Sing for Claudio!

The Foxes Trust board backs the initiative of the LCFC Official Supporters Club to say thank you to Claudio Ranieri for all the memories by singing his song "Ranieri - he came from Italy to manage the city!" during the 16th minute of the game against Liverpool

2016 will be remembered as an amazing year for Leicester city and we thank Claudio Ranieri for all his work! Please share and spread the word!

With 13 games to go, the Trust Board would also ask all LCFC fans to unite in backing the team and help them secure Premiership status for another season

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SCHMEICHEL AND VARDY KEEP EURO DREAMS ALIVE

Sevilla 2 City 1

Report by Colin Hall

A superb goalkeeping display by Kasper Schmeichel and an instinctive finish by Jamie Vardy ensured that Leicester emerged from the 1st leg of their Champions League clash with Sevilla trailing by just one goal.

The 2-1 scoreline was hugely flattering for the Foxes, who were outplayed for long spells by a home side who showed many of the qualities which have brought them into contention for the toughest league title in the world.

Yet in the closing minutes, after Vardy's strike, the visitors finally began to show glimpses of the form that earned them so much acclaim last season. If they can carry that momentum into the second leg on 14th March, further adventures in this competition may still await.

As widely forecast, City made ten changes from the side that had performed so dismally at Millwall, recalling a host of first-team regulars. However there was widespread surprise within the visiting support when Ahmed Musa retained a starting berth instead of Demarai Gray.

The hosts were the first to show when Sarabia's long-range shot narrowly cleared Schmeichel's crossbar, though City responded almost immediately with a skied drive by Christian Fuchs. However, that proved to be City's only shot during a half in which they were outfought and outclassed in all areas of the field.

City's defensive disarray was illustrated after 15 minutes when a reckless challenge by Wes Morgan on Correa saw referee Turpin point to the spot. Fortunately for the City captain and his team-mates, though, the home striker was unable to take advantage, sending a tame penalty straight into the hands of a grateful Schmeichel.

But as the Sevilla onslaught continued, the breakthrough arrived as Fuchs misjudged an Escudero cross and allowed Sarabia to send a header beyond a wrongfooted Schmeichel.

The Dane had to be alert to prevent Jovetic and Correa from extending the hosts' advantage before half-time, as Nzonzi and Nasri – both well-known to Premier fans – enjoyed virtually unchallenged midfield supremacy against the Champions League debutant Wilfrid Ndidi and an out-of-sorts Danny Drinkwater.

Claudio Ranieri resisted the temptation to make changes at the break, but City did mount an improvement, with Musa dragging a shot wastefully wide and Ndidi forcing Sergio Rico to make his first save of the game.

It was not long, though, before the general pattern of the game resumed, and after missing several chances to increase the lead, Sevilla eventually found the net for a second time, when Jovetic teased the City defence before laying the ball off for Correa to apply a fine finish.

The scene was set for the hosts to build an unassailable lead before the second leg. But this was an opportunity they failed to take. Instead, perhaps with a crucial weekend derby with neighbours Betis in mind, they started to sit back and slow the game down.

This offered City a slither of encouragement – which they were able to exploit. Drinkwater, on a rare forward excursion, exchanged passes with substitute Gray and drove a cross into the home six-yard box, where an unmarked Vardy took full advantage.

The boost of this unlikely away goal instantly lifted the confidence of the whole side. Riyad Mahrez, previously anonymous, started to make runs at the home defence, while Drinkwater and Gray also began to exert an influence on the game.

Sadly, though, at this stage, the attention of many visiting fans was drawn to skirmishes between local police and a section of City supporters, which witnesses later suggested may have been influenced by the apparently heavy inebriation of the latter group.

Meanwhile, on the field, both sides pushed forward in the closing stages in search of an extra goal to tilt the tie in their favour. However neither side could do so, leaving the outcome intriguingly poised.

Individually and collectively, City's outfield players are capable of far more than they showed during the first 70 minutes of this game. If, on home soil, they can somehow attain the heights attained by Schmeichel in this match, a place in the last eight may yet lie within reach.

Sevilla (4-3-3): Sergio Rico; Rami, Lenglet (Carrico 55), Escudero, Mariano, Nzonzi, Sarabia, Nasri, Vitolo, Jovetic, Correa (Iborra 63). Subs not used: Soria, Kranevitter, Vietto, Ben Yedder, Vazquez

Goals: Sarabia (25), Correa (62).

Bookings: Carrico, Escudero.

Leicester (4-4-2): Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton (Amartey 87); Musa (Gray 57), Vardy. Subs not used: Zieler, Chilwell, King, Okazaki, Benalouane.

Goal: Vardy (73). 

