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Boro v Leicester
 

Boro v Leicester

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Selwynoz
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BORO V Leicester City

Riverside Stadium

3.00pm, Saturday 11th November, 2023

2.00am, Sunday 12th November, 2023 (Sydney time)

 

It has been fascinating to see the different approaches that have taken by the various authors of the previews. When I wrote the Southampton preview, I was attracted by their transfer activity in recent years and that led into the article. Other previews have roamed far and wide from a decision to investigate the history of our opponents shirts, to information about the town or the seductive quality of mountain-climbing and it is getting quite intimidating to have to follow such great stuff.

When it comes to Leicester, I believe that most of the readers of the blog are well aware of Leicester and their recent successes in winning the Premier League in 2015/2016 and the FA Cup in 2020/21. You do not need me to go over this well-trodden ground except to underline that this recent record of success at the highest level does, of course, make everyone ask the obvious question; ‘what the hell are they doing in the Championship?’ There may be some interesting answers to this question but I do not really see it as relevant to our match and, instead, I have decided to dig into this match from three different viewpoints: -

1.       Leicester’s squad, how good is it, how has it changed from last year and how should we put their start to the season into perspective

2.       How are Leicester playing and what can BORO do to best give themselves a chance of getting something from the Leicester game and, realistically, what should they be trying to achieve.

3.       What is the relationship between the Premier League and the Championship and how should that be approached by clubs hovering between the two

However, having said that I am not going to dwell on the past, there is one element in our history with Leicester which still tears at my soul even after 26 years. I am, of course, referring to Sunday April 6, 1997 when Emile Heskey stole the League Cup from us. To allow us to move on to current events, I am just going to borrow a brief extract from Wikipedia which succinctly describes the game as follows

The 1997 Football League Cup Final was played between Middlesbrough and Leicester City. The first game, at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 6 April 1997, ended in a 1–1 draw after extra time. Fabrizio Ravanelli opened the scoring only for Leicester's Emile Heskey to equalise in the last minute of extra time. Heskey was fortunate to be on the field, having committed what was a bookable foul on Boro captain Nigel Pearson after already being booked. Leicester won the replay, and their second League Cup, in the game played at Hillsborough Stadium on 16 April 1997 with another extra-time goal, this time from Steve Claridge.

Given that most of the readers of this blog are ‘of a certain age’, I apologise for bringing up the annus horribilis of 1997 but almost any encounter between two sides brings up echoes from the past and it is hard not speculate on what might have happened if we hadn’t lost two Cup Finals and been relegated on an unfair points deduction. This final was the first foot to fall – assuming that you can find an appropriate comparison with three feet. The main comfort is to remember that a League Cup Final victory was in our future and now this year we can look forward to a pre-Christmas quarter final with a trip to Port Vale standing between us and a place in the semi-final.

Leicester - The squad, the summer changes and their first fifteen games

Plenty of people are saying that Leicester has the best squad ever seen in the Championship. I’m not going to go back years to check this out but I will set out some numbers that show how strong the squad is. Again, I am using Transfermarkt and apologies again that the figures are in Euros. However, 1 Euro = 87p so it is getting nearer and nearer to 1:1 which will make it easier for comparisons if not for shopping on holiday (unless you happen to be one of our Europe-based bloggers). In fact, as I am heading to the UK for Christmas, a declining pound should save me a few bob….if the Australian $ can stop going down as well.

Transfermarkt today (or last week to be precise) values the current Leicester squad at Eu252 million. Included are the following players at Eu10 million or more.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall  30m   Most valuable in division
Wout Faes              20m
Kelechi Iheanacho      18m
Wilfred N’Didi         18m
James Justin           16m
Patson Daka            15m
Callum Doyle           15m   Loan from Man City
Cesari Casadei         12m   Loan from Chelsea
Harry Winks            12m
Harry Soutar           12m
Ricardo Pereira        10m

This is a pretty impressive group of players with masses of Premier League experience but it gets even more overwhelming when you add in the following players valued between Eu5.00 and Eu9.00 million

Stephy Mavdidi         9m
Conor Coady            8m   Current England squad
Dennis Praet           7m   Current Belgian squad
Mads Hermansen         7m   Current Danish squad
Yunus Akgun            7m   Loan from Galatasary
                            Current Turkish squad
Issahaku Fatawu        6m   Loan from Sporting
                            Current Ghana U-23
Hamza Choudhury        5m
Danny Ward             5m   Current Welsh squad
Daniel Iversen         5m   Ex-Danish squad

