Tag Archives: Leicester FC

The Crazy Premier League Season 2015/16

Source:Getty Images
Source:Getty Images

Today the final match of the crazy 2015/16 premier league season will be played with Manchester United taking on Bournemouth. A match that was called off as a result of an error from a prior security training exercise. If you ask me the right decision was taken, when human lives are concerned and the times that we live in it’s best to err on the side of caution. I just hope the fans get compensated in some capacity.

Looking back on the season I wonder what it would be remembered for the most. Leicester’s City unbelievable triumph? The hilarity of Spurs contriving to come third in a two horse race on the last day of the season with so called claim of a power shift in North London? Or Chelsea’s worst defence of the Premier League title in history?
It has to be Ranieri and his men and the fact that it was Ranieri that was the architect of this almost impossible accomplishment in an era where money has been known to buy trophies makes it even more special, he was a candidate for relegation according to the general media. Ranieri proved a team where every member is alert to their roles , working relentlessly for each other, and pulling in the same direction can achieve the unimaginable, it helps me dream and so I still look forward to the time I get to be on the cover of a GQ issue. Going back to Leicester’s accomplishment history will definitely judge them as one of football’s beautiful stories and I am sure a film will be made about their season in the nearest future.

Coming in close second is Spurs calamitous meltdown needing a point to secure second position. How Spursy could they get in the manner in which they contrived to do what they do best. Was talking to a close friend of mine earlier and we both found it even more hilarious how annoyed pundits were with the fact that Arsenal pipped Spurs to second position in the league. Jamie carragher and Harry Redknapp got me cracking up when they said Spurs had a better season. Ermm excuse me the table doesn’t lie, if historians check the table 5 years from now it will have Arsenal in second place and no one will care how close Spurs ran leicester before they did what they do best “Spursulate”! Also if pundits can’t get the idea of Arsenal fans enjoying Spurs misfortune on Sunday I don’t think they know what it is to be a fan, joy at the expense of a local rival is normal. Just to state or remind them there has been no power shift in North London.

With regards to Arsenal it was a season in which was there for the for the taking, and finishing second while an improvement from last year wasn’t what the team was looking at on December 26 2015. While I was happy for Giroud and his hat trick on Sunday I was not impressed. There was little or no pressure so it wasn’t hard to deliver. In my opinion he should be a support striker and not the main striker at a club like Arsenal if they intend to win big trophies. History has shown as that when the chips are down Giroud struggles and resorts to tantrums, falling all over the pitch and cupping his ear at the fans amongst other things. While there are a dearth of world class strikers available out there, an upgrade on Giroud is definitely out there. Diverting a bit I am still looking for who authorised the 40million and one pound bid for Suarez and the person that offered it P45 for both!

Next season is going to be interesting considering all the managerial changes and the new money coming into the league will make for an interesting title challenge, because the new money to a degree makes it a level playing field.

The Leicester fairy tale complete

leicester-title-winners_3427259

My oh my what a game, Spurs turned into thugs when they realised they had thrown a 2 goal lead away and with it any hopes of winning the title. It’s like in some way they realised this kind of chance would not come their way again, well time will tell. Whoever is in charge of retrospective video footage at the FA is going to have busy time on returning from the bank holiday tomorrow considering all that Clattenburg let go in the game.

No one could have ever have predicted we would all be saying this; Leicester City are the new Barclays Premier League champions! They are deserving and inspirational champions, I had goose bumps just watching the montage of the Leicester city players when Skysports was declaring them champions. In a football world where money has become the order of the day it makes a good difference when a team like Leicester wins the title.
They have been a group of determined players, with the right attitude, resilience and focus losing just 3 games in 38 games so far with 2 games to go, there is no luck involved in that.

It’s Ironic that the team that killed off any Spurs title hopes where the same club that sacked Ranieri 12 years ago unceremoniously. He will go back to Stamford Bridge on the last day of the season to his former employees with his team costing the fraction of that which he managed there back in 2004 as the manager of the Premier League champions.  Sounds like something from a movie, the whole Leicester journey this season has seemed like a movie if you ask me. If they ever decide to make a movie I would love to audition!

