Don’t Lose Your Rewards

As Leicester City introduced a new Rewards scheme at the start of last season, the Foxes Trust board felt we should remind fans that the value of any rewards left on your account after May 31st 2018 will become invalid.

If you are not sure if you have any outstanding rewards, you need to log in to your online LCFC account to check. Once signed in, click on the head figure profile to the right of you name at the top right of the screen and your account management page will appear showing you your current rewards balance. These can then be spent online, or you could visit the fan store knowing how many rewards you have to spend.

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Filbert Street Site

Foxes Trust Chairman, Ian Bason, appeared on the Radio Leicester breakfast show this morning to discuss the current state of the former home of our club at Filbert Street

Ian was interviewed alongside a local resident who expressed her concern about the ongoing eyesore that residents experienced, the full interview can be heard here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p067t9k4

At the end of the interview, Radio Leicester’s Helen McCarthy read a statement from the developers who promised to clear up the site this week.

The Foxes Trust has been maintaining periodic dialogue with the developers, since former board member Steve Smith built the relationship with both the developer and the council to enable the only new road created on the site to be named Lineker Road, following an appeal for suggestions from fans and then creating an approved shortlist with the council, which was then voted on by fans using several outlets, with the greatest number of votes collected via the Leicester Mercury.

During those early discussions Steve also gained agreement with the developers that the second phase of the development would include physical recognition that the site was the former spiritual home of our club, the initial thinking being that a Fox design would be incorporated into some planned metal railings.

The second phase of the development has still to materialise, however Trust vice-chairman, Matt Davis has maintained contact with the developers and an agreement is in place that when the construction does proceed, that some physical recognition of the site would be included, with details to be finalised depending on the format of the development.

It is also agreed with the developers and the council that any further road(s) that are included in the future phase will be named following further fan consultation controlled by the Foxes Trust.

As part of the heritage work of the Foxes Trust, the Trust monitors current, future and former sites of the club. The Trust holds an Asset of Community Value (ACV) for the current King Power Stadium and promotes the importance of an expanded Memorial Garden and the creation of a physical museum in any future enhancement of the site.

Having discussed the plans for the new training ground with the club, the Trust fully backs the move to the new site

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A breath-taking end to the season

Spurs 5 City 4

Report by Kate Thompson

This match epitomised the ‘curate’s egg’ nature of Leicester City’s season.  The attacking was impressive, with four excellent goals, but the defending was woeful.  Sadly, Simpson was badly at fault for the first Spurs goal and should have done more to stop their equaliser, and Gray gifted them another.

It all started so well with a goal inside three minutes.  A foul on Gray on the left wing led to a good cross from Mahrez, which Vardy headed into the corner of the net.  However, within only a few minutes, Simpson tried to pass the ball out of defence but only succeeded in giving it to a Tottenham player.  A quick pass to Kane and it was 1-1. 

Within less than ten more minutes, Riyad had put us ahead again when his awareness allowed him to hammer the loose ball into the net.  This is how it stayed until half-time; apparently Spurs were booed off by their supporters but I didn’t hear this. 

Arguably the best goal of the match came almost immediately after the restart when Ineanacho shrugged off the attentions of a Spurs defender to score a fantastic goal in front of the Leicester fans. 

Unfortunately, the poor defending by City allowed Tottenham to take the lead, first through Lamela and then by an unfortunate own goal from Fuchs’ knee.  Finally, Lamela scored again to make it 4-3 – all three Spurs goals coming in 11 minutes of madness. 

We were not finished though and a trademark Mahrez/Vardy move made it all square again; Riyad slipped a ball through to Vardy, who managed to stay onside, and he smashed it into the net. 

You couldn’t take your eyes off the game for a moment and it was Kane again (who else?) who scored what turned out to be the winner in the 76th minute.  There were further chances for both sides but the score stayed at 5-4 to Spurs after an exciting match, but one littered with errors from both sides. 

I can’t help but reflect that if City had played like that against some of the so-called smaller teams, we would have finished much higher up the table.

For the record, Simpson was replaced by Choudhury in the 56th minute, Gray by Diabete in the 61st and Ineanacho by Barnes in the 85th.  The unused substitutes included two more under-23s, in Ndukwu and Hughes. 

Like many City fans, I would have taken 9th and two good cup runs at the beginning of the season but the ‘new manager bounce’ when Puel was appointed raised expectations.  The jury is still out and I, for one, really can’t decide whether he should go or stay.  Fortunately, it is not my decision!

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker-Peters, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Sissoko, Wanyama, Lucas Moura, Eriksen, Lamela, Kane. Subs: Son, Sanchez, Vorm, Llorente, Alli, Foyth, Davies.

Leicester: Jakupovic, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Adrien Silva, Iborra, Mahrez, Iheanacho, Gray, Vardy. Subs: Hamer, Benalouane, Barnes, Diabate, Choudhury, Hughes, Ndukwu.