I could go on to list the ex-internationals who, whilst valued at lower levels (Vardy, Vestergaard to name just a couple), would walk into most Championship squads. So, how does this rank them?. Well, here are some comparisons

1.       The next highest valued squads are Southampton at Eu218.8 million and Leeds at Eu204.9 million.

2.       The most valuable of the non-relegated teams are Norwich valued at Eu73.05 million and Sunderland valued at Eu71.00 million

3.       Middlesbrough are ranked 7th at Eu66.75 million. That means that Leicester’s top three players are said to be worth more than our whole squad and they have 16 players valued as equal or more valuable than our top-valued player, Hayden Hackney. Some good news for us is that one of our next most valuable players according to Transfermarkt is Sam Greenwood, at Eu5.00 million. That Pds1.5 million option looks to be pretty good value.

To round up their finances, over the summer they received transfer fees of Eu106.05 million (Maddison, Harvey Barnes etc) and offloaded from their salary expenditure five highly paid players (Tielemanns, Sayuncu, Amartey, Perez and Jonny Evans). Their expenditure on new players was only Eu43.6 million plus the salary cost of four incoming loan players (who have a current market value of Eu40 million).

So, what has this squad of stars delivered? So far, in their first fifteen Championship games they have W 13 L 2 F 29 A9. They have also won two Carabao Cup games before going down 3-1 to Liverpool. Even with their loss to Leeds on Friday night, 39 points out of a possible 45 is the best start ever in the Championship in its current structure. Second and third are Sheffield United (05/06) and Bournemouth (21/22), both with 37. Worth pointing out is that Ipswich will move to 38 points out of 45 and second spot all-time if they win their game in hand against Rotherham.

Leicester have won their first seven away games and no team prior had even won their first six. If they were to continue at this pace they would achieve close to 120 points. The current record is Reading with 106 points in 2005/2006.

You will also notice that they have conceded 0.6 goals per game and never two or more in one game and are one goal away from scoring 2.0 goals per game.

My conclusion is that YES, they have a fair claim to be the best squad/team ever to play in the Championship and have up to twenty players who would be playing for any other Championship team. However, there are some interesting angles for us to look at.

Leicester – how do they play and what should BORO do against them.

Leicester has a first-time manager Enzo Maresca who comes from the ‘Guardiola academy’ of possession football and given that pedigree and with so many quality players it would seem reasonable to expect them to have a lot of the ball. It is, however, interesting to look at the three games that they have lost; Hull and Leeds in the league and Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

The game against Hull seems to support the possession theory and looks like the classic ‘smash and grab’ story. Leicester had two-thirds of the possession and 21 shots to Hull’s 7. However, out of those 21 shots, only one was on target. Hull scored with a deflected shot.

The game against Liverpool seems to have been a different pattern. Liverpool had 57% possession and 29 shots to just 4 from Leicester. The Leicester local reports say that Leicester tried to play out from the back and fell foul of Liverpool’s very effective high press. Maybe that suggests one way to approach Leicester; press them as they play out. However, basing your approach on Liverpool may not be the wisest course and we know that there is a big risk doing this as once the press gets beaten the pressing team can be very vulnerable to teams who carry the ball well. Leicester are full of those. We also know that Boro are susceptible to players driving through their midfield. The prospect of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and others running wild is not a pleasant one.

My suggestion is to consider another approach and, surprisingly enough, we have the evidence of the QPR game. Ainsworth-ball may give a hint to a vulnerability. In the QPR game, Leicester had 79% possession but only 16 shots with just 5 on target. QPR with just 21% possession managed 9 shots with 3 on target. To give a feel of the game, Leicester completed 762 accurate passes to just 142 by QPR. Did anyone say windscreen-wiper football?

These numbers give a hint that Leicester are not quite as potent in possession as their stats suggest. Are they perhaps susceptible to the kind of tactics that Coventry or Millwall have used against Boro? In support of this, I found an article in The Athletic that was published last week, before the Leeds game. I’m attaching the link below and am hoping that everyone can open it. I tried at home with different email identities and it seems to work. Please let me know if it doesn’t.

https://theathletic.com/5002004/2023/10/28/leicester-defence-excellent-press/

This article suggests that Leicester’s strength comes from their ability to defend rather than their ability to score and they do this by exerting a very strong high press even to the extent that central defenders such as Vestergaard can be seen pressing midfield players deep in the opposition half. Using this method – which is not a million miles away from Pep’s tactic of winning the ball back as quickly as possible – Leicester force teams to play close to their own goal and vastly reduce the chance of conceding goals. Here is a quote from Maresco.

