Monthly Archives: September 2017

Cheap Leicester City FC Jerseys

Leicester City have equalled their worst ever start to a Premier League season.

With just four points on the board with six games gone, Craig Shakespeare’s class of 2017 is on a par with Brian Little’s group of 1994.

They would later go on to be relegated under Mark McGhee after Little jumped a sinking ship for Aston Villa.

Of course, that statistic after this defeat to Liverpool doesn’t tell the complete story.
Shakespeare’s men don’t look relegation fodder

In fact, despite four losses, Shakespeare men don’t look like relegation fodder.

The table may not lie, but it can mask the truth that City have been up against four of last season’s top-six sides and, although they have ultimately come out on the wrong side of the result, they have been in with more than a good shout in each and every game.

At Arsenal they led 3-2 until the last seven minutes.

Against Chelsea, they had a great chance to open the scoring a minute before Alvaro Morata did and still could have taken a point from the game.

And against Liverpool they were a saved Jamie Vardy penalty away from a point.

Only at Manchester United were they really put under the cosh, but still frustrated them for 70 minutes.

The fine margins of games have gone against City.

A missed chance here and a missed tackle or header there and the outcome could have been very different.

 

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho

City boss Shakespeare can draw positives from the attitude of his players, who have battled and scrapped, and shown a steely determination to keep pushing as they have had to come from behind in five of their opening six games now.

Only against Brighton did they open the scoring and against Liverpool they were 2-0 and chasing the game.

He can also be encouraged that his strike force has goals in them.

Vardy’s sixth strike in four games against Liverpool was his fifth of the season, while Shinji Okazaki’s close-range finish just before half-time, which pulled City back into the game, was his fourth of the campaign – his second against Liverpool inside five days.

Admittedly, only Harry Maguire has also chipped in with a goal, but City are creating chances and Okazaki’s form seems to have ended the debate over who should partner Vardy in City’s attack.

Leonardo Ulloa, Islam Slimani and Kelechi Iheanacho have all been recruited to replace the little Japan international, but he remains the best foil for Vardy with his energetic and honest displays.

When N’Golo Kante left Claudio Ranieri believed City couldn’t continue to be effective in a 4-4-2, but it is Okazaki’s work-rate and intelligence that makes it possible.
It’s now time for honesty

He admits he is more determined to get into the box and contribute more goal this season, and he has certainly showed up to Vardy’s goalscoring party.

However, now we get to the tricky bit. It is honesty time.

While facing such sides with genuine quality within their ranks can reveal how much character there is within your squad, it can also highlight your failings.

City have come up against some top-quality players who can punish the slightest mistake with their predatory skills, and none more so than Philippe Coutinho, who is quite simply world class.

But City will know in their heart of hearts they are conceding far too many goals.

Two set-pieces at Arsenal were their downfall, and that Achilles heel paved the way for defeat at United too.

They lost to Chelsea after conceding a very soft goal through a number of failings which contributed to Kante’s strike, while the goal they conceded at Huddersfield was also poor. Ben Chilwell, who had an excellent game bombing forward from left-back, was caught out by Coutinho’s perfect cross for Mohamed Salah’s header which opened the scoring.

Kasper Schmeichel was probably expecting him, from such an acute angle, to plant his header back across goal because he was caught out at his near post too.

The second was a quite brilliant free-kick from Coutinho, but the free kick was caused by left-back Alberto Moreno being allowed to run freely beyond City’s midfield.
Sharp contrast between Mahrez and Coutinho

Riyad Mahrez, who should have been tracking Moreno, had allayed fears that his desire to leave the club before the transfer window closed would affect his performances.

Since the window shut and he didn’t get his move, his displays have enhanced those concerns.

The contrast between Mahrez and Coutinho, two players who were desperate to get moves from their clubs in the summer, could not have been more stark.

The worst goal was the third. City were back in the game thanks to Okazaki’s predatory instincts just before half-time, although he certainly did his best to also put off keeper Simon Mignolet in the build-up to the goal.They were pushing for an equaliser and the game was becoming stretched and open, but there was still plenty of time to go when Maguire stepped out of the defence with the ball, losing it and then leaving City to defend a break-away three on two. With Coutinho again involved, the outcome was inevitable.

Even then Vardy had the chance to grab something from the game for City but Mignolet redeemed himself with a penalty save, and Islam Slimani planted a free header wide.

