Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Conclusions from Forest

Leicester City0-0Nottingham Forest
(HT 0-0)

King Power Stadium, attendance: 23,412
BBC Match Report

Monday, 26 March 2012

Conclusions from Hull City

Leicester City2-1Hull City
(HT 2-1)
Dyer 18
Marshall 19
Fryatt 8

King Power Stadium, attendance: 23,759
BBC Match Report

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Conclusions from Bloomfield Road

Blackpool3-3Leicester City
(HT 1-1)
Phillips 33, 90
Bednar 69
Beckford 38, 73
Nugent 54

Bloomfield Road, attendance: 12,485
BBC Match Report

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Foxes to show Poppies support in friendly

Leicester City have confirmed that they will visit Kettering Town to play a friendly fixture in support of the ailing club.

The Poppies have been hit with waves of financial woe, culminating in the loss of their Rockingham Road ground and move to Nene Park, former home to their arch rivals Rushden & Diamonds who themselves folded following money troubles.

The Poppies will host the Foxes next Wednesday, 28th March (kick-off 19:45) with entry by donation to the Northamptonshire club's coffers.

The two clubs have a history of facing each other in pre-season games, with City victorious on their last meeting at the final game to be hosted at Rockingham Road. Leicester are unlikely to field a full-strength team as the game follows their fixture against Nottingham Forest, although a mixture of fringe players and young talent are in the frame.

Meanwhile, former skipper Matt Oakley has left the King Power Stadium by mutual consent. Oakley has failed to make an impact this season and has spent a large part of 2012 on loan.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

FA Cup Quarter Final Conclusions from Stamford Bridge

Chelsea5-2Leicester City
(HT 2-0)
Cahill 12
Kalou 17
Torres 67, 85
Meireles 90
Beckford 77
Marshall 88

Stamford Bridge, attendance: 38,276
BBC Match Report

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Pensioners vs. Foxes: FA Cup Quarter Final Preview

Leicester City face the hugest test of their season when they travel to London to play Chelsea in the quarter finals of the FA Cup tomorrow afternoon (kick off 14:05, live on ESPN).

The Pensioners are England's final remaining representative in European competitions this season and will play Benfica in the last eight of the Champions League in ten days' time. They must first overcome the Foxes, however, with manager Nigel Pearson keen to emphasise his players' ability to beat the Premier League club.

"Clearly we've got to catch them on a not-so-good day and we'll have to be at our best, but it's an opportunity for the players to show what we can do," said the City manager, "We're all looking forward to the game, but we're conscious that there is a job to do as well. It's not all about us being underdogs, we want to go there and give a good account of ourselves and cause them problems."

To beat Chelsea remains a massive challenge for the last club outside of the top flight to remain in the cup, with Leicester having only beaten the home side in a quarter of their meetings. The Blues, meanwhile, have an impeccable FA Cup record. Three-times winners in the last six finals, Chelsea have lost just two FA Cup matches in the last 31 and have only been knocked-out by a lower league side once in the last four seasons, losing to Barnsley in 2008.

Leicester have never beaten Chelsea in the FA Cup and the sides have not met in the competition for twelve years. This, then, is a hotly anticipated fixture and, with the likes of John Terry and David Luiz doubtful through injury, the Foxes could spring a surprise with Paul Konchesky returning from suspension and only Danny Drinkwater unavailable: he is cup-tied.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Conclusions (or not) from Birmingham City

Leicester City3-1Birmingham City
(HT 1-1)
Beckford 34, 90
Schlupp 80
Elliott pen 20

King Power Stadium, attendance: 21,092
BBC Match Report

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Conclusions from the Madejski (or is it Majedski?) Stadium

Reading3-1Leicester City
(HT 1-0)
Leigertwood 15
Roberts 75
Church 89
Danns 90

Madejski Stadium, attendance: 21,858
BBC Match Report

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Predicting the Championship run-in

Everybody knows that football is unpredictable and, as Leicester City's form this season has shown, inconsistency is equally difficult to understand.

Memorable wins over the likes of Southampton, Derby County and Coventry City have contrasted sharply with poor losses against the likes of Bristol City (twice), Watford and Reading. What is clear from the teams listed here is that there is no rhyme or reason to who the Foxes can beat - or indeed lose to. Bristol are arguably one of the poorest teams in the league and they certainly haven't scored many goals except against Leicester, who they have now beaten twice. Meanwhile, the Foxes have done the double over a high-flying Southampton side and thrashed lowly Coventry at home and away. Clearly battling against teams fighting relegation is not an issue, but nor is meeting the class of good teams, as the FA Cup victory over Norwich City or those games against Southampton show.

What is clear after last night's defeat at Bristol is that the Foxes can now be virtually written-off as play-off contenders for this season. It is thought that, of the twelve games remaining, City must win nine to stand even a vain hope of reaching the top six. Even then, Nigel Pearson's side would have to rely on some poor form from those above them.

Predictions based upon Pearson's team's form since he returned to manage the club in October (below) suggest that Leicester will win just five of their remaining games. The Foxes' manager has failed to reach the same dizzying 52% win ratio since he moved back to the King Power Stadium from Hull City, although his 45% win rate is not one to be sniffed at.

