Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Last Game of a Mediocre Season: Conclusions from Elland Road

Leeds United1-2Leicester City
(HT 0-1)
Webber 82Waghorn 39
Panayiotou 90

Elland Road, attendance: 25,664
BBC Match Report

Home Team: Lonergan, Connelly, Bruce, Lees, Brown , Clayton, Pugh , Thompson (Webber 57), Becchio (Forssell 75), Snodgrass, McCormack

Away Team: Schmeichel, Konchesky, St Ledger , Bamba, Morgan, Moore, Dyer (Panayiotou 73), Drinkwater, Marshall, Nugent (Waghorn 63), Beckford (Vassell 46)

  • City finish in the top half. So, the season ends in mediocrity but, ironically, with arguably one of the more exciting and interesting games of the year. Leicester have secured only 9th place but that is a sign of resilience and stability and not of utter failure - the season could have been worse and at least, now, the Foxes have something to build on for next season. The boost given by taking a winning feeling into the summer should not be overlooked, either.
  • A new star emerges. Not only did Martyn Waghorn make a triumphant return to the starting XI (about time, too) but another star striker of the future emerged from Leicester's highly successful academy. Fresh from having won the Academy Premier League last week, Harry Panayiotou made his senior debut from the substitutes bench, a debut he would not forget. His quarter of an hour was a bright one and resulted in his netting his first goal for the Foxes's senior team, the winning goal for an away side at one of the most awesome stadia in football.

Liam Moore
Having made his first successful inroads on the senior team in pre-season, it was always clear that Liam Moore would, as with Jeffrey Schlupp, make his debut this season. Against Leeds, Moore impressed, certainly more so that Lee Peltier has done of late. Indeed it would not be unrealistic to expect the youngster to usurp Peltier - who, lest we forget, made a superb start to his City career - as next season's preparations get underway.

Harry Panayiotou
Whilst others threw their boots and shirts - and in the case of one Sol Bamba, their shorts - into the crowd, Harry Panayiotou took the fans' applause but kept hold of a football strip he will treasure forever. The academy graduate made the perfect start to his senior career when he scored the winning goal on his debut. Not only that, he had a good game, too.

Martyn Waghorn
Finally, Martyn Waghorn returned to Leicester City's first XI and he did so with a flourish. Having not started a league game since 2010, the Teesider desperately needed a quick return to form to give him a firm grounding for next season. An on-form Waghorn would play his way into any Championship team and, should Pearson get the best out of him next season as he did at Elland Road and for the whole of the 2009/10 campaign, he could fire the Foxes to success next year.

Sol Bamba
Tried in an advanced midfield position, Sol Bamba was able to utilise his best attacking qualities with more freedom than normal. But playing in the midfield requires a deftness in passing that is simply not a part of his arsenal and City struggled to build-up an attack from the back as a result.

David Nugent
Struggling once again having worn himself out towards the back-end of the season, David Nugent failed to push himself ahead in the top scorers' stakes and had a miserable time up front without good service. Allowing Waghorn a run-out was the best thing he did all afternoon.

Coming soon: Of Fosse and Foxes' Player of the Year Awards, Player-by-Player Conclusions of 2011/12 and a look forward to the Summer Transfer Season plus a whole lot more...

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