“(The press) is not just about the defenders,” he said. “We changed for Southampton. You can see in all the games that we have played since we are always trying to press high and play in the opposition’s half and to recover the ball there. We haven’t had to drop deep often but when the opponent is good, we need to drop and be solid and defend.”

So, what does this mean. We know that Boro like to play it out but can be vulnerable to losing the ball and having a team run at them. Is this a game in which we try to ‘play our way’ almost as if we are taking an exam to see how good we are. The alternative is to bypass the Leicester press by waiting for them to push up and then playing longer balls into the channels. This is not our usual style but may turn Leicester round. Of course, giving away possession will make it harder for us to score and we must ask ourselves what we want from this game or, more importantly, what we feel we can realistically achieve.

I wrote this paragraph last week and we now have the evidence of their second home loss to Leeds, last Friday night. Leeds are a very good team as can be seen from their position in the table and the value of their squad. However, they too chose to play some ‘rope-a-dope’ and sat back when Leicester had the ball. They created a Millwall/Coventry style mid-block and very rarely allowed themselves to be caught in possession in such a way that Leicester could use their powerful high-speed counter-attack or their high press to win the ball in dangerous positions. The result was a game in which Leicester had 65% possession but only 1 shot on target (9 off target) and that was a header from a deep cross in the last minute of added time. Leeds managed 6 shots on target (5 off target) from some carefully selected forward moves.

In fact, both sides had extremely good wide players and because of the Leeds low block and the Leicester press, midfield was congested and so the battle between the wide men was key. Leicester were forced wide but do have two real live-wires in Mavdidi and Fatawu and Boro have to find a way to cope in an area that has not always been one of our strengths.

 So, do we want to see how good we are in midfield or do we want to play more carefully in the hope of upsetting their rhythm. To put it another way, do we believe that Hackney and the rest of our midfield can hold their own against the quality that Leicester can put out. I’m interested to hear what people think but there is clearly an option to play it conservatively – at least in the first half - and then see where we are. Maybe even start with a three at the back, three in midfield and wing-backs to give some cover in the wider spaces.

Relationship between Premier league and Championship. What is our target?

Leicester’s domination when put together with Leeds in third and Southampton in forth does seem to underline the strength of the relegated sides. They have much more valuable and deeper squads and must be considered favourites for promotion. However, Ipswich who have a squad valued at only Eu35 million are playing brilliantly and have the second best start ever to a Championship campaign. In fact, there appear to be different factors at play. Watching squads struggle at the start of a season is an illustration of the dangers of having too much squad turnover. Ipswich, on the other hand, have maintained a lot of their squad and they appear very comfortable playing under the instruction of a top-class manager. Whether they can maintain this pace will be evident as we get into the tough winter months but we should not forget that they have had the benefit of a full season playing together to hone their system. What would happen were they to get promoted is another question.

On the other hand, we should also be aware of the terrible results of the promoted sides this season. Everyone thought that they might struggle but not to this extent. Last time they were promoted under Chris Wilder, Sheffield United surprised everyone. This time round they have 4 points. Burnley have the same. Luton are one point better with only Bournemouth currently keeping them company. Is this another example of the Norwich/Fulham approach which involves not overspending, banking parachute and other income until a club is strong enough to make the jump and hang on. Luton seem to be following that pattern and maybe it makes the most sense for them to repeat the yo-yo a few times.

A bigger question for me is whether there is any fun in being one of the five worst sides in the Premier League. Is that what the supporters want or is it always a case of saying ‘this time we’ll make the transition and become a successful Premier League side”. To put the question another way – would we prefer to win the League Cup or get promotion?

There are some questions here to be considered but, coming back to the Leicester game, what is the consensus. Are we good enough to take them on or do we practice defending and counter-attacking?

I’m thinking of a 0-0 draw but I’d love to see us do better.


Powmill-Naemore
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No need to feel intimidated Selwyn, that is a superbly well structured and thought provoking  starter. Well done.

