Saturday, 13 November 2010

Conclusions from Derby County

Derby County
(HT 1-0)
King 13
Howard 71 (p)

  • We need to cut-out the small mistakes. It is very rare for a team to remain on top for the whole of a football match: football is a game that ebbs and flows throughout ninety minutes, with the home side on top for perhaps the first fifteen minutes before the away side have a spell where they have the attacking impetus. What the Foxes nearly didn't do today was keep composed during Derby's attacking periods, remaining solid at the back and avoiding any small mishaps to allow the opposition a chance at goal (Paul Gallagher poorly giving-away the ball in the Rams' half after half an hour that led to Chris Commons having a shot on goal). Thankfully their shooting was way-off in the first half and we kept the lead, but on another day that could have been very different.
  • I told you Lady Luck was with us. At last, we have some form. Whether it be through probability, the impact of Eriksson and his excellent loan signings or sheer luck, Leicester City have finally strung some results together after three months of the 2010/11 season. We won a penalty today, our stray passes didn't cost us and, despite Vassell's disallowed goal, luck was truly on our side to cap what was another sound performance across the whole team. 

Andy King
His first-half goal was his seventh of the season - of course omitting the three he scored that were disallowed, all of which you could argue should have stood. King has become the key man in the Foxes' midfield, and against the Rams today he demonstrated his creative ability and capped it with a goal. He's had a truly remarkable start to his career, let alone this season, and could well have just booked his place in Foxes' folklore.

Darius Vassell
For someone who seems to have been around for so long, it's easy to forget that Vassell is still only thirty; he still has a good five years left in football. The ex-England striker is possessed with a raw pace and he is capable of ripping apart sluggish defences with ease, as he demonstrated today. Unfortunately on at least one occasion he was too quick for the linesman who seemed gripped to the idea of calling Vassell offside at every opportunity. However if Vassell remains fit and is able to consistently deliver this pace, he could well be another ingenious signing from Sven Goran Eriksson.

Richie Wellens
Carried-out his role of distributing the ball and holding the shape of the midfield well, as he always does, and deserves more credit than he usually receives for his role.

Steve Howard
The Big Man Done Good. Captaining the Foxes against his former club, Howard led the team to victory in style as he hammered home what was a stone-wall penalty, but he had a fantastic, fighting game for all of the eighty-nine minutes he was on the pitch.

Matt Oakley
His fans argued he's had the best start to a season so far in his Leicester City career at Championship level. His critics argue that the results prove whatever system a manager tries to fit him into, it fails to work. What is clear is that his injury has seen him booted-out of the squad, and with the Gallagher - Wellens - King - Abe midfield working so well at the minute, his time as club captain could soon be coming to a close. Certainly in Howard and King, Eriksson has two highly respected and valued leaders at his disposal, leaders that since Eriksson took charge have skippered the team to our longest unbeaten run of the season.
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