The run continues

Brighton 0 City 2

Report by Kate Thompson

Like the Crystal Palace game, this was one where I thought we might come unstuck, but as most pundits went for a Brighton win, I was happy to be proved wrong.

City started strongly and could have scored within minutes of the start; Barnes hit a shot just over the bar, Perez hit the bar and Vardy had a header saved by Ryan.  At this stage it was looking good and the awful weather reminded us of games against Newcastle and Southampton in the pouring rain – and they both turned out well! 

As the game went on and City dominated without scoring, some doubts started to creep in.  Brighton finished the first half the stronger and carried on in the second half; despite this it turned out that they didn’t have a single shot on target. 

Finally, in the 64th minute City broke the deadlock.  From a Brighton corner, the players broke quickly with Vardy, as ever, spring-heeled and leaving the defenders for dead.  Very unselfishly, considering an almost identical move only minutes before broke down when Perez took too long, he squared the ball for a simple tap-in for the Spaniard.  How many players in a similar situation would have thought ‘Well he messed it up last time, I am going to have a go myself now’. 

Only minutes later Vardy was one on one with Ryan but the goalkeeper made a good block.  Brighton had their chances and might have had a penalty; fortunately, Mike Dean waved away any appeals and it seemed that the Brighton player had made a meal of it.

In the 82nd minute Gray was fouled just inside the box, for what seemed a rather soft penalty.  Vardy struck the ball well as ever, but Ryan guessed the right way and pushed it away, only for Maddison to follow up with a good header.

Then VAR came into play and it appeared that several players had encroached into the box before Vardy took the penalty, so it was taken again and this time he made no mistake. 

So that is five games on the bounce for him – is he going to beat his own record?!  Incidentally, is that the first time that Dean has been kind to Leicester? 

Maddison later tweeted that it was not the 23rd birthday present he hoped for and it was ages before the scoreboard removed the goal symbol next to his name.

Despite Brighton’s lack of fire power they worked hard but the defence held firm, with Soyuncu continuing his impressive season.  Evans had to go off in the 62nd minute and was replaced by Morgan; Rodgers said afterwards that it was only cramp and that Johnny had not been able to train fully after a few days in hospital for an undisclosed stomach problem. 

Praet replaced Perez in the 70th minute and Gray came on for Barnes in the 78th.  

Once again Leicester proved that a team who play for each other can beat 11 so-called super stars any day of the week.  The one player who was somewhat below his normal excellent standard was Tielemans, but it hardly mattered.  So we continue to dream.

Brighton: Ryan, Montoya, Duffy, Webster, Burn, Mooy, Propper, Stephens, Trossard, March, Maupay. Subs: Balogun,  Schelotto, Button, Murray, Jahanbakhsh, Bissouma, Groß

Leicester: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Ndidi, Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy. Subs: Ward. Morgan, Iheanacho, Gray, Albrighton. Praet. Justin

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

FSA -The Fans’ Manifesto

In a little over three weeks millions of football fans will head out to cast their vote in December’s General Election – and the main political parties will be publishing manifestos including policies which could affect football.

With that in mind the FSA has pulled together some core campaign ideas and asked all the major political parties whether they support The Fans’ Manifesto.

The FSA does not favour one political party over another and football fans come from all walks of society. That means supporters can have wildly different views but we do think every fan should be informed and we aim to help with that. It’s then up to each fan where they put their X.

The Fans’ Manifesto:

Grassroots – Share the wealth

  • At a time when there is more money in and around football than ever before we should be enjoying a golden age of grassroots football. No local club or school team should have to endure crumbling infrastructure or lack of funds to encourage participation and develop tomorrow’s star players. The FSA wants to see more of the wealth of football – and of those like agents and betting companies who live off it – used to support the base of the game.

Standing – Stand Up for Choice

  • The existing legislation which aims to stop supporters standing at the game is deeply unpopular and should be scrapped. We believe there are different mixes of stewarding approaches and standing technologies which clubs can use to manage fans standing at football and it should be up to each club, in conjunction with its supporters and the local Safety Advisory Group, to develop appropriate stadium plans based on sound and rigorous risk assessment. The FSA believes clubs and fans should be empowered to work together to decide what mix of standing and seated areas is right for them.

Transport – Flexible football rail tickets

  • Supporters travel the length and breadth of the country following their club, often at great expense, while working around last-minute changes to games due to TV demands or football schedule clashes. The introduction of an affordable and flexible rail ticket which is tied to a game, rather than a date, could reduce costs for fans and generate new revenue for train operators at times which are often outside peak hours. The Premier League and EFL support this concept: the FSA calls on government to make it happen.