The outcome could have been very different and that should be encouragement enough for Shakespeare and his players, but there are still areas that require addressing, and there is no glossing over that fact.

Cheap Liverpool FC Jerseys

A rant by a Liverpool fan on national radio when he called Jurgen Klopp a “clown” and called for the German coach to be sacked has gone viral.

The supporter, known only as Frank, rang into BBC Radio 5 live’s 606 show after the 1-1 draw with Burnley, and demonstrated his frustration with the German.

In a three-minute discussion, Frank laid into Klopp’s tactics and Liverpool defence and also compared him with Brendan Rodgers report the Liverpool Echo.

“I’ve had enough now, I’ve actually had enough,” he said. “Do you know what, no disrespect to Burnley. Defence, we said this since the first day he (Klopp) arrived, I can’t understand one thing.

“I want all those Liverpool fans that are listening out there on this radio show that might be heading back home in their cars, and have spent all their hard-earned money, why don’t they ring up this show and say why Jurgen Klopp should deserve to stay there.

“Because we’ve got one of the biggest circuses at Anfield at this moment, at Liverpool Football Club, and at the biggest clown of the lot is Jurgen Klopp.”

The BBC posted footage of the phone call, with Robbie Savage listening in the studio, sniggering as the tirade continued.

“I love Jurgen, because when he came in he gave all the attributes of showing the passion,” he added. “Well I’m a fan, I am passionate as well, but what I see and what I hear, and what I have to go through when I see my team that haven’t got a flipping defence, a goalkeeper that can’t catch a ball, they’ve got no defensive coach at the club. Why should his job feel safe at Liverpool?

“We looked good looking forward, and guess what? There was no plan B, and no plan C. Well, I’ll give you plan A for Jurgen Klopp: You’ve had your time, son.

“At the end of the day, thank you very much but I want a manager that needs to understand football reasons to show that you build a team from the back, mate.

“I’ve been waiting 25 years for them to win the title, and I saw a man who I believed in. He’s got a worse record than Brendan Rodgers. Now they’ve started to call him Brendan Klopp.”

Klopp has come under increasing criticism over the past week after following last Saturday’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City with two successive home draws with Sevilla and Burnley.

Cheap Manchester City FC Jerseys

Ederson wants to start against Feyenoord in Manchester City’s opening Champions League match on Wednesday, despite the sickening gash to his face he suffered against Liverpool.

The City goalkeeper was treated for eight minutes on the pitch after being caught full in the face by Liverpool forward Sadio Mane’s high boot during his team’s 5-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday that left him with a large cut to his left cheek.

Ederson was taken to the nearby Manchester Institute of Health and Performance but tests showed he had not suffered concussion or a fracture to his jaw.

He returned to the Etihad to watch the end of the game and was also seen out in Manchester later that night.

Claudio Bravo replaced him in goal against Liverpool but Ederson wants to travel to Rotterdam and is eager to start against Dutch champions Feyenoord at the De Kuip Stadium.

City have not ruled out Ederson playing but the club’s medical staff want to see how the cut continues to heal before making a final decision.

The Brazilian has enjoyed an impressive start at City since his £34.7 million summer move from Benfica and the prospect of the 24-year-old being passed fit to face Feyenoord would be a huge boost for manager Pep Guardiola.

With Vincent Kompany unlikely to travel after missing the Liverpool game with a calf injury, and Guardiola unwilling to take any chances with the Belgium centre-half’s fitness, Danilo could be asked to continue in a three-man defence after a strong showing against the Merseyside club. The Brazilian – a right-back by trade – was the only Premier League player to complete more than 100 passes at the weekend and Guardiola admitted his versatility could be invaluable for City this season.

“He will be so important,” the City manager said. “He can play in the three at the back, he can play full-back – right or left. He can also play holding midfielder. He also knows how to handle the pressure because he’s been at Madrid and Porto – clubs where every weekend you have to win. That’s where his mentality comes from and that’s why he’s so important to us.”

Meanwhile, another of City’s summer defensive recruits, Benjamin Mendy, has revealed that he deliberately sought to use Monaco’s Champions League Round of 16 tie against City last season as a platform in which to impress Guardiola. Monaco won 6-5 on aggregate with the Frenchman shining.

“The game against Manchester City was my highlight of last year,” Mendy said. “I already wanted to join the club, to join Guardiola here. When I saw the draw, I thought it was the perfect opportunity. I knew I would do my best and show what I could do so I could come here.”