I don't want to rush into responding to your thoughts here, I just wanted to say thanks for a great opener before I forget to! I'll have a think for now and write my thoughts in a day or two.


   
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Site Creator
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Selwynoz, You certainly spoiling us with a bumper preview and I look forward to reading it later but noticed the tables hadn't come through - probably because you followed my instructions to paste your article as text (I think the new algorithm of the Forum software is doing things differently than it used to so I'll need to look into it more)

Anyway, I've edited your tables so they display properly using the Html PRE tag, which keeps spaces and uses a monospaced font (i.e. each letter is the same width)


   
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Er, Emperor's new clothes & all that, shouldn't it be Saturday, 11th November?  😉


   
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Site Creator
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@stircrazy 

 👍 Amended

From experience, it's often the last thing you do where the mistake creeps in - I recall working as a graphic designer many years ago spelling the name of the company I worked for incorrectly on the spine of a book. It was the last thing to do before sending it to the printers and after a long shift everyone had gone home so it wasn't noticed until they all came back in boxes - that took some living down!


   
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Selwynoz
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Topic starter  

@werdermouth 

thank you for tidying up. It was a bit hard manipulating the tables. 

utb


   
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Selwynoz
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Topic starter  

Posted by: @werdermouth

@stircrazy 

 👍 Amended

From experience, it's often the last thing you do where the mistake creeps in - I recall working as a graphic designer many years ago spelling the name of the company I worked for incorrectly on the spine of a book. It was the last thing to do before sending it to the printers and after a long shift everyone had gone home so it wasn't noticed until they all came back in boxes - that took some living down!

Oops. One of my favourite possessions is a fully published edition which has on its spine ‘The Hutchback of Notre-Dame’. Everywhere else, the title is correct. Somebody must have carried that can.

 


Site Creator
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Finally had time to read your preview Selwynoz and have to say it's a very high-quality piece with excellent analysis of Leicester's squad and their style of play.

It should be our toughest game of the season so far - well probably of our season since we recovered from our worst start ever as before that it was hard to see us winning a game.

If the best plan is to press Leicester's defence then I'm not sure if Coburn and Crooks are the kind of players who can do that effectively. I noted against Plymouth that Boro rarely pressed as a team and as they were also a side who like to pass it out from the back they had little trouble in evading the few attempts of closing them down.

I feel Boro will need their best passing players on the pitch if they are to keep the ball and create chances. It would be for me Hackney and Barlaser in Midfield but they need the full-backs to offer them an out ball - that's why Dijksteel should finally get his start.

Boro can't rely on just Coburn to hold the ball as he'll be no doubt quickly closed down if we play long. Jones will need to be on his game and if Greenwood plays then he will need a 'home' performance for a change.

Although, my main worry is that sides that run at Boro will get chances and if Leicester have some of the best forwards then it's hard to see a clean sheet on Saturday.

So Boro will need to be at their best to have a chance but if Leicester are at theirs then maybe not three points this weekend.


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@selwynoz 

Just opened the iPad tonight whilst going to bed !

 

All I can say is WOW !

Brilliant stuff will come back later with comments when I can read the text properly!

OFB


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@selwynoz.   Same here, just to gone to bed and reading your superb, informative Headliner. Lots of work and effort to turn this out. Thank you so much.

As for the game, well nearly six days to go. So lots of time to think about how we can suppress and hold back the probable onslaught from Leicester.

Can we really have any confidence of keeping the conceded goals below two or three at the least, after the last two league games. Not really. I don’t even expect OFB to be overly hopeful. 🤣


   
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Selwynoz,

A veritable masterpiece, brilliantly well done but I do think that I need to read it again to absorb the facts and really appreciate the research. Excellent. I do feel that if Leicester are given the room around the outside and edge of our penalty area that Plymouth were allowed we'll struggle badly, very badly. Anyway, now to read it again with a cup of tea. Thank you!

UTB,

John


   
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Selwyn,

Just to echo everyone else's response that you have produced a superb leader. Well organised, very thorough and with enough detail to keep us all absorbed until the big game. Thanks so much for all of your hard work.


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Right 

my mind is totally focussed on the Saturday game against Leicester.

I’m going to say a 2-2 draw and keep my 🤞 fingers crossed !

The team has to be changed before the game. I’m not alone in thinking that Dijksteel needs to be playing at right back. He has skill and I think Jones likes playing alongside him.

