I always seem to be apologising for my lack of writing with some lame excuse. It truly has been some time since my last tippety-tap on the keyboard related to Leicester City Football Club and the sharing of my unqualified and probably unwanted views.
If you’re interested since my last foray of self-indulgence and cry for attention, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my second child being brought into the world through the fine efforts of my wife.
The day that we went for the scan, we parked in the hospital car park, and were stepping out of the car, Kasabian’s ‘Club Foot’ came blasting on the radio. I took this as a sign that it was going to be boy. This small omen was indeed true. I knew that I was indeed going to be passing down my infatuation with all things Leicester City to my unfortunate unborn heir.
Now that was many, many months ago, and he was born in to the world early June. Our first transfer of the season. <cough>
So there you go, only two weeks after he was born I unfortunately had to move house, so I had another excuse to not sit down and culminate my thoughts and assertions on last season and the season’s expectation ahead.
So do I have a sufficient excuse for parlaying my musings, and making further rubbish videos for, what seems my own amusement? I don’t think anyone else is losing sleep, not like I currently am!
Season of the Twitch
I have to say that last season for me was exceptionally cruel. I felt that the exercise that Pearson was putting in place to cut down costs and still fight for a playoff place was always going to be difficult one. High earners who on the books were actually harming and stifling our chances of not only last season, but this seasons transfers.
Pearson pared back the team to bare bones, with the 2nd smallest team in the league.
Our last minute push into the promotional places was a surprise to me. Lady luck graced us for once, and we crept through on fortunate results going our way.
Reflecting back on the turning points of the last 3 seasons, it seems that we have always been one kick from putting our demons and bad luck behind us. Each of these more devastating than the last.
La Folie des Grandeurs
So leading on to our current season, a minority of our fans had us written off before we even kicked a ball, and felt justified within 20 minutes of our first game against Middlesbrough.
From all forums and mediums came the negatives, and the further calling for Pearson’s head. Justification for their all-summer braying? It seems that once the game finished there was an eerie silence. After a few days of hiding, slowly they came out to evidence that it was only one game, and that indeed we’d be shite the next game. 90 minutes proved nothing.
Well to an extent this is true. Our broadcasted display against Leeds last week was certainly nothing to crow about, but a defiant display by Leeds, well organised, and set out to both disrupt and nullify our new formation worked a treat for them. McDermott is no fool, and a decent manager. Whilst they stopped us from making chances, equally, and more positively we did the same to them. If we can achieve this against the teams in the coming season, who on paper, have exceptionally strong squads we might again push for the play-offs at least.
Cutting the Cloth to Suit the Wardrobe
So it looks as though, with the transfer window slowly closing we are not going to be doing much business. It’s clear the FFP rules have hampered our ins and outs, and we’ve downsized our wardrobe, which was being put together with allen keys and a rusty monkey wrench last season, to the distress and dismay of some, and seemingly the breakdown of others this summer.
Suit You Sir!
Our owners have brought in Terry Robinson as Director of Football. Terry’s remit hasn’t been made clear by our owners, by Terry, or anyone else at the football club for that matter.
I suggested a very long time ago that the best transfer, at that time, was to bring in a DoF to the club, (see here for my thoughts – All I Want for Christmas ), so as a bridge from the owners down to the manager, as someone with experience in that role, who had successfully performed in that job, could reap rewards for us. I had suggested David Dein, who had left Arsenal, had a done a tremendous job at that club, a lot of contacts, and had instilled an ethos that, whilst it could be argued hasn’t still yet provided Arsenal with a glut of silverware, it has made them a profitable club, with which in my opinion has the right balance of business and football.
So has Terry been brought in to deal with the transfers, and leave Nigel to handle the coaching and the on-field strategy and preparations?
So many questions are being asked to whether this is something that Nigel can work with, agrees with, or is happy to allow. Some of his interviews regarding transfers of course, as usual have been exasperated affairs, but when pushed has suggested that ‘he’ll have to wait and see’. So does that mean he’s no longer got a say in who in the squad should remain or are key to the team’s success this season?
Why haven’t we heard from our Director of Football yet? Will we hear from them? Do we have an idea of what their plan is, what the strategy will be?
I think we can all agree that the club has a bit of an issue with its communication. As the aforementioned club plans, to a manager who to an extent finds it a clear chore to speak to local media, and more national outlets too?
The club’s website is both untimely for a great deal of communication (see the Monaco friendly debacle).
The fans, in my view are demanding, in this day and age, a more up-to-date roll out of communications.
I don’t think I expect or want to Pearson to spill the beans on his transfers targets, or give away formations or strategy in interviews, or the club to post daily updates on what’s being served in the club canteen, but an improvement on the existing, or non-existing comms would help not hinder its rep amongst fans, even those in the minority whose vocal negativity can be hear the loudest.
I’ve been a reactionary over the last season or two, and especially during the off-season. What I have been reacting to though hasn’t been the team, it’s been the minority of fans, who are determined to try to pull the rest of those with optimism down to their negative levels.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with criticism or comment on the team or manager, or the club for that matter, as long as it’s constructive, and actually based on some degree of either common sense or extraction of emotion from the analysis. I won’t point out examples of these, but to say that some have been both distasteful, and utterly moronic at extreme points would be an understatement. Then you have the trolls. But you’ll know who these are if you read various forums, and use twitter, to know that these individuals need this attention to fill their vacuous and empty lives. Paying them any attention at all, biting their hook, just fulfils their sad wish for notice.
I’ve said before that I’ll question Pearson’s methods, and comment critically where I think it might be justified, and again on individuals or team performance, but only when it can be constructive. We as fans will need to be even more together in a strong and exceptionally competitive league.
We have more or less the same team that we had last season, give or take, and the statistics show that last season we barely chopped or changed a thing, which of course, I suspect we’ll be following that trend. A small compact team, with a bit of experience behind them together as a unit, makes us a stronger team this season, not a weaker one, just because we haven’t made 11 transfers in and out.
No Money No Problems?
I have optimism that with the current squad we can still maintain momentum given that we settle into our new formation, and can mix it up when needed. Yes, I’d like a couple of players in to provide us a bit of depth, and Shane Duffy, who we have be linked with on loan, would be a good start, as we are suffering from a blight of injuries at CB, and with a long season ahead, some astute loan signings will definitely make the difference. It was obvious from last season what the protocol would be, and the loan market would need to be leant on for us to try and compete. Pearson’s backroom team have a good eye for talent, and we’ve shown that loan players can succeed and push into the 1st team. Keane being a very good example of this – though I’m sure Fergie’s caveat was that he does play at every opportunity. Whilst he did on occasion show naivety, he proved his worth.
I do hope that this lack of financial clout, will extract the pressure that has been clinging to the club, and the fans, and we can perhaps see ourselves as we have done in the past as slight underdogs, given the amount spent at other clubs, including those who have recently come down from the Premiership, and we can push on from last season and be a success.
So bring on Derby this afternoon! My lack of sleep, my lack of writing, and my absence of personal finance, won’t impact my love and support for Leicester City Football!
I hope to pass this passion to my young son, and hope that he too will join me on matchday and sing from the stands and make his Daddy proud!
Up the Foxes!
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