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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FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE

LEICESTER CITY 3 ARSENAL 1

Match Report by Paul Weston

I hate to say it but I did not look forward at all to going to City’s last home match as I drove my usual 2.5 hours from Suffolk. This season has drawn to a close with a sense of frustration and disappointment. When going to a City football match there is usually the thrill of what might happen and a hope to see some exciting play to lift the spirits. After many home games and the totally inept performance by players and manager against West Ham I held no hope for the match against Arsenal who were belatedly giving Arsene Wenger a good send off.

And what of our manager? After an encouraging start he had somehow managed to suck the spirit and energy out of our team. Who knows whether it is his methods or the players unable or unwilling to play his way but the performances had recently been awful and so, so boring. The amount of injuries stacking up and a suspension have not helped his cause either so the cupboard was rather bare for team selection.

Against this backdrop the match seemed secondary. Rumours of Puel losing his job had been rife for weeks and, as I write, David Wagner’s name seemed to be the favourite, with Benitez a fans choice. The decision is critical for the future and there is a lack of trust that, if Puel stays, the right sort of players will be recruited for next season. There is also the likelihood of many out-of-favour players returning from loan just to complicate the situation.

The team for the match rather selected itself from who was standing and fit. The main pleasant surprise was to see Jakupovic in goal for his first league game. Why has it taken so long for him to be selected? Simpson returned at right back. Midfield looked vulnerable with Silva and Choudhury in the centre. Iheanacho, Mahrez, Diabete and Vardy provided the attacking threat.

The game that then unfolded was a complete revelation- and how! Yes, City won in the end but it had everything that was not present in the last few months of home matches. There was pace, intensity, movement, great passing, crosses, shots, incidents and saves galore and the crowd responded well. It felt like the City team we knew and love had returned. What had changed? Was it different tactics from the manager or had the players thrown off the shackles after the embarrassing lap of appreciation after the West Ham match?

It took a while for City to get the ball from Arsenal at the start of the match as their crisp passing at first carried on around City players. However, City started to get into the game with Diabate and Fuchs in particular pressing forward. In the 15th minute what looked at first like an overhit cross from Fuchs was brilliantly headed back by Diabate for Iheanacho to shoot home. At last a goal!

City were threading balls through quickly for Vardy and Iheanacho to move onto, instead of passing back and square. Iheanacho broke through the centre and was hauled down by Mavropanos. It was an obvious red card and sending off despite Wenger’s protestations. Perhaps it was compensation for the red card Creswell should have received in the last match? Welbeck, City’s nemesis, was withdrawn in the Arsenal team reshuffle.

Gaps then started to open up as Arsenal were down to 10 men, and City should have taken more advantage, as Vardy, Iheanacho and Maguire all went close. Diabete was a real threat and Fuchs was continually in support. At the same time Arsenal always broke swiftly for goal and were still a threat. Jakupovic commanded his goal well, despite a few early scares, and Arsenal were kept at bay. The first half ended 1-0 to City, although Iheanacho could have had a hat-trick. One outrageous shot from the half way line, when he should have passed to Vardy, showed a level of confidence that was good to see. The crowd responded with cheers at half time, instead of the boos at the previous match.

Silva had what looked like a bad injury just before half time so we were delighted to see him reappear for the second half, especially as he was having a good influence on the game. Arsenal were still playing well, despite their 10 men, and drew level in the 53rd minute when, despite a fine save from Jakupovic, Aubameyang scored from the rebound. However, the City players heads did not drop and, urged on by the crowd, they continued to play with the same intensity as in the first half. It was great to see Choudhury, urged on by the crowd, biting into tackles and growing in confidence as the match progressed.

Gray was brought on for Diabete, who had had a fine match. Demarai Gray has in my opinion, not developed this season. In fact it has seemed that he has lost confidence. However, just having taken the field he burst into the penalty area and was brought down. Vardy scored emphatically from the penalty. 2-1 to City!

The remainder of the match was cut and thrust with Arsenal pressing for an equaliser and City attacking on the break. It was just like old times! Too many times Vardy was just caught offside, though, when another goal was on the cards.

And then in the 90th minute Choudhury played a good ball out to Mahrez on the wing. Up to that time Mahrez had had one of those games when nothing he tried had quite worked out. This time, however, he twisted and turned and drilled the ball across Cech for a stunning goal. 3-1! If that is the last time we see Mahrez in a home game for City then it was a good way to remember him.

The last home match of the season ended with a victory at last and the whole team paraded around the pitch to cheers from the crowd, buzzing after a great game. It had reintroduced the feel-good factor.

Who knows if this performance will affect the Chairman’s decision on the manager’s future which needs to be made soon? It shows that the players, even with significant injuries in the squad, have the ability if they play with energy, passion and speed from the beginning and are prepared to take risks. The question is – is this the Puel way?

Finally, a word about Robert Huth, who was introduced to the crowd before the start of the match. Sadly, he had not been able to play a part in this season and we have missed him. We wish him well with grateful thanks for the significant part he played in City’s greatest ever season.

Leicester: Jakupovic, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Diabate, Silva, Choudhury, Mahrez, Iheanacho, Vardy. Subs: Hamer, Gray, Dragovic, Iborra, Benalouane, Thomas, Barnes.