Batlaser or Howson? I thought when we signed Barlaser he would become a regular but to be honest I’ve been disappointed with his performances. He possesses the ability to play forward balls into dangerous areas but his corners are dreadful. I expect Howson after a weeks rest to resume his place in midfield alongside H2.

An unsung hero this season has been Paddy at CB alongside Dael. I’ve been impressed how much of a calming influence he has been in the team.

I like greenwood and think he is improving in every game that he plays for the Boro. I do expect MC to make him a permanent signing at the end of the season.

I’m pleased that young Josh got on the score sheet with either one or two goals it doesn’t really matter as it was his presence that caused the goal in the first place. I expect him to retain his place.

It will be a big test on Saturday for a lot of the Boro squad to see how far they have come.

When the transfer season opens we all know what we need. A striker amd a midfield player in the mould of Leadbitter who can lead by example and another defender.

OFB

 


Martin Bellamy
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Great work @selwynoz - as comprehensive a starter as anyone could hope for. 

Like you, I share fears about a season in the EPL if we ever make it back, but for now we all want to see us up there challenging for a promotion place. If Boro get any points from this game, then we have to acknowledge that MC has got more coaching skills than he was being given credit for a few weeks ago.  

I suspect most of us would take a draw on Saturday - a win and we’d be over the moon. 


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@Selwynoz.  An excellent and frightening starter, thank you.  

Frightening due to your figures showing just how big the gap has become between EPL teams and those that have been in the Championship for a number of seasons. 

No I don’t want to be a bottom EPL team and all that that will entail but if you don’t make the jump up to the next level then you have no chance of progression and may ultimately slip down the Championship.

Based on our last three games, I can’t see past anything other than a comfortable Leicester win; our defence has become porous again and we are not defending as a unit, which we managed to do for a few games but have since reverted to type.

If we continue to play as we have for the last three games then Leicester will drive a coach and horses through our midfield and defence; MC will need to come up with something different tactical wise but we are still waiting to see if he has that in his locker.

Saturday will be a big test in more ways than one.😎

 

This post was modified 7 months ago by K P in Spain

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@k-p-in-spain 

I think that our striker is at last showing the value of professional coaching of the top class. He has played to instructions at the cost of a few goals, but I think we will benefit from the finished artical in the future. I note that several Good sides are not able to get a goal late on in games against teams that form a barrier across their goalmouth. This is every weekend. We had the Match won, but we were too proud to put two men on the goal line, in addition, our keeper was off his line during this shutout, both goals would have been saved easily by a man on each post, and or, the keeper on his line.   


   
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Martin Bellamy
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@plato A genuine question. Do you think JC should be taking penalties? Personally I think he’s under enough pressure, without piling that responsibility on to his shoulders.


   
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An absolutely superb opener, Selwynoz. Full of insight and detail - you’ve clearly put a lot of effort into that for us to enjoy. Many thanks.


   
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jarkko
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@selwynoz A brilliant read

 Unfortunately I had time to read it only today. But definately worth the wait.

I think the previews over here are better than in the current newspapers.

Well done to all contributers. Up the Boro!


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@selwynoz -   You have nothing at all to feel intimidated about.  That was a very thought-provoking Starter for Ten.  Maybe the thing to feel intimidated about is not the pieces to prepare for this Blog but the quality and confidence in the Leicester City squad which Boro will face this coming weekend. I don't suppose the reverse against Leeds United will necessarily derail the Leicester express but we will see soon enough.  Maybe more later in the week...


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Congratulations Selwynoz on an excellent opener, as far as Saturday is concerned I don’t think it will make or break our season as the majority of teams will be beaten by Leicester and, as we all know, we could beat Leicester then lose to Shef Wed such is the championship. I do agree the performance is the key, whether a win, draw or defeat going into yet another international break.

Come on BORO.


Pedro de Espana
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@original-fat-bob    What would we give to have another Leadbitter, especially when we did not pay a fee for him.

However, when you say, add another defender, are you thinking, RB or CB, as we have two LB's who it looks may be adequate in this division, especially if MC can improve them.

I have been vocal around the defence as have others, but I am still not convinced the midfield offers enough protection in front of the former. We currently have Fry, McNair and Lenihan, when he is fit. Plus VDB, bought as a CB, but not yet played any minutes in that position. How good will he be? And finally we have the bench warmer Clarke, who also has not played any minutes, anywhere this season.