In ending this, well done Leicester, I can boast to my kids and grandkids I was alive when Leicester defied the odds and won the title! My takeaway; Resilience, the right attitude, togetherness, and focus trumps talent alone and the most important of all there is no ridiculous dream anything is possible guys!

Jon Moss; Mike Dean version 2?

 

Moss at work in another match
Moss at work in another match

Jon Moss tried to be Mike Dean version 2 today by making himself the centre of proceedings at Leicester. It was a match filled with drama to say the least and being and as an Arsenal fan I was relieved to see Leicester rescue a draw from the jaws of defeat at the death.
John Moss did get the two major decisions right for West Ham regarding the sending off and penalty, even though he will get hate from many quarters. Vardy was totally playing for that, flinging his legs into the defender and theatrically throwing himself to the floor with the dive; I thought it was only foreigners that dived, and the penalty for the grab by Morgan were right in my opinion.
Like Someone wrote on twitter John Moss is consistently inconsistent and I don’t know why Huth didn’t get a penalty for the exact same offence Morgan was adjudged to have committed at the other end of the pitch. Then at the death Andy Carroll conceded a penalty which Ulloa converted well considering all that pressure that was riding on the spot kick.
I can only admire Leicester for battling with 10 players for most of the second half and managing to deal with Andy carroll a player some quarters of the media have described as unplayable and are clamouring for him to go to the Euros. If you stop crosses like I said last week you nullify Carroll to the minimum a memo Arsenal didn’t get at West Ham
Talking of Arsenal , they did what they do best today and managed to drop points at home again because of a Cech error. Those clamouring for him last week making it seem like the team drew because of Ospina in the team and that Cech would have prevented a draw, I wonder what they are saying now. The reality is something is fundamentally wrong with that team, a discussion for another post.

It’s over to you Spurs tomorrow here’s hoping for three points for Stoke!

Time to get behind Leicester

Took me 33 premier league games but with all that has gone on this weekend I am definitely team Leicester now. I watched Leicester today and was glaring to see why they are where they are, talent and quality can only do so much without passion and dedication. If those bottlers in red in north London showed the same desire, organisation, discipline, selflessness and dedication they would be topping the league by miles. If I was given a choice I would take all those qualities over fickle minded quality players.

It’s definitely a two horse race with Manchester United’s capitulation at the Lane, here’s hoping LVG is allowed to run out his contract at Old Trafford. I can’t believe I am going to write this but Tottenham deserve to be where they are, with a squad that young they are doing very well, no so called Ozil or Sanchez in their team and they have been getting the job done week after week, well done to Mauricio but definitely don’t want them to win the league!!

So we enter week 34 next week and it’s Leicester at home against West Ham, they will probably show the red shirt bottlers of North London how to deal with crosses and Spurs are away at Stoke not a good hunting ground here’s hoping they get Stoked!

Someone on twitter said describing Leicester winning the league is comparing it to a cat winning the Grand National, that cracked me up. They haven’t won it yet though but they are just 9 points away now, praying hard they win it. It will also be vindication for Ranieri considering how he was treated at Chelsea years ago when Jose took over, he could be getting the trophy presented at Chelsea where his former employer will be watching with no hope of champions league football next season.

Anyways have a good week people and to the Arsenal fans out there time to get on team Leicester, Arsenal are not winning the league and with performances like yesterday they don’t deserve to! Sense I am still a bit angry yes I am.

Arsenal to romp in from behind win title? Yes or Naw

Feels like I have been given two Saturdays in a row woke up about 5am and didn’t know what to do with myself, thought of sorting my fantasy league then remembered it was a premier league free weekend. I should never complain about a four day weekend but some premier league games would have helped!

