CITY RIDE LUCK TO SNATCH FIRST WIN

LEICESTER 2 WOLVES 0

Report by Eddie Blount

Even the most ardent City fan would surely admit that City had more than their fair share of good fortune in recording their first win of the new Premiership campaign. Wolves hit the woodwork three times and conceded an own goal and a deflected goal which is more than enough to convince a manager that this was not to be their day.

The opening minutes took me back many years to when newly-promoted Bolton were the first visitors (to the old Filbert Street). We were confident that they were there for the taking yet they overran us from the start and put five past us! Wolves began in similar style, hitting the bar after two minutes and squandering a simple chance after four when full back, Doherty (more of him to come) mishit a chance from ‘my mother’ distance which struck Chilwell virtually on the line rather than crashing into the net as it should have done. After 10 minutes a shot from Jimenez cannoned off Schmeichel’s right-hand post so we could have been three down at that point!

The threat came from a single source! City’s back four set up narrowly across the pitch leaving space out wide. Wolves ignored their right side and concentrated solely on the left. Ricardo positioned himself relatively high up the pitch leaving a wide space behind and Evans, making his home debut clearly lacked the pace to get across to fill the gap behind Ricardo.

Consequently Wolves chipped the ball into the empty space and got in behind our back four on numerous occasions. All the dangerous Wolves attacking play came down their left flank yet we seemed powerless to prevent its constant repetition. Ricardo went on to have a creditable game especially when going forward; Evans struggled in the first half but was better suited to the change of tactics necessarily employed in the second when City were reduced to ten men.

As we all know a side that fails to take its chances almost invariably pays the penalty and thus it came to pass. City managed to get a foothold in the game after Wolves’ blistering start and managed some attacking moves of their own, especially down the flanks. A fine Albrighton cross to Gray at the far post was comprehensively headed into his own net by the unfortunate Doherty (he’s not finished yet). Amazing that with limited aerial threat up front our first two goals of the season have come from headers!

This changed the complexion of the game with City growing in confidence and none more so than new signing Maddison who showed the priceless ability to receive, control and turn in an instant which marks out a player to watch. Receiving from Ricardo he did all of these things in a flash on the edge of the box getting away a shot which deflected slightly but enough to wrong-foot their keeper and give City a cushion.

This was to prove crucial after 66 minutes when Vardy was over-competitive in pursuing a loose ball, his tackle winning the ball but taking the man – inevitably Doherty – in his follow-through. These days you simply cannot do this and especially when the referee is Mike Dean, with a reputation for courting controversy second only to John Moss!

At least Vardy left the pitch without hesitation but faces a three match ban which we could do without. Doherty was injured in the tackle and played no further part in the game, probably somewhat relieved given all that had happened. I could not support the abuse hurled at him by a section of the crowd as Doherty in no way tried to influence Dean’s decision and the tackle ended his match. Besides with his luck he would probably have conceded a penalty if he had stayed on!

Strangely City were tighter with ten men than eleven, reorganising into a back three with Ricardo and Chilwell as wing-backs and often looking the better side. Evans and Maguire swopped places with sub, Amartey, to the right of Maguire, now even more a crowd favourite. Wolves had odd moments, Jonny hit the post from an impossible angle and Schmeichel saved well from Neves long shot, but in truth City never looked like conceding and finished comfortably in control

My MOM was Mendy who showed speed and energy and a willingness to get the ball forward quickly. He looks like a muscular Kante and could be a force this season if he stays injury-free. His midfield partner, Ndidi, also put in his usual good stint. At the back Maguire was the pick of the defenders

So we weathered a major storm and brought the ship safely into port. However the captain needs to get more wind into the sails at the start to avoid being blown on to some serious rocks in future outings

City:  Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Albrighton (Amartey60), Maddison (Iheanacho 82), Gray (Silva 82), Vardy

Wolves: Patricio, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty (Gibbs-White 69), Moutinho, Neves, Jonny, Costa (Triore), Jimenez, Jota (Bonatini 45)

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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View from the Opposition – Wolves

View from the Opposition – Wolves

A bit about you:

Name: Lady Wulfruna

Current home town: Leicester (36 years)

Birthplace: Wolverhampton (Codsall – the posh bit!)

How long have you supported your team? 50+ years

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: Hearing ‘The Liquidator’ being sung…very loudly

Favourite match played by your team & why: Wolves 4 Leicester 3 (2003-4) – fantastic comeback from being 0-3 down and meant I could hold my head up high on return to work on Monday. Winning the 2002-3 Play Off final was also sweet as it meant not only we’d be promoted (to play teams like Leicester) but watching it at home I was able to play my own copy of ‘The Liquidator’ continuously and very loud to my next door neighbour (a Leicester season ticket holder)….who proceeded to take me to the pub and buy me beer….all in all a very good day!  

