Leicester City made for greatness, but can they become a sporting force

After a delightful 2-1 win at home to Tottenham, with a group of Leicester City players that looks, in play, better than I have ever seen before, not forgetting Mahrez, Kante and other greats from the past.

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Of course every club needs to rebuild and slot in talent season in and season out, but when you need to find replacements, because you sell of your best players to your competitors then you have a big task in front of you, not even a magician can manage.

During the 2015/16 season Leicester City managed to keep momentum with no one really believing that the club would go on after the January transfer window and nick the Premier League trophy out of the hands of Arsenal and Tottenham that were the closest four years ago.

The talk of no one able to chase Manchester City and Liverpool is of course something that will change in a season or two, and it could be that Leicester City, if they are able to hold on to their best players and to build on them could be in that group of challengers, alongside Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United.

But how will Leicester City be able to grow into the club that will be able to compete, they need to be much more clever and also build their brand so strongly that players get more attached and would love to stay, instead of as Brendan Rodgers say seek for glory where you always will find it, at those “bigger and better”.

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The performance against Tottenham Hotspur and also against Manchester United shows how much “strength and talent” this team have, and by building this group even stronger together, we certainly hope that fans will not again be let down by players that wants a move away and seek their glory elsewhere.

We have seen it all before, just when you believe that you were going places, one big star leaves the club and momentum is trashed and managers does the obvious mistake to buy quantity instead of quality as we have seen with so many managers, faulting and using money like “drunken sailors”, believing they will manage to get it right.

Peter Shilton and David Nish both left Leicester City for record transfer fees back in the 70’s. The Nish move to Derby (£225.000) was a new English transfer record and Shilton became the Worlds most expensive goalkeeper when signed by Stoke City. Mark Wallington and Dennis Rofe were both great replacement, but fairly never reached the importance and quality level of Nish and Shilton. Nish and Shilton were two of Englands most talented players, Nish captaining, as the youngest ever, and Shilton as a 19 year old, both being part of a 1969 FA Cup final team, and later establishing Leicester City as a steady team in the top flight. Shilton came close to a new FA Cup final with Leicester in 1974, losing that semi v. Liverpool after replay. Jimmy Bloomfield managed to keep the ship floating and creating good entertainment, but had to sell and find bargains to keep it alive.

When Gary Lineker and Alan Smith left the club in the 80’s, it wasn’t the same, nor was it when Gary McAllister departed with the club not really challenging for trophies at the time, but when Emile Heskey left we had seen a team under Martin O’Neill rising and rising winning the EFL Cup twice and playing in Europe, and had single wins away at places such as Old Trafford and Anfield. Emile Heskey was a key player, but when Heskey left, O’Neill jumped ship as well, and everything went into a total mess.

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Going into present time we have seen a bit of the same. Claudio Ranieri took Leicester City to the top of the Premier League and really the club has not been able to build on that great season, seeing players such as Kasper Schmeichel, Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, Danny Drinkwater, N’Golo Kantè and Harry Maguire all either being sold or heavily exposed and triggered by clubs that themselves had outrun with 10 points and more in the Premier League. Leicester City were just in the starting blocks to an adventure in the Champions League which with Kantè in the team would have looked totally different, could have won it and sailed on, why is that not better than moving somewhere else.

Looking back at previous “minors” that has taken the step from winning the league to also do the same in Europe, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa did just that. Both clubs managed to keep their best players and build on their league title win and also winning in Europe, while Leicester City has not been able to do that, as they have let key players leave, and by that falling down instead, despite seeing a good run in the Champions League, being the best English club and reaching a quarter final, as Manchester United did this season, but was seen as a disaster instead of a good achievement, that is how things can be so different with goals far from similar.

The chops and changes that has appeared in the last seasons after that fantastic Premier League win, with more than a billion pound being thrown out the window in wasted transfers, this is now hurting as Leicester City cannot compete and buying £30million plus players without selling some of their best, and if this continues, not even a clever manager like Brendan Rodgers will be able to cope with that.

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To see the team perform as they did against Tottenham and also dominating the game at Old Trafford and with Caglar Soyuncu, James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira and Wilfred Ndidi really showing fantastic ability and all of them under the age of 25. You also have the two Belgians Dennis Praet and Youri Tielemans who possess great quality, and everything looks perfectly in place.

To see James Maddision linked to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, makes you really sick, and it sends out a signal that they can just go out and “pick” our best and destroy any hope to see this club again winning a major trophy. Despite never being compared with Ajax of Holland, Leicester City is a similar club being clever in recruitment and nursing forward young stars, but when the “building looks finished” bricks start to fall out and you must start to fill in new bricks that often takes time to get to fit, it’s a sad affair really.

We certainly hope and are convinced that this Leicester City team as it looks at the moment will and can “go places” and nothing can stop this train from moving fast forward, at least this season, but to see our best players constantly being tempted and triggered by other “brands” and “badges” is just sickening.

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The new training complex, the expansion plans of the stadium and the close area, looks as if things are going in the right direction, but with the most important part, the best players, not yet convinced of the idea to stay instead of jumping ship, you have doubts all the time, which taps out energy and will create uncertainty, which in itself is bad.

Of course it’s ok with interest from other clubs, but as long as this is just interest and admiration, no one will complain, the scary scenario is to see this as an ongoing idea to sell the best players, which in all will stop a manager from wining anything, or just getting a trophy by poor luck.

TCF love Leicester City, but sadly realism strikes you so often, and you can of course support other clubs, but would rather be tempted by the idea to watch penguins in a zoo or go fishing in a lake.

 

 

Leaving Leicester City for a former Chelsea great and Dr. Constantin

Leicester City have parted company with young left back Alexandru Pascanu. Not much noticed in the English press with a minor fee paid by Romanian club CFR Cluj for the players services. The manager at Cluj is former Chelsea great Dan Petrescu, and they play their home games at the Dr. Constantin Radulescu stadium.

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Pascanu has been a steady choice for the U.23’s and done well during his progress in the Leicester City Academy. “Alex” moved from Romania to England with his parents at a young age and his talent for football was early spotted.

The tall 20 year old can also play as a central defender and also used in that position on international duty, being picked 3 times for the U.19 and during his fast progress being capped on 15 occasions for the U.21. He has also been in the full squad at times, but not yet made his debut.

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Sad really to see such a growing talent leave, but Leicester City cannot keep them all, with talent flourishing at the club and probably more exciting players to progress from the U.19 team and with this possibility to join CFR Cluj, a top team, with Europa League football to look forward to, makes this an exciting move to follow.

This is the harsh life of football, you have to see a number great young prospects leave, and Brendan Rodgers might not look at him as a first team alternative at the moment, with Ben Chilwell and Christian Fuchs in front and also James Justin able to play in this position.

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The new club of Pascanu, CFR Cluj is a steady performer in Europe, and often seen in the final group play of the Europa League. Cluj is a City with a population of around 320,000 citizens, located in the northern western parts of Romania. The 4th largest City in the country and the club play their home games at a stadium named after a legend of the club and the city.

Watched Pascanu on a number of occasions and he is a talented player, we wish him well on his new adventure joining a club that Lars Hirschfeld represented from 2008 to 2009, playing five games, four more than he did with Leicester City.

 

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