Gamble Back Fires, Changes Pay Off

Leicester City 1 – 1 Stoke City

City returned to league action after their fine win at premiership Aston Villa just 3 days earlier . Stoke were the visitors to the Walkers Stadium who themselves had started the season well. City Manager Gary Megson made 3 changes to the side that started at Villa, in came DJ Campbell Mark De Vries and Carl Cort replacing Matty Fryatt, Iain Hume and Radostan Kishishev as Megson gambled with a 3-4-3 formation.

Stoke started well and could have taken an early lead but Richard Cresswell failed to turn in a cross come shot. City were struggling to get a foothold in the match and it came as no surprise when after 15 minutes  Ricardo Fuller twisted through the city defence and hit a deflected shot that deceived Foxes keeper Marton Fulop and gave Stoke a deserved lead.
City struggled to impress for the rest of the first half and the only real note was a Gareth McAuley header that was claimed by Stoke keeper Simonsen with Campbell and Cort both waiting to put the ball away

HALF TIME 0-1

Megson was clearly not happy with the first half display and made a double substitution at half time. Fryatt and Hume replaced the ineffective Campbell and De Vries. The Leicester boss could not have been happier with the impact……


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Spirited Display Earns Rewards

Villa 0 City 1 (Carling Cup 3) 

Who would have thought it?  I would have put money on City being beaten by a considerable margin, if I were a betting woman, so this result was both surprising and welcome.  I travelled to the game by train and when I bought my ticket at New Street for Aston the ticket seller (who was a West Brom supporter) said he hoped we beat them.  My reply was that it was extremely unlikely, but how wrong can you be? 

I wasn’t at Charlton but saw the goals on television and was not impressed by the defensive lapses, but the different line-up, with three centre backs, was an enormous improvement.  The newspaper reports singled out N’Gotty and McAuley as the heroes of the defence but, while not denying the excellent game they both had, I was particularly impressed by Kisnorbo.  He seemed to epitomise the spirit of the team, determined to win every ball and equally determined not to allow Villa any sniff of a goal.  The other change was bringing Stearman back into defence, allowing Chambers to push up more, which he did very effectively. 

The longer the game went on the more it seemed that one goal would settle it and also that City were in with a real chance of getting that goal.  And so it proved, and didn’t Fryatt take it well?  (Or was it that new player at Forest, Fyatt!)  I thought he had delayed too long but he obviously knew what he was doing and slotted home coolly.  It was nice to see the Hume-Fryatt partnership in operation again and they seemed just as effective as any other combination tried so far this season. 

However, without wishing to take anything away from City I have to say that Villa were woeful; were I a supporter I would be seriously worried about relegation.  Was this really the same team that beat Chelsea recently?  Apparently there were six changes but I can’t believe Martin O’Neill would ever want to achieve less than a win – indeed he has said as much – and Barry has been quoted as saying it was the worst he had felt after a match, under their new manager…

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Visiting Villa

Aston Villa

Directions

The ground can be seen from the M6, if you are coming from the North side of Birmingham. Leave the M6 at Junction 6 and take the slip road sign posted Birmingham (NE). Turn right at the island (the fourth exit), the ground is well signposted from here. However to be on the safe side, turn right at the second set of traffic lights (there is the King Edward VII pub on the corner) on to Aston Hall Road. This road will take you down to the ground.  There is limited street parking (although don't be surprised if you are approached by kids wanting to 'mind your car').

By Train

Take the short train journey from Birmingham New Street (around 10-15 minutes) to either Aston or Witton station. Witton station is recommended as it is nearer to the away end and is only a short walk from the ground. Turn left out of the station exit and continue down to a roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout into Witton Lane and the entrance to the away section is down this road on the first corner of the ground that you reach. Approx 1 hr 30 min return £8-00 but check last trains back

Pubs
There are a number of pubs in the vicinity of Villa Park, but most of them on match days are either members only or have bouncers on the door.

Please note that alcohol is not available in the away end…..

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Another Difficult City Saturday !

Charlton 2 Leicester 0 

Foxes’ managers are the focus topic currently. Leicester City’s performance at Charlton on Saturday brought some recent Valley memories back for this reporter: Peter Taylor’s last game and Junior Lewis (remember him?) being sent off – we lost 2 – 1; a late Les Ferdinand Premiership thunderbolt in a 2 – 2 draw for Micky Adams, and Dion Dublin’s FA Cup giant killing winner for Craig Levein when the Foxes sprang a 4-5-1 formation surprise two years ago.  Since then, three City managers and now, with Gary Megson, in South London by The Thames Barrier. 

A poor Leicester performance is quickly summed up from a City perspective: Charlton did not have to work too hard to win comfortably 2 – 0.  Goals from the million pound pair Chris Iwelumo and Luke Varney inside the first quarter of the match finished the contest.  Both scores were gifted by a hesitant visitor’s central defence who allowed right wing crosses to bounce around the six yard box unchallenged.   

In the first half the youthful left side of City’s team was consistently out numbered and for Charlton’s ex England full backs Mills and Powell this game proved a perfect advert for their extra quality, both on the ball and in space.  

City missed the injured Wesolowski badly and only when former ‘Robin’ Anton Kishishev came on in the second half did they start to compete in midfield – Clemence being subdued in the first 45 minutes.  City know Iwelumo, at Colchester last year he was dominant.  In the second half a muscular N’Gotty, on as substitute in a rearranged 3 – 5 – 2 formation, neutralised his aggression but the damage was already done.  There was poor forward penetration and a lack of City width to offer the ‘get out’ ball…..

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Trust Confirm Offer of Place on Advisory Board

On Monday 17th September, Ian Bason, Chairman of the Foxes Trust, stated on BBC Radio Leicester’s breakfast show, that Milan Mandaric had confirmed to the Trust that he intended to set up an Advisory Board and the Foxes Trust would form part of the board. 

The news became public following the Trust informing its members via the members current newsletter. 

Bason went on to explain that initial discussions on the Advisory Board position had taken place in early November last year, but the plan to set up the Advisory Board had only been confirmed when the entire Trust board met with Milan Mandaric in early August. 

Bason stated the Advisory Board will be made up of “Interested Parties” and it is planned that it would meet on a monthly basis and that the Trust may help Milan Mandaric to formulate the exact make up of the Advisory Board. 

Radio Leicester presenter Ben Jackson questioned how effective the influence could be and Bason stated that the Trust would continue to be vocal in getting across to the club the fans views, just as it had done previously over the last 4 years via the Trust Observer and regular dialogue with Tim Davies. 

The interview can be heard……

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