The statistics show that inconsistency is Leicester's problem, with the remaining 55% of games split evenly between draws and losses. Extrapolating this form into the remaining games - and not taking into account any of that footballing unpredictability mentioned earlier - leaves the Foxes gathering just eighteen points from the twelve matches that are left in this campaign. This would give City a grand total of 66 points for the season, one point less than last term and leaving them in the same, dire 10th place.

So, the combination of Sven Goran Eriksson and Nigel Pearson is no better statistically than that of Eriksson and Paulo Sousa. What should concern Leicester City supporters is not that this year should be written-off, but that the short-sightedness of the club's owners - should Pearson not make an emphatic start next season - could result in a continued yearly cycle of 'what-ifs', 'buts' and 'maybes'.

Barring a miracle - football is entirely unpredictable and this statistical analysis is so often proven wrong - in which Pearson manages to guide his team to the top six this year, this summer is likely to be another one of dashed hopes, optimism and, at the end of it all, abject disappointment.

Here's to being a Leicester City fan.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Conclusions from Ashton Gate

Bristol City3-2Leicester City
(HT 1-1)
Cisse 45
Pitman 54
Stead 79
Dyer 41
Danns  77

Ashton Gate, attendance: 12,033
BBC Match Report

Hammers interest in ousted Matt Mills

Mill-ing it over: Former skipper looks set
for Foxes' exit
West Ham United are reportedly keen on out-of-favour Leicester City defender Matt Mills, according to Sky Sports.

Mills has been dropped by Nigel Pearson having lost the captain's armband last month and with the Foxes' manager coy about the former Reading man's future at the King Power Stadium in an interview last week, a move does seem to be on the cards.

Leeds United sought the signature of 25-year-old Leicester-born Mills last week, as Pearson confirmed, but with no news on any movement out of the East Midlands since then, the Hammers have picked-up the chase. Sam Allardyce will be keen to bolster his defence for West Ham's promotion push.

Leicester will want to offload high earner Mills if he is indeed to have no further role at the club. He is amongst those paid the highest wages at the King Power Stadium having been bought in for a club record fee last summer.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Conclusions from Coventry's Big Day Out

Leicester City2-0Coventry City
(HT 1-0)
Nugent 11
Beckford 60

King Power Stadium, attendance: 25,487
BBC Match Report

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Leicester City Football Club report record loss

Leicester City Football Club have reported a record loss of £15.2 million following a year in which their Thai owners have invested heavily in the playing squad.

The Foxes' Thai owners - Vichai and Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn, owners of the King Power brand - loaned £28 million to the club in the year up to 31st May, 2011. Most of that money went on player wages, with the likes of loanee Yakubu and January signing Sol Bamba amongst the highest earners.

The year's losses are more than double that of 2009/10, £7.5 million, and more than a million pounds more than the previous record of £14.2 million set in 2007/08 following relegation from the Championship.

"The club's strategy of investing in a strong squad to fight for a promotion place has led to increases in staff costs," said chief executive Susan Whelan, "We continue to invest in both the playing squad and the capital assets of the club, but we are also working hard to increase our commercial revenue."

The accounts show that, whilst turnover and gate receipts were both up on the previous year, the club's debt has soared to £46 million pounds thanks to the loans given by the King Power owners. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the Raksriaksorns have loaned a further £25.6 million to the Foxes this season to pay for players, a new pitch, big screens inside the King Power Stadium as well as a revamp of the Belvoir Drive training ground.

Through their company Asia Football Investments, Vichai and Aiyawatt own 80% of the football club, with Cronus Sports Management, owned by Indonesian football official Iman Arif, holding the remaining 20% of the shares.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Bruno Berner retires from football, quits Leicester City

Hanging-up his boots: Bruno Berner
Bruno Berner has ended his professional football career having cancelled his contract with Leicester City by mutual consent.

The move - widely anticipated since early January - will come as no surprise to loyal Filberts who have been aware of Berner's desire to take up a coaching position abroad for some time.

The former Swiss international became a favourite amongst Foxes' fans after he aided the club to the League One title having joined Nigel Pearson's side earlier in the 2008/09 season. The 34-year-old made 98 appearances for City.

"I think it's important that we recognise that he has been a very positive influence at our Football Club," said Pearson, "There comes a time for every player to call it a day, but Bruno is a bright man and a very good man, so we wish him all the best.

"I've got an awful lot of time for Bruno, he's been a great servant for the Club and we wish him every success in the future."

Berner played for Grasshopper Zurich and FC Basel in his native Switzerland before enjoying a spell with German side Freiburg and a brief time on loan at first-tier Spanish outfit Real Oviedo. He joined Blackburn Rovers in January 2007 but, having made just six appearances, opted for a move to the Walkers Stadium in September 2008. During his career, Berner picked-up a Swiss Super League title with Grasshopper and 16 caps for his country.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everybody involved with Leicester City Football Club for their support over the past three-and-a-half years, during which time I enjoyed a lot of personal highlights," said Berner speaking to the club's official website, "As a player, I dreamt of playing professional football in this country and the chance to play for Leicester City provided me with the opportunity to prove myself in the English game.

"I have made the decision to retire from playing professional football and am now looking forward to commencing the next chapter of my life. I wish Leicester City Football Club the very best of luck for the future and would like to send special thanks to the supporters, who have always been great to me. I will remember that support - goodbye to you all."