Governance and regulation – Protect our pyramid and heritage

  • Football is our biggest cultural expression of community identity and no other country exhibits such depth of support for clubs from the top to the bottom of the pyramid, yet this heritage can be at the mercy of unscrupulous and incompetent owners. The football authorities must be required to establish an independent process of regulation for professional clubs with a tougher Owners and Directors Test, increased financial transparency, and a requirement of owners to exercise proper stewardship over clubs, all in close co-operation with supporters’ organisations.

Equality – No to discrimination

  • A commitment to diversity and inclusion underpins all of the FSA’s activity and we oppose all forms of discrimination or violence in relation to football. To this end, we call for a real engagement and investment in promoting inclusion and combatting discrimination in football. The Football (Offences) Act should be extended so that it is not limited to ‘racialist or indecent chanting’ but includes all protected characteristics from the Equality Act.

The FSA’s remit is very wide and The Fans’ Manifesto has a specific focus on areas which we believe will engage political parties. If you’d like to read more about all of our work check out our Annual Review.

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Trust Encourage Participation In EuroFit Programme

Foxes Trust are actively seeking to work closer with Leicester City in The Community (LCitC). Recently LCitC announced the rerun of its EuroFit Programme,

We would urge all to consider if the programme suits their needs, if you think it might be for you then you may be encouraged by Martin’s story.

My EuroFIT Experience – Martin Spencer (2nd from left, participant in the very first EuroFIT)

I was an office worker approaching 60 years of age and I was overweight, unfit and a real couch potato.

I desperately wanted to change to a more healthy lifestyle but did not want the intensity of going to the gym. I also needed advice on diet and nutrition and wanted to be sitting down less.

It was February 2018 and a good friend advised me of a 12 week health programme, called EuroFIT that the Leicester City Community Trust were providing and would I like to join him?

I thought it would help me achieve my goals and with sessions being held at the King Power Stadium, it ticked all my boxes. The home of the football club I have loved all my life. What could be better?

I enrolled and it has absolutely transformed my life.

There were 20 of us that enrolled, all with the same goals in mind, the majority of participants are good friends to this day and we went on a journey of learning how to eat and drink healthier and exercise more but not in a too strenuous manner.

We all lost weight (I lost half a stone, but many lost more) and some inches off our waists.

We exercised in the stadium’s concourses, walked around the pitch and around the outside of the stadium, walked up and down the stands and we played walking football in the club car park. Step counters were provided and we were set goals to increase our step count on a weekly basis, both at our sessions and during the course of the week ahead.

This was all done under the careful eye of LCFC Community Manager Matt Bray who was amazing in so far as he was knowledgeable, a good fitness and nutrition coach and he did not ask us to do anything that was beyond us. He took an interest in us all as individuals which everyone appreciated.

At the end of the course and as a reward for our commitment and hard work, Matt arranged for us all to have the opportunity and thrill of playing walking football on the pitch at the King Power Stadium, something that we will all hold as a treasured memory forever.

Since the end of our EuroFIT experience, many of the participants of the course have continued to meet up and play walking football on a weekly basis.

For people like me who wanted to make a change to a healthier lifestyle and are Leicester City supporters, I could not recommend this course more. It is one of the best things I have ever done and I hope to continue to exercise and eat and drink healthier for the rest of my life.

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Football Supporters’ Association Awards 2019 – VOTE NOW

At the end of last week , the shortlists were announced for the FSA Awards. 11 categories are decided by the public, with a further 7 judged by an FSA panel.

In the Men’s Player of the Year category, Liverpool pair of Sadio Mané and Virgil van Dijk alongside fellow Ballon d’Or shortlisted nominee Raheem Sterling of Manchester City. High-flying Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy joins fellow forwards Heung-Min Son of Spurs and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in completing the six man shortlist.

The Safe Hands award shortlist has been chosen by David James featuring six of the best saves from the past 12 months. You can watch the short video at the voting link to choose your favourite from Kasper Schmeichel, Bernd Leno, Bartosz Bialkowski, Sam Johnstone, Courtney Brosnan and Josh Vickers.

Other awards you can vote for include Women’s Player of the Year, Commentator of the Year, Fan Media of the Year, Newspaper of the Year, Online Media of the Year, Podcast of the Year, Pundit of the Year, Radio Show of the Year, and Writer of the Year

Voting is open until midnight on 30th November. You can vote only once in each category, but you don't have to vote in every category, VOTE HERE

Panel judged awards are Supporter Engagement Award, Supporter Liaison Officer of the Year, National Game Community Award, Away Day of the Year, Fanzine of the Year, Club Podcast of the Year and Fans for Diversity Award

The winners will be announced on the evening of 16th December at the FSA awards ceremony in London.

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City’s Firepower Stronger than Gunners

Leicester City 2 Arsenal 0  –  9 November 2019

Report by Tish Krokosz

On yet another rainy evening, City’s match with Arsenal was preceded by the usual acknowledgement to Remembrance Day by the Last Post being played and a minute’s silence being observed by the crowd.

