It has been demonstrably proven that Leicester City’s form has improved dramatically since he has taken a grip of the reins of the club.
Though it was hardly rocket science, Sven has seen the defence and decided it needed better quality. Simple, he got on the bat-phone and got it sorted. There were those who suggested that a defence doesn’t turn rubbish over the off-season, but clearly something needed to change.
However there are two other areas that quite glaringly need attention. Strikers and goalkeepers.
How we can have as many as strikers as we currently have and we are struggling to hit the target. Is it down to the pressure? Fan expectation? Owner expectation? Simple unhappiness? Motivations and mind elsewhere? In my opinion our strikers are suffering from all of the above. And now it seems written in the stars that we will be shipping at least of these wayward souls out on loan. Is this a wave goodbye or a motivational holiday? I think it won’t be the latter.
What’s the answer? Will there be a player out there in the January window who will have boots made out of pure gold that Sven can convince to come our way? Ishmael Miller, whilst it can’t be argued he doesn’t have quality and the type of player that we need, he also is an injury bomb waiting to go off, even if he gets fit enough to go out on loan. Is Bednar really the only other option out there? I’ve been scratching my head and trying to come up with alternatives, which are within reason. Though we do now operate on the ‘who knows’ with Sven! Anything is possible, but one thing is for sure it will happen. There’ll be no promises with no materialisation. Though there is no room for error and to not meet the expectations of our owners.
January is not an easy window to operate in, and clubs knowing that we have money will try to squeeze us, regardless of our owners determination to spend their way to success.
The second area we are lacking any real quality is goalkeeping. There are those that argue Weale and Logan as backup have got to be good enough. They were good enough last year, and both of them have had impressive games, and certainly saved us some valuable points. Well, it could be argued that most average goalkeepers will do this. Can anyone really say that we have a high-end Championship quality keeper with a decent goalkeeper to cover, or young up-and-coming goalkeeper in the wings? I have been appalled by some of the distribution and most definitely positioning of the boys between the sticks. That’s Weale, Logan, and especially Ikeme. The defensive line has got to work even harder to keep us in the game or keep a clean sheet. We have bossed the back even we are playing away. But we can’t do this for an entire game, and it doesn’t help when confidence is lacking with the keeper.
Weale may well be a likeable character, loyal, and friends with the rest of the team, but he would make a fine back-up. We need a commander in goal. I am unsure that the likely signing of Kirkland will be the answer, unless Sven sees this as a temporary measure until the end of the season. Injury prone and lacking games. But Sven is good at bringing out the best in some players, so maybe he believes he can find the solution and instill confidence in Kirkland, a player who had/still has great potential.
So really it all comes down to a matter of time. Sven can do no wrong at the moment. It seems the criticism is more or less been on the players. Yes, choosing Vassell over Dyer has been a bone of contention for some, but it’s obvious the reason why he is choosing him. He is has far better control of the ball at his feet than Dyer, and can equal his speed. Sometimes Dyer does look like he is ready to flounder the ball to the opposition at any second more often than not. Tactically Sven is getting it right more than he might have been expected with no Championship knowledge of his own.
Those expecting us to win each and every game will be very disappointed indeed, but perhaps a win next week wouldn’t go amiss. I have faith in Sven to make the decisions that will be unpopular amongst fans, but now is not the time for indecision nor sentiment. Change is necessary, and change is a coming.