Do we think any of the last two will be better than the former three? Do we actually need a CB?

At RB we have lost Smith, probably for this season and next season a year older. MC at this moment appears to prefer VDB over Dijksteel, even with his obvious limitations. So is the defender OFB thinks we need, a RB? One with some pace, passing ability, able to cross a ball, oh and defend. 

I am not as up on player abilities as some on here, so have no recommendations to make. Saying that, may be the Recruitment Team have!!

Of course, what players we bring in, will be very dependant on how close we are to the top six and realistically what chance we have of breaking into it. Possibly only loan deals.

 


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Pedro

I was thinking of actually trying to re-sign Ryan Giles who hasn’t played since he left the Boro.

The number of goal scoring opportunities he created was amazing !

And of course someone to stick it in the net !

OFB


Clive Hurren
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We’ve had many brilliant starters on here over the years from Werder, OFB and Andy, and this season from a wider field of contributors, but yours was one of the very best, Selwynoz! It’s brilliantly researched, thoroughly entertaining and very informative, especially about Leicester’s squad and their style of play. Take a bow! 

Like several of you, I’m worried about this game, as our defence appears to have gone back into porous and generous mode over the last three matches, Exeter included. I think we might find Leicester too strong for us unless we tighten up. There will certainly be goals. Let’s hope we get at least as many as they do. 

I’m not sure how Carrick approaches this one. Does he change tack, set up defensively and seek to absorb pressure? Or does he stick with his usual attacking philosophy and seek to take the game to The Foxes? Either way, we could be on a hiding to nothing. My gut instinct tells me attack is the best form of defence against a very good side strong in possession, and I rather think MC will stick to what he believes in. One thing is certain: we’ll need to get stuck in and give little away, and we’ll need everybody on his best form. We’ve done it before in cup games over recent years - think Spurs and Man United - so if we adopt that kind of mentality, we might have a chance of getting a result. 


Selwynoz
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Topic starter  

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments. I was rather carried along on a tide as I started writing it and it just grew.

A number of people are suggesting attack as the best form of defence and saying that Leicester are good with the ball. I’m not saying that this is wrong but there is evidence that the type of possession makes a difference to how Leicester play. The suggestion from other games (Leeds in particular) is that they may be better counter-attacking than having a lot of the ball in their half as they try to pick apart a solid team. Under those circumstances they tend to go to their tricky wingers and that may be where we will be more vulnerable…hence my suggestion of a back three with wingbacks. We have players who can play that way and then perhaps morph into a more attacking style with substitutions. It would also work with a back four but then the wide players such as Jones and Greenwood will have to do a lot more work in defence.

it’s really hard to know. I’d like to see us slice them apart with panache and quick passing but it could be a nervy watch.

UTB

This post was modified 7 months ago by Selwynoz

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@selwynoz 

There's a tremendous amount of insight on this thread and especially on your starter about Leicester's style of play and how we might stand a chance of overcoming them.

I certainly have no pearls of wisdom to add, except to say that I particularly like your description of how you'd like it to turn out - 'slice them apart with panache and quick passing'.

Yes, that's definitely the picture I'll hold in my head, at least till 3 o'clock on Saturday. Slice them apart with panache and quick passing. Slice them apart with panache and quick passing. Slice them......

This post was modified 7 months ago 3 times by Peter Surtees

Martin Bellamy
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@peter-surtees In the words of Corporal Jones, “Don’t panache, don’t panache…”


jarkko
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@martin-bellamy You refer to one of our "legendary" goalkeepers of the past?

Or dad's army or similar ... Up the Boro!


   
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Martin Bellamy
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@jarkko Good spot - I’d forgotten about our erstwhile shot stopper having that sobriquet.


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@original-fat-bob    out of curiosity I looked up RG game time at Luton.

He started the first two league games against Brighton and Chelsea and played the 90 minutes in each.

He started the game against West Ham and was subbed after 71 minutes.

He then came on as sub against Wolves after 78 minutes and also as sub after 89 minutes against Aston Villa.

He also started against Gillingham (60 mins) and Exeter (90 mins)

That is out of 11 EPL games and 2 Carabao Cup games

Not a lot of minutes. However he is reputed to be on 30K a week. I cannot see that happening.


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