Tuesday, 21 August 2012

It doesn't get any easier!

Our difficult start to the new season continues with a visit from Leicester City.  The Foxes are an established side in this division now with high hopes of promotion.  After significant investment in the Club, Leicester are on a sound financial footing with a group of players that have the potential to win the division.  Nigel Pearson, who masterminded their League One winning season, is back at the helm after a brief hiatus to Hull, and big things are expected of them this season after only managing to finish 9th at the end of last campaign.

Leicester City is  a club well known by Chris Powell after spending a couple of years there as both a player and a coach.  Powell speaks of Pearson as one of his mentors and it's clear Chris holds him in high regard.  It is because of Powell's links to Leicester that we have both Michael Morrison and Yann Kermorgant at the club having worked with both players when he was part of the Foxes set up.  Powell obviously spotted potential in both players and an ethic that would fit his style of play as they were instrumental in our rise to the Championship.

Leicester fans always speak highly of Morrison who made a total of 89 appearances for the club in all competitions.  The same cannot be said of Kermorgant however.  Unfortunately Yann was castigated by the fans after missing a penalty during the 2010 play-off semi-final against Cardiff.  The Frenchman attempted an audacious lob which the keeper saved with ease.  Little is made of Leicester's following penalty which was also missed and Cardiff would have gone on to the final anyway, but for some reason Yann got all the flack for it.  Still, their loss is our gain.

Charlton fans will be very familiar with Leicester's current left-back.  Paul Konchesky.  Paul played 138 matches for the Addicks during Alan Curbishley's tenure as manager.  In fact Konchesky was the youngest player to appear for us until the record was taken from him by Jonjo Shelvey a few years later.  Konchesky got frustrated with his lack of first team appearances in his favoured left-back position and was eventually moved on.  Unfortunately for Paul, there was a certain Chris Powell who was our first choice, and it was always going to be difficult to dislodge him.  I actually always preferred Konchesky as a winger anyway.

Games between our two clubs are normally tight affairs.  In fact over the past 10 years we have met on five occasions.  Four of those matches ended in draws though we did manage to beat them the last time we met at The Valley, a 2-0 victory with goals from big Chris Iwelumo and Luke Varney who now plays at Leeds United.

After a tough match against Birmingham we will need to be on our game tonight.  Leicester picked up three points against Peterborough on Saturday and will be looking to build on that.  I do think however that we have a decent chance to pick up our first win of the season.  The Valley was a fortress last season and we always raise our game against tougher opposition.  It should be a good game, and I have my fingers crossed that we just edge it by the odd goal.

3 comments:

  1. You seem to think the Leicester fans have it all wrong about Yann because of our view of the penalty. Not so. I am also looking at the fact that he scored 1 goal in 20 appearances for us. I'd be disappointed with that return from a midfielder !

    I see he has 12 in 36 for Charlton - in League 1.

    Not as important but you say that had Yann scored, we still would have not gone through. That ain't necessarily so. Had Yann scored, the dynamics of the pressure on the Cardiff players and also on Waghorn would have been very different.

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    1. What a goal it was from Yann though, that belter against Boro. Admittedly he often looked less than match fit in his time at Leicester but I always thought he showed a lot of nice touches and was beastly in the air. An upgrade to Steve Howard for sure.

      I think he will be the danger man tonight, especially if we have Liam Moore at centre half again. Despite his great performance at the weekend, I think his lack of experience could be exposed against better opposition.

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    2. Chris, I take your point that Yann scoring COULD have changed things, but Waghorn could have easily still missed. There is a lot of pressure on every penalty taker in a shoot out. You could say Yann's miss also put more pressure on the Cardiff boy when he stepped up knowing that he had to score to put them in front. He didn't miss.

      I also take your point about 1 goal in 20 games. I didn't see those 20 games, and although Yann isn't the prolific goal scorer type, he adds an awful lot to us as a team when he isn't scoring.

      Sometimes players aren't suited to certain clubs and need a move or a change in manager to get the best out of them. A good example that you would understand might be Michael Morrison. Leicester fans liked him, Sheffield Wednesday fans hated him, Charlton fans love him.

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