Foxes Trust World Cup Predictor Game – one week to go !

As the start of the World Cup is only a week away, our thoughts turn to the 10 Leicester City players taking part, spread across 6 national teams, so the progress of many groups will be watched closely

So why not take an active part by joining the Foxes Trust competition which uses the Official FIFA predictor game, is entirely free and gives you genuine chance to win some great prizes, in addition Foxes Trust will be offering a prize to the winner*of our own Private League.

In order to participate you will first need to register on the FIFA predictor website, https://predictor.fifa.com/match/leaguejoin/0084593f

Once registered use code 0084593f in the join league section, you will automatically be linked to the ‘Foxes Trust WC18’ League.

 

*All the Foxes Trust will see is your Username, if you want to have a chance to win the Foxes Trust prize then you must send us your email details and user name prior to the first match. The Winner will be the highest placed person who has provided these details. The Foxes Trust will not keep your details on record beyond the tournament unless you express your preference to do so. Send details to mail@foxestrust.com

 

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End Of Season Review 2017-18 Part Two

Today with continue our series of articles where our match reporters reflect on last season and start planning for the next, second up is Kate Thompson

Before the season started what were your hopes on what we could achieve ?

As I said in last season’s review, my hopes were to stay in the Premier League and win the FA Cup; we achieved the first but not the second, despite arguably our best chance for years.  It was a season of lost opportunities, of which this was the most disappointing.

 

Given the way the season progressed from early relegation threat, to hopes of European football to then a season petering out, then throw in a couple of good cup runs,  how would you rate last season overall out of 10 and why? 

Despite my modest hopes at the beginning of the season, I would only rate it as 6.  I was sad when Shakespeare was sacked, having been such a good servant to the club, and not very enthused at Puel’s appointment.  He confounded all his critics by some excellent early results, of which the best was undoubtedly away at Southampton – one of the few matches I didn’t attend!  But then the wheels fell off and it looked like we would never get another win, so that the early ‘new manager bounce’ had become more important.  If we had played all season like we did at the end, we would have been relegation without a doubt.  To finally win against Arsenal was very satisfying and the last match at Wembley was incredible, despite the ultimate result.

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the missed opportunity in the FA Cup was a real downer; I don’t want to blame Schmeichel completely but the feeling persisted that Chelsea were there for the taking and yet again City missed a golden opportunity.

 

Harry McGuire 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, absolutely, he has been a revelation.  A close second for me was Ndidi, who followed up his first season with another good one and was the best midfielder in the league, beating the iconic Kante into third place!  He just needs to learn to control his emotions, as we cannot afford to keep losing him to suspension.  I also thought Choudhury played an impressive cameo role and this, and the performance of the Development Squad as a whole, gives me hope for the future.

 

What were your views on the signings made during last season ?

Apart from Maguire, nobody was outstanding.  Iborra and Silva (when he was finally allowed to play) showed glimpses of their abilities, but not consistently enough for me.  It became increasingly clear that there is a gulf between the Premier League and other countries in terms of the speed of the game.  Jakupovic got little chance to show what he was made of and a serious contender to Schmeichel is a must.  Iheanacho was disappointing until the end of the season, although to be fair he had limited opportunities to show what his ability; however, his performance in the last two games – and the cracking goal against Spurs – suggest that he is becoming the player we expected.

 

Which player do you think made the most progress last season and why?

Apart from Ndidi, the player who I think did well until he got injured again, was Matty James.  I have always liked him and it appears that the managers do too, so I hope he is able to recover from his latest setback.  Outside of the first team, there were some excellent performances from the Development Squad and some astute signings have been made, such as George Thomas, who must surely have a good future with the first team.

 

Which player did you think underperformed the most last season and why ?

To my surprise, the biggest disappointment has been Schmeichel and I wonder how much of this is due to there being no goalkeeper seriously challenging him for the no 1 spot.  Also Mahrez has had another on-off season, with some wonderful moments (such as the last minute free kick against Bournemouth) but also some games where he either goes walkabout or tries to take on an entire team when there is a team-mate in a better position.  Also guilty of this is Demarai Gray, who still appears to believe he is better than he is.  Another player who disappointed me was Ben Chilwell; he is clearly better than Fuchs at going forward but his defending was dire at times and I hope Fuchs continues to be the first choice left back next season, until he leaves us for the States and new ventures.

