and also website The Athletic, makes it clear that there might be need for a new central defender as well, and we just have to wait and see, with previous seasons seeing the January additions of Robert Huth (15), Daniel Amartey (16), Molla Wague (17) and Ryan Bennett (20) all being central defenders covering up, with Huth of course the most influential of the pack.

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The key for Leicester City is to keep momentum and hopefully Caglar Soyuncu will be back in full contention, and with Daniel Amartey and Wes Morgan both available it might be difficult to find place for a new face, but looking a bit longer and with a bit of perspective it might be the right time to strike and James Tarkowski playing in a struggling team and with a desire to leave and just a year left on his contract at the season end.

We all know that Braga defender David Carmo is a name that has been mentioned lately, but with him making a long term contract extension until 2025 as late as in November this year makes it difficult to believe that he will just jump ship in January, and at the age of 21 probably better off with a number of seasons at Braga to get to another and more mature level.

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But if James Tarkowski slips there are names out there and great footballers currently “drying” around in other clubs, and names such as John Stones, Alfie Mawson, Phil Jones and Shkodran Mustafi are just a few of them. Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori are two players thirsty of first team football and they are brilliant footballers not really getting a look in at the moment.

We have seen it before, especially with a player like Robert Huth, totally overlooked and written off as a top player, but Nigel Pearson and later Claudio Ranieri made him a key player in teams that had a survival of the most fantastic and later the adventure of the century. The players mentioned above, besides Tarkowski, are all a bit off the radar at the moment, but has been internationals, played at the biggest scenes or been close to a great breakthrough, but in some way lost their “edge”.

In Both Camps; NASL

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NASL had been established a number of years before Pelè arrived, with former Leicester City stars Howard Riley, Frank Large and Tony Knapp among those early arrivals. They played in the NASL during a time when little or nothing was known about “soccer” in the States, appearing for Atltanta Chiefs (Riley), Los Angeles Wolves (Knapp) and Baltimore Comets (Large).

The growing interest of soccer from Pelè’s arrival in 1975, made the import of stars huge and especially English players dominated. This was of course down to the appointments of British managers and executives around in the different clubs and among those great number of arrivals you would find former and Leicester City players to be.

Often stamped as a league recruiting “old” stars, but looking into it with a clever eye you will find players in their teens also joining before returning to England and starting a career around in clubs in England.

Little is known about Dean Smith’s time with Houston Hurricane as a teenager, scoring 6 goals in 17 games, and the fact that Larry May played a season with New England Tea Men before breaking through at Leicester City, but with a modest amount of games playing only 4 times.

Gordon Banks made an astonishing come back in football turning out for Fort Lauderdale Strikers, playing alongside George Best and Gerd Muller and also being in the same team as Teofilo Cubilas and Bernd Holzenbein, and he was “with only sight on one eye” the best goalkeeper in the NASL. Banks also appeared for Oakland Stokers a number of years earlier as the team was established with a number Stoke City players in the side and being managed by Tony Waddington.

Keith Weller also moved over the pond and became a sought after player turning out for New England Tea Men, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tulsa Roughnecks. he also appeared in inside soccer representing Fort Lauderdale Sun. He later moved to coaching and had roles at a number of clubs and among them Dallas Stars and San Diego Sockers.

A number of the players from the Leicester City sides of the seventies made the move over the pond and lengthened their career with games in the NASL. Jon Sammels moved to Vancouver Whitecaps and played two seasons for the Canadian club, also winning the major top trophy, The Soccer Bowl, in 1979. Sammels made 54 appearances for The Whitecaps before moving back to England and ended his career playing for Nuneaton Borough.

Len Glover a glittering winger with Leicester City made the move to the NASL in 1976 and captained Tampa Bay Rowdies, appearing in 32 games, leaving in 1978. Alan Birchenall, Steve Earle, Brian Alderson, Roger Davies and David Nish also played in the NASL with a number of different clubs.

Frank Worthington had two spells in the NASL, first with Philadelphia Fury and later appearing for Tampa Bay Rowdies. Worthington played football in the states in 1979 and 1981. Steve Kember made the move and played for Vancouver Whitecaps as well, appearing from 1980 to 1981, playing a total of 22 games and scoring 2 goals.

Jimmy Holmes joined Leicester City from the same club and one of those players coming back after a time in the NASL, and he was among a number of additions from the NASL during the days of Jock Wallace.  Derek Strickland, Martin Henderson and Alan Lee were all recruited from spells in the NASL. Alistair Brown also had a spell “over there” with Portland Timbers.

  • Goalkeepers
    • Gordon Banks
      • Fort Lauderdale Strikers
    • Stephen Humphries
      • Vancouver Whitecaps
  •  Defenders
    • Larry May
      • New England Tea Men
    • David Nish
      • Seattle Sounders
      • Tulsa Roughnecks
    • Tony Knapp
      • Los Angeles Wolves
    • Jimmy Holmes
      • Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Midfield
    • Keith Weller
      • Fort Lauderdale Strikers
      • New England Tea Men
      • Tulsa Roughnecks
    • Alan Birchenall
      • Memphis Rogues
      • San Jose Earthquakes
    • Steve Kember
      • Vancouver Whitecaps
    • Brian Alderson
      • New England Tea Men
      • Atlanta Chiefs
    • Len Glover
      • Tampa Bay Rowdies
    • Howard Riley
      • Atlanta Chiefs
    • Jon Sammels
      • Vancouver Whitecaps
    • Joe Waters
      • Tacome Stars
  • Forwards
    • Roger Davies
      • Seattle Sounders
      • Tulsa Roughnecks
      • Fort Lauderdale Strikers
    • Frank Large
      • Baltimore Comets
    • Alistair Brown
      • Portland Timbers
    • Frank Worthington
      • Philadelphia Fury
      • Tampa Bay Rowdies
    • Dean Smith
      • Houston Hurricane
    • Martin Henderson
      • Philadelphia Fury
    • Alan Lee
      • Philadelphia Fury
    • Lammie Robertson
      • Chicago Sting
    • Steve Earle
      •  Detroit Express
      • Tulsa Roughnecks

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