Attendance: 38,834               Referee: Clement Turpin (France)

PS While returning from Spain, I learned of the news of Claudio Ranieri's dismissal by the club. Although I and others have previously argued (albeit with considerable reluctance) for such action, its timing may appear a little strange to many observers. But at least he has been able to leave with a little more dignity than would have been the case had he been sacked after the Swansea or Millwall games.

It is hoped that his successor – whether interim or permanent – will be of sufficient calibre to do the club justice on both the Premier and European stages.

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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Next Up – Liverpool

Next Up Liverpool – 27 February 2017

Manager        Jürgen Klopp

Founded       1892            Ground         Anfield

Address       Anfield Road, Liverpool L4 0TH

Capacity        54,074      

Squad:

1          Germany         GK      Loris Karius

2          England           DF       Nathaniel Clyne

5          Netherlands     MF      Georginio Wijnaldum

6          Croatia            DF       Dejan Lovren

7          England           MF      James Milner

10        Brazil               MF      Philippe Coutinho

11        Brazil               FW      Roberto Firmino

12        England           DF       Joe Gomez

13        Austria            GK      Alex Manninger

14        England           MF      Jordan Henderson (captain)

15        England           FW      Daniel Sturridge

16        Serbia              MF      Marko Grujić

17        Estonia            DF       Ragnar Klavan

18        Spain               DF       Alberto Moreno

19        Senegal            FW      Sadio Mané

20        England           MF      Adam Lallana

21        Brazil               MF      Lucas Leiva

22        Belgium           GK      Simon Mignolet

23        Germany         MF      Emre Can

27        Belgium           FW      Divock Origi

28        England           FW      Danny Ings

32        Cameroon        DF       Joël Matip

35        England           MF      Kevin Stewart

54        England           MF      Sheyi Ojo

56        England           DF       Connor Randall

We have tried our best to ensure factual accuracy at the date of going to press – apologies in advance for any errors or out of date information.

For the very latest updates please follow the link below to the club web site www.liverpoolfc.com

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Appeal from a passionate Leicester City Fan

Nick O’Meara was a Leicester City season ticket holder for 11 years but is now unable to attend the matches as he is only partially sighted. He was unable to watch his beloved Leicester City in the most memorable season in all of our our lifetimes but kept in touch throughout last season via the Radio Leicester commentary. Nick’s son, Josh still attends games whenever he is able.

 

Nick was a very healthy and fit young man who regularly competed in triathlons. Out of the blue and at the age of 37 years, Nick was struck down with an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis and suddenly his life and that of his wife (Shelley) and two sons was changed for ever.

 

A few months ago Nick’s family discovered some ground breaking stem cell surgery at the American Institute in Mexico that may offer Nick the hope of stabilising his condition and even possibly reversing some of his disabilities. The institute has confirmed that Nick currently meets their criteria for surgery, although this may not be the case in a years’ time due to the progressive nature of his MS.

 

The bad news is that this treatment is currently unavailable in the UK and to take up the opportunity of this surgery a total of £50k needs to be raised. To ensure the operation can be undertaken £38k has to be raised by mid-May 17 otherwise Nick’s place will be allocated to someone else.   Family, friends and neighbours have joined together in a determined effort to raise the required £50k.

 

Music Night – Greene King Stadium, Hinckley

On Saturday, 25th February 17 a night of music and dancing has been arranged at The Greene King Stadium, Leicester Road, Hinckley. Highly regarded local band, The Sound, will be playing followed by a disco and dancing. (The event starts at 7.30pm - Midnight).

 

The night will feature a Raffle and Auction with some truly great prizes kindly donate by local organisations. Entry will by ticket only. Tickets can be pre-purchased @ £10 Each or £100 to reserve a table of ten. For Tickets Call Sean O'Meara on 07711 386126 

 

Charity Auction at the Music Night Event

 

Leicester City Football Club have very kindly donated a voucher for 4 people to tour the King Power stadium. This is a great opportunity for fans to see behind the scenes at our great stadium. And as Premier League Champions you will be able to have your picture taken with the very precious trophy that confirmed Leicester City as Champions of England for the first time in their very proud history.

 

We will be auctioning this voucher off along with several other great items at the Music Night event. We also have several quality prizes that have been donated for the raffle. 

 

If you support this appeal for a Leicester City fan who needs help to have life changing surgery then please follow the link below:-

 

www.nickoftime.life

 

Thanks for your support for Nick and his family.

 

The Foxes Trust board agreed to support this appeal following a request from Trust member Bill Phelan

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ASHAMED, BETRAYED, CHEATED

Millwall 1 City 0

Report by Colin Hall

Leicester City's quest to land the FA Cup for the first time ever has been postponed for another year, after a 5th round 1-0 defeat at Millwall which was abject even by this season's subterranean standards.