 

What was your personal highlight of the season?

It has to be the win against Arsenal.  I didn’t realise it was 24 years since we last beat them and it was worth waiting for.  If I had been at the Southampton away game I might have nominated that.  I would add West Brom away, if only for the cracking goal from Vardy that won goal of the season.  In the FAC Cup, the away game at Peterborough was wonderful, with five great goals – including for me one of the best I have seen with a wonderful cross from Fuchs and a thunderbolt from Iheanacho.  OK, it was lower level opposition but, as the cliché says, you can only beat what is in front of you.

Moving onto next season

The main question towards the end of the season was would you keep Claude Puel to carry out the re-building obviously needed over the summer and what is behind your reasoning?

I think on balance yes.  Like many others I feel he comes across as colourless although I wouldn’t criticise him for his reserved manner.  He is clearly a thinker and appears to know what needs putting right, so I think he deserves a chance.  If we want a precedent, the name of (Saint) Martin O’Neill comes to mind; I can’t be the only one who remembers how many fans were calling for his head, and look how that turned out!

 

What changes do you think are necessary to improve on this year’s squad?

We have made a good start by signing Pereira, who looks just the sort of right back we are looking for.  We need another centre back to partner Maguire, as Morgan was struggling at times this season; I would like to see Dragovic signed permanently.  We need another goalkeeper (Butland please!) to challenge Schmeichel and, if Mahrez finally gets his wish and leaves, another tricky winger.  After all they are ten a penny aren’t they!  A no 10 to replace Okazaki, who I think we have seen the last of, is essential to prevent Vardy being so isolated again.

 

A number of players went out on loan last season, are there any of those players you would like to see involved in our first team squad for next season?

Ulloa has stated that he would like to stay at Brighton and I would let him do that (if Brighton want to keep him) with our blessing and thanks for his invaluable contribution in the title-winning season.  We will never forget his coolness in taking the last-minute penalty in the West Ham home game, after Vardy had been sent off, and his other last-minute goal against Norwich at home, which registered on the Richter scale. 

I don’t want to see Slimani back; he has scored some important goals and showed that he can score with his feet as well as his head, but he looks lumbering to me and nothing like an athlete.  I would love to see Andy King back, although I doubt he will be anything more than a substitute now and whatever happens with him, I hope the club give him a testimonial for being such a loyal servant for so long.  Musa has apparently been playing well back in Russia, but I think he would still struggle in England.  I would like to see Mendy given another chance (he is on loan I think) as he was never really given an opportunity to show what he is capable of.

 

If you had a chance for a word in the owners’ ears, which player(s) would you be advising to sign?

As referred to above, I would love us to sign Jack Butland from Stoke, now that they have been relegated.  I think Alfie Mawson from Swansea could be a good acquisition.  Apart from the relegated clubs, I think we would struggle to attract players currently with other Premier League clubs, but I like to think there are some gems lower down the pecking order or playing outside England.  It looks like we still have a strong scouting network and it is interesting that Walsh has been sacked by Everton, having been such an influence at Leicester.

 

Any other observation you would like to make

Please can we win the FA Cup?!  I don’t have many years left to wait!  Apart from the games, I hope the extension of the stadium can go ahead and I look forward to seeing the new training ground.

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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Annual Service of Remembrance

The annual Service of Remembrance will take place at 1:30pm on Sunday 3 June at King Power Stadium.

The service will be led by Club Chaplain Andrew Hulley and Club Ambassador Alan Birchenall.

The club website goes on to state:

‘An informal and dignified service takes places which celebrates the lives of loved ones no longer with us, while providing comfort to those who still grieve for them.

Club Ambassador Alan Birchenall said: “In recent years the Remembrance Service has become a very well attended event and gives much comfort to people during what can be very difficult times. The growing numbers show just how important the Remembrance Garden is to our wonderful supporters.”