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: 'The Tipton Skin’ i.e. Steve Bull, closely followed by Wolves (and Leicester) legend Derek ‘The Doog’ Dougan and John Richards…all were great goal scorers. I also had the added bonus of delivering theirs (and Mike Bailey’s) newspapers as a young lad in my home village.

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why?  Ruben Neves – oozes class and as we’ve seen he’s deadly from outside the box

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? As above + Adama Traore…I think he will relish having the Portuguese play makers to give him space

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Jamie Vardy – he’s similar to Bull – no nonsense with an innate desire to score no matter what’s in front of him and as shown last week Leicester need him badly and a partner to take some of his markers. James Maddison looks like he could go a long way…and coming from someone who was former cart horse centre half, Harry Maguire is sheer class…City will have to fight hard to keep him

Up and coming prospect in your squad? Any of the unknown Portuguese!

How do you think you’ll do against us? These are the games Wolves will target especially early in the season and whilst the weather is good so I think we could sneak a narrow win. They’ll need to up their game though from last week However a draw would suit us – whatever so long as it’s an entertaining game.

General Questions:

What did you think to the summer transfer activity both in and out of your club? Bostin’…which is Wulfrunian for brilliant….the owners mean business. Haven’t seen much of Dendonker but he reads well. I was gutted Barry Douglas went as the 2 x wing backs were instrumental in Wolves’ play last season  

Where do you think you’ll finish this season?  Top 10 is expected with serious ambition thereafter

Who do you think will win the league? Sadly…Manchester City….but I wouldn’t mind Liverpool as they’re playing some really entertaining football…and I like their manager’s passion…bit like Nuno!

Which three teams do you think will get relegated from the Premiership? Cardiff, Huddersfield and Brighton

Any other comments? Thanks Matt for letting me do this. Let’s hope for a really entertaining match…like in days of old in the (annual/routine) clash of the Steve’s (Bull and Walsh). Enjoy folks

Next Up Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 August 2018

Next Up Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 August 2018

Head Coach      Nuno Espírito Santo

Founded      1877; 141 years ago, as St Luke's

Ground         Molineux Stadium

Address       Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, WV1 4QR

Capacity      32,050

Squad: 

2              Republic of Ireland               DF           Matt Doherty

5              England                                DF           Ryan Bennett

6              England                                DF           Danny Batth (captain)

7              Portugal                               FW           Ivan Cavaleiro

8              Portugal                               MF           Rúben Neves

9              Mexico                                 FW           Raúl Jiménez (on loan from Benfica)

10           Portugal                                FW          Hélder Costa

11           Portugal                                GK           Rui Patrício

14           Nigeria                                  FW         Bright Enobakhare

15           France                                  DF          Willy Boly

16           England                                DF          Conor Coady

17           England                                MF          Morgan Gibbs-White

18           Portugal                               FW           Diogo Jota

19           Spain                                   DF            Jonny Castro (on loan from Atlético Madrid)

21           England                               GK           John Ruddy

27           Morocco                              MF           Romain Saïss

28           Portugal                               MF         João Moutinho

29           Portugal                               DF          Rúben Vinagre

30           England                                DF          Kortney Hause

31           England                                GK          Will Norris

32           Belgium                                MF          Leander Dendoncker (on loan from Anderlecht)

33           Brazil                                    FW         Léo Bonatini

37           Spain                                    FW         Adama Traoré

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.wolves.co.uk

The Foxes Trust Predictor League 2018-19 – Update

Due to the Foxes Trust mini-league administrator having problems accessing the talkSPORT website at the weekend, we had several participants requesting to join, or being invited to join, who could only be accepted after the first round of matches.

 

There may be some invitees that have not yet joined but these will be few if any. As mentioned, we will continue to accept requests from non-invitees for those joining with zero points.

 

Those requesting or invited are known to the Foxes Trust by user name only (not by email address) and, as such are not eligible for the Foxes Trust prize which is restricted to the 10 applicants who supplied email addresses.

 

In this way nobody has been accepted to the mini league who was not registered with talkSPORT before round one, and only players applying through the Trust email address are eligible for the Trust prize.

 

Enjoy the enlarged competition and good luck, thanks for your support.

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Déjà vu, but reasons to be cheerful

Manchester United 2 v Leicester City 1
 
Report by Colin Murrant
 
For the third year running Leicester were away for the first match of the Premier League season, at the end of the match they were, as on the previous two occasions, bottom of the table with a goal difference of minus 1. However, whereas at Hull City they were dreadful, and at Arsenal they were ultimately undone by some strange late substitutions, at Old Trafford they were very impressive in defeat and possession having 54% of it.
 
There has been a lot of pressure by the Premier League Trusts to get more reasonable kick off times from the TV companies so that fans can best use public transport, to no avail. With an 8 o’clock kick off at Manchester, and on a Friday night, this fixture provided no options but to endure the M1/M6 either by bus or car.
 
