In the a further instalment of our match reporters considered thoughts on last season and aspirations for next, today we get the view of our Northern based match report, Graham Tracey
Before the season started what were your hopes on what we could achieve?
Top half finish, get out of the CL group stage and an FA Cup run a bonus
So on that basis out of 10, how would you rate last season overall and why?
9 – for all the ups and downs, the season must be placed in the context of our history as one of the greatest ever
Why do you think we had relative success in the Champions League while struggling in the Premier League ?
Playing twice a week at that level is mentally difficult as well as physically. Remembering our second tier seasons, we always had dodgy patches across 46 games and that was at a much lower standard.
When it was announced, did you agree with the sacking of Claudio Ranieri ?
No – even though I felt there was a strong chance of relegation, I wanted Claudio to be able to leave with dignity in the summer
And now with the benefit of seeing the results, were the owners proved right ?
Yes. Although I disagree with and hate the cliché “football is just a business”. If you go to a restaurant / concert / theatre or buy a car and its rubbish, you don’t go again or buy the same car again. That’s business. With football, fans go back regardless of it being rubbish. Completely different emotional factors are in play.
What was your personal highlight of the season?
Overcoming Sevilla. Hugely emotional and an unforgettable achievement. From the first half of the first leg, it looked utterly futile. Fighting on knowing that at some point things will get better was a lesson we can all remember with fondness for our lives in general.
Kasper won the Player of the Year Awards, would he have been your choice and who else do you think deserves praise for their performances
Yes as a keeper in my youth he certainly would. I never thought anyone would replace Mark Wallington as my all-time favourite City keeper but Kasper has. Vardy, Albrighton and Simpson were all consistently good – Vardy despite ridiculous and ill-informed criticism from the media and armchair followers of other clubs.
Which player do you think made the most progress last season and why?
Albrighton and Chilwell.
Which player did you think underperformed the most last season and why ?
Mahrez. Reminded me of playing for a poor 5 a side team and when we were struggling I’d always keep giving it to our most skilful player even when we only had success one time out of a dozen. Must be frustrating for him, but didn’t pass often enough to take advantage of the space elsewhere. I am happy for him to leave on the grounds that I would be more upset if Grey left instead.
What were your views on the signings made during last season ?
Ndidi was obviously excellent and I like Slimani. But elsewhere the peril of signing too many players new to English football who may not settle or integrate (as much off the pitch as on it) was clear. I am much happier being linked with say McGuire than European, African or South American centre halves.
For match reporters who attended away games, which ground gave you your best away experience and why ?
As my girlfriend is a Liverpool season ticket holder, I sat in the Kop with her for their first home game of the season and it was the loudest noise I have experienced in nearly 40 years of going to games.
Moving onto next season
What changes do you think are necessary to improve on this year’s squad?
Probably one player through the spine of the team. I prefer a fairly regular first XI than too much rotation though, and so I am averse to spending millions of pounds on here today, gone tomorrow squad players.
While watching Premiership games during the 2016/7 season, which player from another club would you advise Shakey to sign?
Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain is for me an example of the standard of player we could now attract from a bigger club who would do well for us for a number of seasons.
What would you set as the target(s) for next season ?
Go all out for the FA Cup and Europa League qualification
Any other observation you would like to make
Living in the North West, it was increasingly annoying to be on the receiving end of daily comments in February about ‘snakes’ from people who have never set foot in Leicester, let alone been to a match, let alone got to know the personalities of our players over the years. People would also regularly say to me “what’s gone wrong with your team this season” as if winning the league was the new normal. Exasperating.
I would also like to keep hold of as many of the title winners for as long as possible. Like the astronauts who walked on the moon, one day none of them will be left at our club, and we should cherish having them for as long as we can.
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