Early days for Ademola Lookman as he enters the clubs records of loan players, and so far promising but also a bit of a difficult time at the club since he arrived, so we will not judge him as we look at previous loan players as we did see a recent article on the LCFC website about the football clubs first ever loan signing, goalkeeper Brian Williamson joining from Nottingham Forest, playing seven games in 1967, winning two losing five and letting in 15 goals and keeping only one clean sheet. A player that came in to cover for Peter Shilton who was out with injury, not really rated highly by foxes fans at the time. Williamson was 31 years of age while playing for Leicester and had a past at Leeds and Crewe before moving to Forest.
The next player on the list was also a goalkeeper joining i December 1974 from Stoke City, John Farmer. Farmer, as Williamson, had no luck in goal for Leicester as he appeared in two league games, covering for an injured Mark Wallington, both defeats v. Everton and Middlesbrough and he never appeared in League football again, getting injured and returning to Victoria Ground and shortly after signing for non-league club Northwich Victoria.
The next player to appear in our update is Gerry Daly who appeared on loan in the 1982/83 season and had a significant impact on the team and performances as he helped Leicester to a promotion. He scored 1 goal in 17 performances, and in those games Leicester did only lose once, 9 wins and 6 draws. Everyone hoped that the Eire international and former Man Utd midfielder would sign a permanent deal after being a key player in the promotion race, but it never happened and he returned to Coventry.
The season after Leicester also had help from a loan signing, Peter Eastoe, appearing 11 times and scoring 2 goals as Leicester tried to find their way to cope with top flight football. He first had a short stay in the 1983/84 season and returned for another time in 1984/85. Leicester did manage to keep their place in the top flight in both seasons so must have been a player to rate as doing his job and seen as ok, but not on the level for Gerry Daly’s performances.
In the 1986/87 season Leicester brought in John Buckley from Leeds. John Buckley played five games with only one win in those, and shortly after his last game in May 1987 returning to Elland Road.
In the next seasonEmbed from Getty Images
The change was major also in front of that next season with Kante, Fuchs, Gray, Amartey, Dyer, Benalouane and Okazaki all brought in, Konchesky, Wood, De Laet, Kramaric, Cambiasso, Hammond among those in that last game moving out just a few weeks after or in the following season.
Claudio Ranieri came in, had a look at it all and decided to play in a 4-4-1-1 system, bringing that look and unforgettable team to life as he did his genious act in changing the system and finding this line-up, Schmeichel – Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs – Drinkwater, Kante, Mahrez, Albrighton – Okazaki – Vardy.
You had an end to one season that was brilliant a number of changes during the summer with a new manager also introduced and the next move worked fantastic as Leicester went on to win the league.
So why was Claudio Ranieri so eager to change everything during the summer, brining in that football that we all have heard should be the correct way to play, but the only correct thing to do is to play a type of football that wins you titles and football games.
TCF is a grand believer in continuity and building football teams from the back, and without a steady defense and a top class goalkeeper you will never be able to win anything. We do believe that drilling a back four or a back three is very important and that training sessions and of course game continuity will see you as a winning team over time.
To chop and change systems might be a fancy way of dealing with opponents and sometimes it works, but that is more of luck than of hard work as we have seen teams drilling systems and getting the right players in to fit your system, is the most important.Embed from Getty Images
We all remember MON playing three in the back and five in midfield, and with probably a weaker team man to man against a number of opponents the system will help you to get the advantage and to have a man more in the midfield area has never been a bad idea if you like to use the system as an advantage.
We know that training should be a mirror of the game and you should drill your system and the roles in that system with millions of repetitions as you prepare for games, to throw that over and just bring in a new system will be a gamble and upset your daily work in training.Embed from Getty Images
TCF is in favor of Brendan Rodgers and fully support him as the manager for Leicester, but his approach towards the system to play and how he tends to change this from game to game, is something we don’t like as you have to drill your players to perfection in a system to get it to work is really a shame.
When you build up your squad and you drill players in certain positions in training you cannot change as players will be wondering what is going on. TCF don’t care if Leicester play 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 as they are the basics. You have a number of different other combinations but they come out from those four ground systems not splitting up the defence, midfield and attack as they are the three basic areas in football.
We did like to see Leicester in a 4-3-3, it was fantastic at times in 3-5-2 and also playing 4-4-2, in the way we did win the league as one of the forwards was a player that worked fantastically and made 4-4-2 a hybrid 4-4-1-1 but in real a simple 4-4-2 with one of the forwards going deeper to help.
It’s always interesting to juggle with players and systems as you see them, but we would like to see Brendan Rodgers building his team and squad around a basic system, if not he will upset his squad balance and just make players frustrated as they will not understand the real purpose for the job to be done.
If you build a squad for 4-3-3 you need two players to cover, if you like to play 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 you need another set up. today Leicester do have a squad for playing 4-3-3, and then if you play differently you will just have too many players in areas you probably don’t need them much.
Harvey Barnes is a typical example so is Marc Albrighton as they are players that fits perfectly in certain systems and would be totally out of the picture in others. Playing 3-5-2 both of them will be out of a job, as they are not flank players suited for that type of system and you have two players lost on long term contracts not really fitting the style.Embed from Getty Images
If you decide on a 4-3-3 or a 3-4-3 both of them would have the ideal job up front on either side alongside a loan striker. Playing 4-4-2, Marc Albrighton would be ideal for a flank position with the cover a full back behind him. That is so vital when you decide on systems, that the players available are perfectly fit to fill the role in the system and not falling out of the structure.
At the moment the squad of players has a base that makes it diffiuclt to see the total of it and to juggle both system and players do not really bring success, so please settle a system to play before it’s to late.
With all of the players fit it would be interesting to see if Brendan Rodgers would try to play 3-4-3 as Nigel Pearson did in that great escape season, but again a very difficult system to get to work.
Would not be affraid to play Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy together as the two are so well fit together and then to use Harvey Barnes, Ayoze Perez or Marc Albrighton up there in the three makes it difficult to see how Ademola Lookman and Patson Dake would get any time on the field.
Lookman and Daka are both highly talented but to just leave Perez, Barnes and Albrighton on the bench might be a tall order to call. Brendan Rodgers needs to take action, decide and prepare both his squad and team on the way forward as the messy situation at the moment just upsets everyone.