Goals: Iheanacho (14),  Vardy (75), Mahrez (90)

Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Mavropanos, Holding, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Iwobi, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Aubameyang. Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Mustafi, Nelson, Nketiah, Osei-Tutu, Willock.

Goal: Aubameyang. (53)

Sent Off: Mavropanos (20)

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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Hammers Clout Claude

Leicester City 0 West Ham United 2    

5 May 2018

Report by Tish Krokosz

All the talk before the start of the match was whether Puel would last to the end of the season. He had been given the support of the club chairman on the previous day which in normal circumstances means nothing. Time would tell whether Leicester’s performance and result would strengthen that support.

With so many injuries and one suspension to contend with, Claude Puel was not holding many trump cards with which to play a strong hand in this match. Whereas, David Moyes, although under a different sort of pressure, was revving his players up to ensure that they had a chance of survival in the Premiership. Leicester’ position in the table meant safety for another season. Were the team interested in obtaining three points from this match?

The answer was apparent within minutes of the kick-off. West Ham had not come for a draw. They were on the front foot from the start and showed the keenness, awareness and intensity to attack at every opportunity. The warm afternoon weather did not bother them. They were first to the ball in every section of the pitch. They looked confident, assured and moved the ball around with purpose.

The majority of the first thirty minutes was one way traffic and it was not toward the West Ham goal. It took all that time for City to muster a shot that was roughly in the direction of that goal. Hamer, standing in for the injured Schmeichel once again, was the busier of the two goalkeepers. But entertainment value was generally sparse in that period.

Then West Ham found a different gear. Arnoutovic forced Hamer into a good save with his legs; the same forward then turned Wes Morgan with frightening ease and shot against the bar. A minute later, Masuaku made a good run down the left wing and crossed to the far post where Fuchs tripped over the legs of Arnautovic and was unable to deal with the latter’s cross into the path of Mario. Unmarked, he had the simplest of jobs to smack the ball into the net. The 1-0 lead was the least that West Ham deserved.

There was a little more passion from City after this setback with Diabaté, in particular, making an effort to go forward and get past a resolute West Ham defence. When Mahrez finally managed one of his dazzling runs and crossed the ball into the box, there was nobody there to attack it.

The first half showed that the damage done by the forced omission of key players was hurting City. Benalouane was at right back and looked as if he was unsure how to play that role. Iborra and Choudhury were not gelling in the centre of midfield. The latter, especially, spent a lot of time chasing fresh air. Vardy had no chances to run on to long balls and was no less a spectator than we were in the stands.

As Iborra had come back from injury earlier than expected, we were not too surprised to see him substituted at half-time by Dragovic. But this meant that we started the second half with Maguire moving forward into midfield and taking on Iborra’s role. How would this work? Well, for the next quarter of the match it spurred City into a more attacking mode and they seemed to find second or even third gear. Maguire, himself, who during the week, had walked off with all the player of the year accolades, managed a powerful shot towards goal which needed to be two feet lower to be on target.

A minute earlier, City made a double substitution, bringing on Iheanacho and Gray for Choudhury and Diabaté, at which point the crowd starting chanting “You don’t know what you’re doing”. Usually, this remark is aimed at referees when they have not given the decision that the crowd would like to see. Would Claude Puel be aware that this was aimed at him?

The decision was strange as Diabaté, especially, had shown promise. Earlier in the half, it was his long pass that had allowed Vardy to run towards the box with only Cresswell to beat. The latter had somehow managed to trip and fall on to the ball and grab it with his hands. This earned him a yellow card and, as it was just inches outside the penalty area, gave City a free kick from a dangerous position. It came to nothing.

With little more than 25 minutes remaining, West Ham were awarded a free kick near the right touchline just into the City half after Dragovic had blocked Mario with his body. This earned the defender a yellow card. When the same defender headed out the subsequent kick, the ball came towards Noble, who was well outside the area, and he struck it first time on the volley through the crowded box and into the left hand corner of the net.

At this point, West Ham were happy to defend a 2-0 lead and, although City kept plugging away at the opposition goal, there were no really dangerous moments for the visitors until the 86th minute when Silva had a good shot on goal. This was City’s first shot on target during the match and prompted the crowd to cheer loudly, singing “We’ve had a shot on goal”.

When the final whistle went, the boos were louder and more numerous than after the Southampton match. As I was leaving the ground, I did not hear any supporting comments for Puel and the talk was once again about how he could survive into next season. The current players are unable to play to his methods and if there are to be wholesale changes to bring in the type of player who can, how much time would he have to implement his system and gain the results that he needs to keep his job?

Leicester City: Hamer, Benalouane, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Choudhury (Iheanacho 61), Iborra (Dragovic h-t), Mahrez, Silva, Diabaté (Gray 61), Vardy. Subs not used: Jakupovic, Thomas, Barnes, Hughes.

West Ham United: Adrian, Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Masuaku, (Evra 90+3), Mario, Lanzini (Carroll 75), Arnautovic (Fernandes 75). Subs not used: Hugill, Obiang, Cullen, Trott.

Referee: C. Kavanagh                                   Attendance: 32,013

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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