Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Belated Conclusions from Blackpool

Leicester City2-0Blackpool
(HT 1-0)
King 35
Danns 82

King Power Stadium, attendance: 21,578
BBC Match Report

Home Team: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills, Bamba, Konchesky, King, Wellens, Gallagher (Danns 67), Dyer (Fernandes 88), Beckford (Howard 67), Nugent

Away Team: Gilks, Crainey, Eardly, Evatt , Baptiste (Basham 34), Sylvestre (McManaman 67), Ferguson, M Phillips, Shelvey, Taylor-Fletcher, Lualua (K Phillips 65)

  • The duck is broken. It seems a new (old) manager is all that was ever needed. For the first time in over eighteen months - for the first time since Nigel Pearson left what was the Walkers Stadium - the Foxes are back in the play-off places. Sven Goran Eriksson never got his expensively-assembled team of Championship stars into the top six. In just three games, Pearson has achieved that.
  • Lloyd Dyer is a force again. For whatever reason, Dyer had faded since the departure of Pearson, who of course was the man that bought the winger to Leicester City in 2008. Since his return and with faith shown in him by his old (new) manager, Dyer has excelled on the wing, culminating in his standout performance against Blackpool last night.

Lloyd Dyer
Dyer takes the plaudits as man of the match, his two killer passes gifting goals to Neil Danns and Andy King. The winger is a new man under Pearson and this commentator will have a large slice of humble pie, thank you very much. It was only a few months ago that his career in royal blue seemed at its lowest ebb. Now, Dyer is the only man to offer badly needed width in the Leicester City squad and his pace and ability are once again setting the Championship alight.

Neil Danns and Andy King
The Foxes goalscorers had an easy time of it in front of goal as it was down to Dyer's hard work that they gained their opportunities. That said, Danns and King are two men who badly needed a goal to give them confidence and solidify their position amongst the match day sixteen. The Foxes' squad is a highly competitive one and both of these midfielders have been under pressure to perform lately: their goals are the perfect response.

Jermaine Beckford
A much better performance from Jermaine Beckford should have been capped with at least one goal - only the Tangerines' keeper Matt Gilks was equal to Beckford's finishing. The former Everton man had a renewed hunger and eagerness against Blackpool that has only rarely been seen at the King Power Stadium. More of the same from Beckford and he could shake-off his critics yet.

Paul Gallagher
With Dyer on such blinding form it was inevitable that Paul Gallagher would look poor in comparison. Like David Beckham, the Scot has suffered from being played wide to take advantage of his excellent long ball deliveries at the expense of speed out wide. Gallagher does not possess lightning pace and nor is he adept at beating his man - the main assets to Dyer's armoury. The introduction of Danns in his place gave the Foxes' midfield more fluidity and dynamism than Gallagher and his long ball specials are ever going to be capable of offering.

Sean St Ledger
In being the replacement for a suspended Sol Bamba, Irish international Sean St Ledger was given his best opportunity yet of staking his claim in the Foxes' first eleven. After a solid performance against Crystal Palace he kept his place in the defence ahead of a returning Bamba and did little wrong as Leicester picked-up a valuable away point. He will be frustrated and angry to have lost his place to the Ivorian who is a clear favourite of his managers, if not the ever-critical Leicester City fans. 


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