My Arsenal my Arsenal who happen to be the focus of today’s post as they make up the final trio of the title contenders as we enter the home stretch in the premier league, at least in my opinion they still have a chance. Like I did with Leicester and Tottenham in the two previous posts I will be having a look at their remaining fixtures and their title chances. The remaining Arsenal fixtures for the season are in the following order;

Watford(h), West Ham(a), Crystal Palace(h), West Brom(h), Sunderland(a), Norwich(h), Mancity(a), Aston Villa(h)

The fixtures don’t look that bad apart from West Ham away, Mancity away and maybe Sunderland away too. West Ham are still in the FA cup and have a replay 4 days after they play Arsenal. Slaven and his boys are really keen to win the FA cup, Pellegrini currently is trying his utmost best to make sure Pep starts his European adventure with Mancity in Europa and big Sam has struggled to beat Wenger since he left Bolton, so those three fixtures are not as bad as they actually look.  Like everybody else I honestly can’t say I know which Arsenal is going to be playing in any of those remaining games as Jekyll and Hyde don’t even come close to describing this team. In any case to win the league they have to finish the season perfect which I can’t see and can see at the same time.
From the remaining 8 games 5 are at home and I hope the fans realise this is not the time to be protesting this is a time to be firing the team with all that they have as long as there is still a slim chance of the title. Let’s also remember that if there is any team in this galaxy of ours that we live in that can devise the most difficult way to accomplish a task it’s Arsene and his boys!
So hold on tight to your seats the season is building up to end with a bang I will go as far to put in a prediction, the top three are going to finish like this; Arsenal, Leicester FC, Tottenham yep that’s my prediction. I was watching the game show Tipping Point yesterday and of the remaining three contestant this lady had just 200 pounds and was running  last  with a very slim chance of beating the rest with three rounds to go.  She won the remaining rounds and ended up winning, yes that’s my sign! I need help I know but I am a desperate Arsenal fan and I will grab at anything that mirrors our present situation.

Enjoy your Easter people as best as you can even if it’s without football , hit me up with your predictions people. How will the league table finish?

Tottenham to drop 8 points and end up behind Arsenal? Yes or Naw

Yesterday football lost a legend, the word legend is used very loosely these days in football but Johan Cryuff definitely was the epitome of the word legend. He changed the way football would be played forever. Barcelona the best team in the world right now are successful because of the foundations he built in his time there managing the club. Rest in peace Johan heaven has just gained the real special one.

Getting to today’s post Tottenham come under the spotlight concerning their remaining fixtures and title chances. Tottenham currently lie 5 points behind Leicester and 6 ahead of Arsenal although Arsenal have a game in hand. Tottenham’s remaining fixtures are in the order below;

Liverpool(a), Manutd(h), Stoke (a), West Brom(h), Chelsea(a), Southampton(h), Newcastle(a)

The fixtures above are all tricky and if it was the Tottenham team of old I could easily say I could see them dropping point in all but one of these games and that would be the West Brom game at home, but this Spurs team have a new resolve typical of their manager. Even with this new found resolve they are difficult fixtures as we enter the home stretch and I still see them dropping points especially against Liverpool, Stoke, Chelsea and Southampton at home. Manutd at home? You never know which LVG team you are going to get, West Brom are usual spoilers with Tony at the helm but with them looking safe I think that should be easy for Tottenham and the Newcastle away game being the final game of the season, depending on where Newcastle are in the table that could be a tough tough game.

Tottenham do have a difficult run in, probably the most difficult of the present top 3 which kind of brings a little smile to my face as it will be a true test for this young side Pochettino is moulding. Cynical I know, blame the Arsenal fan in me.

The first couple of game weekends post international break  could serve up a twist in the title race. Imagine if Tottenham lose against Liverpool and Leicester beat Southampton or it’s the other way around and Arsenal win against Watford. The more I preview the permutations the more excitement I think this season still has to offer.

Ending with a Johan Cryuff quote; “football is a game of mistakes. whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins”. That could certainly be what determines the title with seven games left and may I add luck too, considering all the dodgy refereeing that’s rife in the Premier League this season. Mike Dean please stay away!!!

Have good Easter people will be back on Saturday to preview Arsenal, oh tomorrow is Saturday so that means tomorrow.