Not for the first time in this wretched season, the Foxes looked bereft of spirit, character and leadership as they meekly capitulated to third-tier hosts who were forced to play with 10 men following the 52nd minute dismissal of defender Jake Cooper.

And once again, sadly the team and supporters were not well served by a performance from our manager which combined arrogance, ignorance and ineptitude in equal measure.

The starting line-up showed 10 changes from the side that had crashed so badly at Swansea the previous week, with only Gray retaining his place. Loan signing Wague was brought in for his City debut in an experimental centre-back pairing with the rarely-seen Benalouane.

Despite the omissions, there were still seven full internationals that started the game at the Den, and many of them began strongly as City sought to make their superior quality count early on. The Polish youngster Kapustka impressed many in the visiting contingent with some clever touches and incisive passes.

Musa, Gray and Okazaki all came close to opening the scoring during a half which City dominated for long spells. But the lack of a cutting edge in attack provided encouragement for the opposition, who gradually inched their way back into the game.

Indeed, indecision at setpieces – a familiar failing on City's travels in recent months – forced Zieler into making two saves in quick succession as the interval approached. Cooper's reckless follow-through on him, after the second of these, earned him the first of his yellow cards when many in the City ranks were looking for a more stringent punishment.

Shortly after the resumption, though, the Millwall men pushed his luck too far when scything down Musa. Referee Craig Pawson, of Stoke infamy, was left with no option to dismiss him and give the visitors an advantage.

This should have been the cue for City to bring on a couple of big guns from the bench, step up the pace and complete what appeared to be a straightforward task. Instead, though, they retreated into their shell, apparently content to see out the draw in the anticipation of finishing the Lions off at home.

With 20 minutes remaining, City suffered a significant blow when Wague, who had looked composed and assured during his debut, fell awkwardly and dislocated his shoulder. The manager chose to replace him with the veteran Wasilewski when other more attacking options were available. The consequences of this misjudgement would prove fateful for us.

As the home side tired on a heavy pitch, City had chances to hit them on the break, but on too many occasions a overhit pass or a heavy touch brought moves to a frustrating close.

Nevertheless, the visitors had a glorious opportunity to secure redemption when sub Vardy flicked on an Albrighton cross into the path of Okasaki, whose first touch took him clear on goal, but a moment of undue hesitation allowed home keeper Archer to smother the shot.

With seconds of normal time remaining, the worst fears of the travelling Foxes duly came to pass when a loose ball by Benalouane was intercepted and quickly launched into the City box.

Right-back Cummings, showing levels of ambition and bravery beyond those of his City counterparts, seized his chance, shrugging off a couple of weak challenges before firing past Zieler and sending the sides of the Den into ecstacy.

Millwall, aided by a certain degree of indulgence from referee Pawson, were able to play out the five minutes of stoppage time in some comfort and secure their passage to the next round. City, meanwhile were left to reflect on what had been yet another day where dreams had been brutally shattered.

The most dispiriting aspect of this afternoon was that the home side did not even have to play particularly above their level. The scene was set by a team selection which bore too many imprints of complacency and over-indulgence – factors which had played a role in several cup upsets in recent weeks, and duly did so again here.

Travelling fans had every right to expect far better from a manager who, lest we forget, was named FIFA coach of the Year as recently as last month. Unfortunately, since his trip to Zurich, he has reminded us all too often why so many of his previous clubs have invariably lost patience with him.

While he continues to command the gratitude of the City owners, even they must be concerned at the club's current slump, which is as bad as anything suffered under the very worst of Foxes managers during the last 30 years.

The day of reckoning for the manager has been too long delayed. But sooner or later it will not be denied. If his departure is needed to avoid a damaging, demoralising return to the lower leagues (and venues such as this), than so be it.

Millwall (4-4-2): Archer: Cummings, Webster, Cooper, Craig; O'Brien (Gregory 78), Butcher (Abdou 75), Williams, Ferguson (Romeo 86): Morison (c), Onyedinma. Subs not used: King, Hutchinson, Worrall, Smith.

Booking: Cooper.               Sent off: Cooper.

Scorer: Cummings (90) 

City (4-2-3-1): Zieler, Amartey, Wague (Wasilewski 70), Benalouane, Chilwell; King (c), Mendy; Kapustka (Albrighton 64), Musa, Gray (Vardy 73); Okazaki. Subs not used: Hamer, Ndidi, Mahrez, Fuchs.

Booking: Zieler.

Attendance: 18,012 (3,114 away fans)          Referee: Craig Pawson

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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