Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Conclusions from Bramall Lane

Sheffield United0-1Leicester
(HT 0-1)

King 4



  • A true Foxes spirit is shining through. This was always going to be a tough fixture as one team very much on the up, playing free-flowing, pacey, attacking football was drawn against a team lingering on the brink of relegation with a 'hoof and hope' approach. But Leicester City hung on in there after going ahead early and were rewarded - with some luck along the way - with three golden points.
  • Steve Howard might sometimes be the answer. Without doubting the almighty Swede, of course, it seemed that Leicester lacked a certain holding presence tonight as the Foxes were put under pressure from a scappy Blades side. If possession is to be our game - even on boggy pitches on a tricky Tuesday night fixture in the North - perhaps we should look towards our big northern players to try and bring things under control. Introducing Paul Gallagher was a great call by Sven Goran Eriksson as Lloyd Dyer began to struggle. 



Winners
Chris Weale
Saved by the woodwork, Matt Oakley and Marcus Bent's poor finishing to spare his blushes, Weale nonetheless put in one of those fantastic performances this evening that showed why it is him - and not ex-Portugal international R1cardo (yup, that's what he has on his shirt) - wearing the number one shirt at the Walkers Stadium. The Bristolian's place is firmly assured after a man of the match performance making two incredible saves to deservedly earn a clean sheet against the odds.

Andy King
Captain fantastic pulled off a wonderful piece of skill to half volley, half chip the ball over the lost Blades keeper to open the scoring. Five games without a goal for Leicester's top scorer, what a way to get back on form.

Sol Bamba
The cult status of this guy is now stratospheric. He was immense tonight, winning balls from nowhere and covering for both Ben Mee and Patrick van Aanholt when those youngsters made errors. Another superb performance from the Ivorian. Forget "Sol, Sol Bamba": this lad is here, there and everywhere.

Ben Mee
His few errors aside, this was a much more positive night for Mee who now seems to be finding his feet in the Championship. His d├ębut last week was woeful but tonight his performance, both defensively and more widely, was much more impressive from the Premier League loanee.



Losers
Yuki Abe
Far from his finest performance in royal blue, Abe's usual controlled passing and assurance in the holding midfield role seemed lost in the hoofball played by Sheffield United. Eriksson made the right move in taking him off when he did.

Yakubu
Needed to put in a shift tonight and didn't. The Yak's lazy style of play was not suited to the 'muck in and have a go' attitude required against a gritty Blades side. An improvement to the form of his previous appearances is badly needed.

Marcus Bent
The ex-Leicester man had a woeful night in front of goal. He was clear to score and failed to hit the target on three or four occasions - perhaps costing Sheffield United a result they badly needed, if not deserved.
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