Light refreshments will be provided following the service.

For further details on the King Power Stadium Remembrance Garden, email lcfchelp@lcfc.co.uk’.

 

As an organisation we would like to promote this excellent event as much as possible, so we would urge both members and non-members alike to share this post as widely as possible.

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Foxes Trust World Cup Predictor Game – open to all

The Foxes Trust predictor game uses the Official FIFA predictor game, which is entirely free, gives you a genuine chance to win some great prizes, in addition the Foxes Trust will be offering a prize to the winner*of our own Private League.

In order to participate you will first need to register on the FIFA predictor website, https://predictor.fifa.com/match/leaguejoin/0084593f

Once registered use code 0084593f in the join league section, you will automatically be linked to the ‘Foxes Trust WC18’ League.

 

*All the Foxes Trust will see is your Username, if you want to have a chance to win the Foxes Trust prize then you must send us your email details and user name prior to the first match.

 

The Winner will be the highest placed person who has provided these details. The Foxes Trust will not keep your details on record beyond the tournament unless you express your preference to do so. Send details to mail@foxestrust.com

 

Good luck and thank you for joining

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End Of Season Review 2017-18 Part One

With time given to reflect, today starts the series of articles where our match reporters give their views on last season and start planning for the next, Colin Murrant was the first to file his thoughts.

Before the season started what were your hopes on what we could achieve ? 

Last year's hopes, 'foremost I hope to see a lot more enthusiasm, desire and grit amongst the side; also creativity. A lot less reliance on Jamie Vardy for the goals.' Not really improved 

'I do not see the promoted clubs being a threat and there were several teams above us in the Final table that I would expect us to finish above: therefore I go for 8th.' One position out, but in light of our position around Christmas, should have been at least 7th

'I hope we take the FA Cup seriously and believe that any club that does can progress to the latter stages depending on the draw; a home tie would be nice for a change. So final of one of the cups would be my target with an expectation to reach the semi-finals.' One round out again although, but for suspect team selection against Man City in the Carabao Cup, and appalling goalkeeping error against Chelsea in the FA Cup, who knows what might have been? 

 

Given the way the season progressed from early relegation threat, to hopes of European football to then a season petering out, then throw in a couple of good cup runs,  how would you rate last season overall out of 10 and why?  

Six, overall this might have been a good season pre 15/16, but expectations have changed.

 Last season end I said I could not see Shakespeare as a manager so I expected we would waste a period of the season until he was sacked. 

Puel's impact was immense initially, Southampton away was a very special performance. Then team selections became random with no consistency, playing the 'well past his sell by date' Morgan ahead of Dragovic was bizarre; perhaps the only time I have heard fans 100% in unison about a player. The home form at the end was disgraceful, Arsenal apart. The Carabao Cup was a real opportunity against a strong but weakened Man City side: Vardy and Mahrez on the bench ended up playing most of the second-half and extra time, so why not start with them.  All in all, very disappointing since January. 

 

Harry McGuire won the Player of the Year Awards, would he have been your choice and who else do you think deserves praise for their performances? 

Harry played every minute of the Premier League matches and fully deserved his award. 

He is not the finished article yet and I feel he would have learned so much more by playing with Huth rather than Morgan. However, it was so refreshing to see a City Centre Back comfortable on the ball, at £17m in today’s market, a snip!

Only other City players would be Vardy and Ndidi. Vardy because the quality of some of his goals was outstanding and he fed on scraps towards the back end of the season yet still scored 20 goals in the PL. An analysis in the Daily Mail shows him converting over 77% of his 'big chances', Kane is 5th in the analysis on 56%.; and second only to Rooney in the overall chance conversion rate. 

Ndidi, loved this guy since beating Lukaku in the air in the first minute of his debut in January 2017. Still raw at times but what energy he has and wins so much possession for City.

  

What were your views on the signings made during last season? 

Silva is a slight positive, I think he will/can be a real asset but just when I think he is getting there he seems to disappoint, I think next season Puel needs to make a decision on what his midfield is, I hope Silva is a part of it. 