Was it this inclement weather that made Unai Emery bring such a defensive team to the King Power or was it City’s reputation of hammering five goals past Newcastle and nine goals past Southampton in similar conditions? It seemed clear from the outset that the visitors would be playing with five at the back and would be content with a point. I have not seen such a defensive line-up from Arsenal for a very long time and for the first half, at least, it proved effective for them.

As has been seen in recent games, City were happy to attack from the start and would have breached the Arsenal defence a couple of times in the first fifteen minutes if the visitors had not defended in depth. Their quality was poor and they only survived because of the mass of bodies in City’s way. As shown on Match of the Day they also seemed to get away with a decent penalty shout in the 10th minute when Söyüncü was pulled back, but VAR failed to pick up the incident.

It is great to see how City have adapted to the manager’s style of intensive yet patient football. Under Puel, it seemed that a similar style was seen as negative – probably because it would go backwards too many times. Under Rodgers, the City defenders will still pass the ball between them at the back, but will spot the right time to move forward with intensity and quality (where have I heard that phrase before?).

Although City had the majority of possession in the first half and plenty of half-chances to open the scoring, Arsenal had the clearest opportunity to score when they counter-attacked down the right side and crossed the ball into the penalty area where either Lacazette or Aubameyang could have scored from six yards out. Instead, they got in each other’s way and the former pinged the ball wide of the right post.

City, on the other hand, were attacking in waves from both wings and down the middle of the park. With such a poor defence in front of them, we had to get the ball in the net, surely?

Yet despite good free-kicks from Chilwell and Maddison, the latter hitting his just over the bar five minutes before half-time, and opportunities for Perez and Tielemans going wayward, the score remained goalless at the break.

Emery must have said something to his players at half-time as they started the second half more positively and Bellerin, in particular, was trying to push further forward down the right hand side. However, City’s attitude increased in equal measure and the game generally moved up one gear. It’s great to see Ricardo Pereira when he is on one of his runs and three minutes into the second-half he reached the bye-line at pace and crossed the ball towards the penalty spot where an unmarked Ndidi should have made it 1-0. But his thunderous, left-footed shot hit the bar and rebounded to safety.

This prompted the Londoners to put more pressure on the home side and for a while they had the upper hand. Not long after Ndidi’s miss, an Arsenal counter attack ended up with Aubameyang planting the ball past Schmeichel. Luckily for City, the Gunner was marginally offside when the ball had been passed to him and the goal was disallowed. VAR checked the assistant referee’s call and the decision stood.

Five minutes later, Rodgers decided that Perez was losing out to Kolasinac too many times. Indeed, in the first half there were countless cases of the winger going down too easily under an Arsenal challenge. He was replaced by Gray.

In the past, I have been wary of such a change. But recently he has been more effective and so it proved once again. His shooting was more accurate, his choice of passes was more intelligent, his skills were more effective and seven minutes after his introduction he had a small part to play in the build up to Vardy’s goal. His was the first of several neat flicks and passes that involved him, Tielemans and Barnes before the unmarked Vardy was able to crash the ball into the left hand side of the goal. This fast, incisive, accurate passing was the only way that the rugged Arsenal defence would be breached and it was a joy to watch.

This gave City renewed vigour and Vardy was soon thinking he would be celebrating a brace of goals after Gray had found space down the middle of the field, He passed the ball to Vardy who was clear on the right side the penalty area, but his powerful shot was saved by Leno.

Arsenal could see that they might end up losing yet again away from home. Their tackles were more robust and they tried to push more men forward, but it was in one of these moves that Ndidi showed his strength and determination and won the ball on the half-way line as only Ndidi can, using those extra long legs of his. He moved forward and passed to Tielemans, who, in turn, quickly moved the ball to Vardy. This time, the centre forward acted as provider to Maddison and his first time shot went through Bellerin’s legs and into the left hand corner of the goal past a statuesque Leno.

This gave the cushion that City needed to control the rest of the game and toy with an Arsenal team that looked as bedraggled as the media has made them out to be.

With the recent results and the standard of play that City have enjoyed under the management of Brendan Rodgers, it is no wonder that the fans are singing of their hope for another European tour. In the current position of second this is the expectation of many. However, there is a long way to go to the end of the season, but, what if …?

Leicester: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Ndidi, Perez (Gray 60), Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes (Praet 74), Vardy. Subs not used: Ward, Morgan, Justin, Choudhury, Albrighton.

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Chambers, Luiz, Holding (Pépé 77), Kolasinac, Torreira (Willock 80), Guendouzi, Özil, Aubameyang, Lacazette. Subs not used: Tierney, Papastathopoulos, Martinez, Martinelli, Saka.

Referee: C. Kavanagh                                               Attendance: 32,209

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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