As the week draws to a close, we return to our match reporting team’s series of end of season review articles, today the thoughts of Paul Weston…
Before the season started what were your hopes on what we could achieve ?
I hoped for challenging for the top 6 and a good Cup run
When looking back at last season, the loss of our Chairman Vichai in late October has to feature in this review, what are your personal thoughts on the chairman, the subsequent reaction of fans to the tragedy and how the club handled proceedings at this difficult time ?
The tragic loss of The Boss was a real shock. It was almost like losing part of one’s family. Although I had never met him his influence was everywhere to be seen.
In life the wealthiest people are often the greediest. Khun Vichai proved the opposite. The fans reaction to his passing was quite staggering. I am full of admiration and proud of my club for how they handled all that followed. Susan Whelan was tremendous throughout.
Given the events of last season what were your overall thoughts on finishing 9th ?,
9th was OK but there was a feeling that it could, and should, have been much better if it had not been for Puel’s reign. His style of play, in my opinion, was boring, stifled the players and did not let them play to their full potential
Ricardo Pereira won the Player of the Year Awards, would he have been your choice and who else do you think deserves praise for their performances?
Ricardo did not start the season well but then improved both offensively and defensively. I feel there is still more to come. He would have been my choice for the Award.
I would praise Vardy for sticking at it, even though the Puel style of play did not suit him. How many more goals would he have scored if Rodgers had been there from the start?
Johnny Evans also improved after a slow start and became more commanding at the back in the latter part of the season.
Hamza Choudhury looks to be quite a terrier in midfield and shows he can spot a pass too.
What were your views on the signings made during last season ?
Maddison was a good signing although he needs to improve some aspects of his game.
Ricardo Pereira and Johnny Evans have been a great success.
Although a loan signing Tielmans made a huge difference in the second part of the season.
Which player do you think made the most progress last season and why?
Hamza Choudhury in his small number of starts has improved leaps and bounds and shows enormous potential.
Harvey Barnes looks like he can make the jump to the Premiership although found it tough at times.
Which player did you think underperformed the most last season and why ?
Demarai Gray continues to frustrate and not improve. He is just not learning when to pass and when to shoot. His ball control and positioning on the pitch need improvement too.
I also have to mention Iheanacho. He is clearly devoid of form and confidence and a move would be beneficial to both parties. If he stays then Rodgers will have to work miracles to turn him into a player and change round fans’ opinions.
What was your personal highlight of the season?
There were not many highlights but the 3-0 home win against Arsenal was the best for an all-round performance.
Moving onto next season
In comparison to this time last year, how positive do you feel about next season with Brendan Rodgers in charge ?
Very positive. I did not want last season to end.
What changes do you think are necessary to improve on this year’s squad?
We MUST get a support striker for Vardy who can also change the style of play.
We need an attacking midfielder who can move forward and create chances quickly- sign up Tielemans!
We need support for Ricardo at right back with Danny Simpson leaving the club.
With several experienced players having left the club, would you be looking to add some experience to a fairly youthful squad or would you continue bringing in younger players and develop them ?
I think the balance is about right now but we could perhaps bring in a younger support striker from the lower league which we could develop. Is there another Jamie Vardy lurking in non-league football?
If you had a chance for a word in the owners ears, which player(s) would you be advising to sign?
First priority has to be Tielemans.
Do you think we can realistically break into the top 6 next season ?
6th place is a distinct possibility.
While looking at targets for next season, how important to you is the FA Cup ?
Really important. I hope Rodgers gives it priority unlike Puel with his disastrous team selection which fans never understood.
Any other observation you would like to make
We need to be prepared for either Maguire or Chilwell to be bought by a top club over the close season. Maquire would probably attract best price now so should we bring back Benković from Celtic as replacement?
I am so pleased that Top, amidst family tragedy, has taken over the club in difficult times and, in his own way, is leading from the front. His father would be so proud.
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