Diabate, so refreshing yet so left footed. Great debut at Peterborough and has showed glimpses of his pace and skill in the PL. Perhaps ahead of schedule as he was expected to go into the Development Squad. One definitely for the future and ahead of Gray in my opinion. 

Iheanacho, looks like he is getting back to his best form as seen when at Man City. Getting anyone to play with Vardy has been a problem, Okazaki has done it best of all but doesn't score enough goals. Iheanacho's cameo at WBA away was superb, stick my neck out and say he will have a great season in 2018/19, especially as he is upping his work rate. 

Dragovic, wonderful when he plays, no idea why he has not played more especially as you think he was a Puel type player: comfortable on the ball and can bring it out of defence – Please sign him up! 

Jakupovic, not really had a chance but looked comfortable in the matches against Fleetwood. In the Premier League was good against Arsenal and only on Spurs' first goal did I think he could have done better on his near post. 

Iborra, I rate this guy, so important in both boxes and midfield with his heading ability. A little inconsistent in his performances but next season should be a good one for him.  

 

Which player do you think made the most progress last season and why? 

It would be Wilfred Ndidi, at his tender age the team is much weaker without him. Improve his passing accuracy and his shooting and he will be top class. 

 

Which player did you think underperformed the most last season and why? 

If I am allowed to pick three – Schmeichel, Morgan, Chilwell  … oh and Gray (four). 

Kasper so hesitant coming off his line, Morgan so slow (both missed Huth immensely), Chilwell not a full back, Gray an enigma. 

 

What was your personal highlight of the season? 

The Southampton away performance, wonderful football, wonderful goals, wonderful night. I really thought we would go on to qualify for Europe after that performance. 

Moving onto next season 

The main question towards the end of the season was would you keep Claude Puel to carry out the re-building obviously needed over the summer and what is behind your reasoning? 

I would not trust him to spend my money but, as I write, the owners' have just sanctioned £20m on Ricardo Pereira so it looks like they are backing him.  I do not like his lack of charisma and his poor communication skill but, more than anything, I think his team selection, particularly Dragovic omission, is difficult to understand. 

What changes do you think are necessary to improve on this year’s squad? 

New Goal keeper, new full backs, new centre half, creative mid fielder. Higher tempo performances as seen against Arsenal. Probably a change in formation to 3-5-2 with Dragovic-Evans (?) – Maguire. No problems with Chilwell as a midfielder in this formation if he improves his crossing. I think this season without Huth has shown what an immense impact he had on City’s great escape and title, we missed him sorely.

 

A number of players went out on loan last season, are there any of those players you would like to see involved in our first team squad for next season? 

Not sure as I haven't followed their progress that closely. Elder at Wigan had a good season but not sure on his ability to step up at left-back in the PL at this moment in time.  Musa has done well at CSKA but I think his best position is where Vardy plays. Kapustka, Mendy, Slimani, Ulloa and King, I think they may have played their last game for the Club. Moore and Sowah at OH Leuven, no views on them. 

I think Hughes, Thomas and Barnes from the development squad may make breakthroughs. 

 

If you had a chance for a word in the owners ears, which player(s) would you be advising to sign? 

Either Pope or Heaton at Burnley, cannot see them wanting to both stay as they are top keepers: so impressed with Pope at Burnley when we played them, commanded his 6-yard box. Kasper has had a poor season, he appears to be even more reluctant to come off the line, also his positioning at free kicks just outside the box is questionable. With Maguire, Evans (seeming likely), Dragovic (hopefully) and Pereira we will have a stronger defence. A top-class goalkeeper will add to our strength at the back which has been sadly lacking this last season.

 

Any other observation you would like to make 

Puel does not inspire confidence. At Southampton in 16/17 he finished eighth and, but for a dubious decision, should have won the League Cup. He lost Wanyama, Mane, Pelle before the season started and Van Dijk was injured for a fair portion of the season, so no mean feat even though it tailed off towards the season end.

This season again he did very well but then the season petered out badly. Given the owners appear to be sticking with him, I really hope he can kick on for a whole season; also, I am a little fed up with the constant management changes and hope we can get some stability.  

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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