Leicester to drop 10 points in 7 games? Yes or Naw

It’s the international break and there is not a lot going on regarding the premier league so I have decided to preview the remaining games the top three teams have left and their title chances starting with Leicester today. As it stands they are the favourites for the title, with that so called crack still yet to materialise and with every game won by Leicester as the season reaches conclusion, we are in danger of being exposed to Gary Lineker in his underwear on MOTD at the start of next season! Worried I am…

Leicester’s remaining games are in the following order;

Southampton (h,) Sunderland(a), West Ham( h), Swansea(h), Manutd(a), Everton(h), Chelsea(a)

Leicester currently lie 5 points ahead of Spurs and 11 ahead of Arsenal although Arsenal have a game in hand against West Brom. From the fixtures above can Leicester drop 5 points or even 8 to give the chasing London pair any kind of hope for the title? My answer is yes; the next home game against Southampton is a tricky one and I wouldn’t rule out a draw. Sunderland away is tough especially with big Sam and his boys fighting relegation, that could be another draw or even a surprise loss. Then comes home games against West Ham and Swansea which I think are winnable although West Ham are fighting for top four too, this game will be trickier of these two home fixtures. The last three games against Manutd, Everton and Chelsea could actually all end up draws you know.
If my maths is anything to go by Leicester could actually drop 10 points as we approach the home stretch of this crazy crazy season.

Leicester fans don’t bite my head off, just permutations on what could happen or could it be what I want to happen  being an Arsenal fan harbouring tiny tiny hope of the title even though I claimed I was resigned to it being lost already. Yes yes you get the peak into a crazy mind of an Arsenal fan or should I say sad. Let me get back to the post at hand.

The other big thing to look at is what happens to the Ranieri’s boys and their mindset when they drop points and the chasing pack gain on them in the home stretch? It’s very new territory for them, but then again they were in a relegation battle this time last year and that may help in some way even though this time around it’s a title fight. That relegation fight might have actually prepared them for this but hey who knows? Leicester are on a roll and I would rather them than Spurs, but with the crazy season we have had so far a lot could still change come May when the title destination is finally decided. It could be a hell of a ride and more exciting than the Agueeeeeero screams that marked the end of the 2011/12 season I can still hear it as I type.

7 games to go..

7 games to go albeit some teams have a game in hand. Leicester don’t seem to be running out of steam with another 1 0 win away at Crystal Palace, they are definitely playing like champions elect. Arsenal blew Everton away at Goodison park with Iwobi and Danny on the score sheet. While Everton couldn’t have played any worse Arsenal seemed to find their combinations going forward again and managed to keep a solid shape when they didn’t have the ball. Koscielny and Gabriel managing to frustrate Lukaku for the whole 90 minutes in addition to the frustration he was getting from his team mates.
I was talking to a mate of mine after the game and was wondering where this Arsenal had been and he attributed it to lack of pressure which I didn’t exactly agree with. The loss at Old Trafford and Swansea had complacency written all over it, anyway that’s a discussion for another post.  I think the introduction of Elneny in the middle has helped give the team a balance with Welbeck and Iwobi upfront adding dynamism to the team going forward and I think the more Gabriel and Koscielny play together in that back four the more solid a unit they will become.

I noticed the atmosphere at Goodison was toxic for the Everton players with every misplaced pass booed and jeered. Fans have every right to be unhappy when their teams are not delivering but I am not sure jeering and booing during games does any good especially when they are 2 goals down. The same goes at the Emirates who have never been known to be the loudest bunch when it comes to rousing the team. As long as there is a chance the team can still do something it’s important fans get behind the team regardless, there is enough time to register protests and misgivings at the end of the season. Like Ian Wright said the people that should be the source of the anger really are Stan Kroenke and Dick Law. Arsenal fans must be wishing Usmanov was the highest shareholder now at least he wants to win trophies. Spurs play tomorrow and I am predicting a Bournemouth win or at worst a draw! The Arsenal in me speaking, still can’t imagine spurs finishing ahead of Arsenal!!!