When arriving at Old Trafford the security is quite tight for pedestrians and vehicles alike. The car park at the ground had security staff conducting under vehicle scanning, car boot searches, and bag searches as you left the car park. Some larger bags were not allowed into the stadium and you could leave them for collection later paying £5 (to charity) for the privilege. There were further body searches at the turnstiles and at least three sniffer dogs to pass; such is the need for security requirements of today although this far exceeds anything seen at other grounds.
 
 
Old Trafford itself is a magnificent arena, and the buzz and activities around the stadium is second to none. Replica European Cup, and other trophies, are available to have your photo taken with them, and the number of stalls and non-official scarf sellers leading up to, and outside of the Sir Matt Busby Stand generates a real party atmosphere: all this overseen by the Charlton/Best/Law statue.
 
The place is quite intimidating from its pure size, although the fans are generally so quiet these days that its self-proclaimed title as ‘Theatre of Dreams’ applies these days may not so much for the recent major titles won, perhaps more for the corporates sleeping after their prawn cocktail sandwiches?
 
And, so to the match itself. What you want at Old Trafford is to have a steady start and get through the first 20 minutes without conceding; sadly, it was not to be. After only a minute Amartey, a surprise inclusion to most, handled in the box and Pogba despatched the penalty past Schmeichel who dived the right way but was perhaps deceived by Pogba’s initial walk and later run up.
 
 
Shortly afterwards the City keeper had to be alert to come out of his area to clear and there was a worry City could be swept aside by the early United tempo. Gradually though City came into the game with Maddison and Silva having more influence in midfield and Chilwell and Gray attacking down the left flank.
 
Although City were having more possession they were looking vulnerable to the counter attack. City’s best chance came after 29 minutes, Maddison got the ball in the box and unleashed a shot that seemed to be going in until De Gea got a hand to the ball.
 
 
At half time the City fans were all in agreement that City were the best team, the only problem is that for all their possession they were not creating all that many good chances, even from numerous free kicks and corners.
 
The second-half was more even although it continued in the same vein with City having slightly more possession. Pogba was playing well for United and the Leicester midfield was not so dominant, the tackles were getting tastier without any real nasties although Fred may have seen red on another day for one of his tackles.
 
On 65 minutes Iheanacho could and should have had a penalty, moving into the box from a long ball from Ndidi he was tackled by Bailly who made no contact with the ball as the City striker fell. If this could have been a turning point in the match, City had another great chance 10 minute later. Vardy had just come on and in typical rampaging style robbed Shaw near the corner flag. His cross into the box was flicked towards goal by Gray; unfortunately, the shot had no great pace and De Gea saved with some comfort. Gray had another shot from distance minutes later but easily cleared the bar.
 
United on the counter attack should have scored but for a typical Schmeichel wonder save: Sanchez beating Ricardo in the box laid the ball to Lukaku in oceans of space. He shot but the mountain that is the City custodian got his body in the way and the ball flew up over the bar. Then came the killer blow, Shaw found himself one-on-one with Ricardo, he flicked it over the full-back’s head, and then shot across Schmeichel into the far corner.
 
City kept pushing forward but nothing was created until the game was in added-on time. Firstly, Ricardo found Vardy who volleyed over from 6 yards. Then two minutes later Ricardo shot across goal, hit the post and Vardy headed the rebound in from a yard. There was one last chance in the last minute when Schmeichel, up for the corner, headed wide.
 
 
So, what did we learn from this first match of the season?
 
Puel’s influence on the possession style of football is much in evidence but it needs to be more effective in the last third of the pitch. The style leaves more open to counter attacks and a pacey centre back alongside Maguire will help.
 
Ricardo is a lovely player to watch, but is a lot more inspiring going forward than defending, but bags of promise. He seems uncomfortable one-on one in tight situations noticeable in the World Cup too
Maguire is clearly focussed and the World Cup and transfer rumours have done nothing to detract from his game or commitment.
 
Maddison is class with enormous potential, looked perfectly at home at this level, with much more to come as he gets to know Vardy and vice versa.
 
Schmeichel was dominant, catching the high ball better in this game than I have seen him do for a long while.
 
Chilwell and Gray combined well and add an electric dimension when attacking, Gray covered well at times too.
 
Ndidi was getting back to his best and Ghezzal showed promise in his late cameo.
 
With the new centre backs this is becoming a youthful team which hopefully will develop and serve City for years to come.
 
One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but this was a hugely promising start, with so many reasons to be cheerful!
 
Man Utd XI: De Gea; Darmian, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Pogba (c), A Pereira, Fred; Mata, Rashford, Sanchez. Subs: Grant, Smalling, Young, Fellaini, McTominay, Martial, Lukaku.
 
Leicester City XI: Schmeichel; Ricardo, Morgan (c), Maguire, Chilwell. Amartey, Silva, Ndidi, Maddison Gray, Iheanacho. Subs: Ward, Evans, Vardy, Albrighton, Iborra, Fuchs, Ghezzal.
 
Referee: Andre Marriner                           Attendance: 74,439
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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