Leicester going forward needs to copy other role models in European football, look to Villareal and Sevilla

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Leicester are seen as a minor club in England, despite being among the best over a number of years after returning to Premier League in 2014. The club does have a look and shoes they are trying to grow out of, but it all is down to one simple cause, fanbase.

Growing a fanbase is the most important in football, everything else is fake and you will never be major if you don’t have a fanbase mirroring your ambitions.

Continue reading “Leicester going forward needs to copy other role models in European football, look to Villareal and Sevilla”

Puel management discussed, what does the cunning fox say, listening to the local vocal

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The Sun printed a story about owners and their worry of unrest at the training ground, coming from the local vocal, Rob Tanner, the head Leicester City journalist at Mercury, saying this is all strange as owners never talk much to the media

Tanner describes the situation as odd, believing that all that comes from the owners at Leicester City is written in the matchday program and besides that none or very few public announcements are done.

To just fabricate a story about unrest looks odd, and why Tanner just dismiss everything as speculations is a surprise. The reason we just don’t believe this as just a fabricated story is the fact that often such rumors are coming from somewhere and we all know that owners speak to staff and players at times, and that they are surely getting their reports.

Tcf is not involved in the day to day plans of Claude Puel, have no idea of what the owners are thinking or doing and have no relations to any of the players at the club, so this talk is based on what we read between the lines, what we feel is expressed and the talk of Puel himself and his communication.

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The stats and numbers build up around Puel’s performances looks good and his fasit so far is, from last season: 9th in the Premier League, quarter finals in both cups, this season: 10th in the Premier League, still in the EFL Cup and surely not a record for sacking a manager at Leicester City.

The problem for Puel is his home record over the last games, and the end to last season, which was very poor. Goals conceded this term looks totally unnecessary. Puel have a defense far from being a finished article and he looks uncertain about the use of the trio Marc Albrighton, James Maddison and Kelechi Ihenacho, who are switched between positions or left on the bench.

Fans and also local vocal, Rob Tanner, seems to be uncertain about what type of system Leicester City are playing from time to time. To set the record straight, this team is not playing with three defenders in the back and they are still a 4-4-1-1 team, despite being seen as a 4-2-3-1, which it could be, if you like it to be, but that is surely not the case since both flanks are going deeper and not staying up alongside Iheanacho or Maddison in that role behind the top forward. Describing the back four as a back three is also strange, since Amartey and Pereira both looks very much playing to the right, and Chilwell, is a left back and not a left flank, but of course going forward a lot. Morgan or Evans together with Maguire is the two in center, surely a back four. Pereira has been pushed forward and then Mark Albrighton has been moved to the bench.

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All credit to Puel for his awakening of Papy Mendy. The central midfield is working fine. Jamie Vardy has been accompanied by Kelechi Iheanacho or James Maddison in those two roles up front.

See that many websites such as Sky Sports and Soccerway describes Leicester City as playing 4-2-3-1, but that is not the case, they are playing 4-4-1-1, or even 4-4-2 when playing Iheanacho in the team alongside Jamie Vardy. You can argue and discuss this back and forward, but a fact is that when using different type of players you get different kinds of movement, and with Maddison and Iheanacho, it’s like salt and pepper, surely a big difference, but both types needed to balance it right.

Leicester is in transformation, but Puel cannot use Premier League as an arena for experiments and testing, not for long. If he cannot win games, no one will listen to his talk, since football is very simple and fans are going to a game to see their team win, or at least get a draw against a good opponent, losing will always be a dissappointment who ever you play.

If you see a manager after a win, he smiles and looks just like the fan, happy, when losing you get all the complains and explanations about what went wrong and as we all know, winning is everything, you don’t have to explain or complain.

We don’t believe the local vocal, Rob Tanner, in his dismissal of the unrest. We do believe Tanner in his belief that the owners are still backing Claude Puel. Tcf is still in favor of Puel, as Tanner is. As Tanner also says, tired of Leicester City sacking managers. We believe as long as Leicester are in the top half of the table, Puel is fine, so we agree with Tanner in most of his sayings.

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But to say that The Sun have no clue of what the owners might think, is a bit out of line, since why should the national press use space on Leicester City, when there are more and other stories to write about that surely will be of much more interest among football fans and readers in the UK, than using space on a club from a city of no real interest for others than their own people.

The unrest might be entitled to the fact that there are too many players currently on wait to be shipped out, having fantastic contracts at the club that they just would like to see their payments of, and surely no club can give those players the same amount of money as they receive at the moment.

Discipline is also something we would address as a possible reason for the unrest, as we have seen in the past at the club, during the Thai owners reign, with the Pearson affair, Mahrez going on strike and Simpson’s problems in the start of his days at the club. Jamie Vardy also had a difficult time after joining the club, not being able to adapt to the professional lifestyle. As described openly club owners directly dealt with Vardy themselves, and got him on the right track.

Other worries that Puel has been describing himself is the language barrier for newly signed Caglar Soyuncu who has missed his chance to make a first team debut due to the fact that he cannot communicate with other players, not speaking English. That is of course of great worry when used £19 million on a player, who is left out of a team due to not talking a certain language.

Vicente Iborra has said, in an earlier interview, that he had less or no contact with other players besides the training and during games, so surely the mix of the squad, previous episodes and the fact that Puel is himself using an interpreter would surely not be ideal.

The fact that Puel’s decided to replace his closest ally from last season, English speaking assistant manager Michael Appleton, and replacing him with a new French assistant who has not yet given an interview in English, probably also gives you a bit of a challenge in your communication and how you are getting your ideas on board. Reasons enough to see unrest, and adding it all up you might have a picture not ideal for moving a club forward.

Political and historical when All-Ireland played World Cup winners Brazil, former foxes involved!

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Back in 1973 a very special and historical event took place in Dublin, Ireland. An All Ireland team were picked for a friendly game v. Brazil, 37 000 people watched as the World Cup holders won the “friendly” 4-3.

Former fox Derek Dougan, Mick Martin and Terry Conroy scored the goals for the All Ireland team who was named Shamrock XI due to the reason that it was a game not really favored by the FA of N Ireland and with players form their nation in the team.

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So why would Brazil, the World Cup holders go to Ireland for a friendly and play a team that had the name Shamrock IX. This was in the middle of a relatively hard conflict in the N Ireland, but football seldom bows for reasons not part of their own World.

But often as we have seen politics can be used in the opposite way, this time it was really for football political reasons that the game was being arranged. Brazil were eager to get their candidate Joao Havelange elected to get him in as president of FIFA, and to collect votes, a game like this could be good for electing votes.

Another reason was that Brazil had not played overseas since 1966, a World Cup tournament that never ended happily, and to meet the 1974 World Cup in West Germany in the best way possible, they had made a decision to prepare with friendlies being played in Europe a year before.

The Republic of Ireland had a year before been invited to play in a tournament in Brazil were they took part, but the team that the Republic was able to field was probably not as good as an All Ireland team, and then the story told was that former Leicester City forward Derek Dougan and Leeds United midfielder Johnny Giles were given the job to get together an All Ireland team to field forcefully against Brazil, and indeed they managed to find a good mix and blend among professional players playing in England.

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In that squad of players we have mentioned Derek Dougan who was part of the organising comity and at the age of 35 still a player to count at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Bryan Hamilton and Martin O’Neill (previously being in management at Leicester City) at the time players at Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest were also in action.

Other known names to participate was Pat Jennings, Don Givens, the other two goalscorers earlier mentioned, Conroy and Martin. Not to forget former Ipswich Town defender Allan Hunter and Crystal Palace full back Paddy Mulligan.

In 2012 a reunion of that special game was taking place in Ireland were most of the players involved and still living attended and put a mark on that eventful occasion.

Despite this special game 45 years ago, religion is still part of football in Ireland as N Irish born catholic players are invited to play for the Republic, and they are approached, despite the opposite said. But deciding to play for one or another nation would hopefully only have to do with footballing and not political or religious reasons.

The game in itself was the first arranged since 1950, when the full island of Ireland played a united team, and today both nations are quite happy to have their own teams competing and since the 70’s both nations have occasionally been reaching the finals of both World Cup’s and Euro’s. To see two such small nations being able to year after year field good and forceful teams are impressive indeed.



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