Saturday, 18 August 2012

First League Game Conclusions from the Posh

Leicester City2-0Peterborough United
(HT 0-0)
Morgan 51
King 74

King Power Stadium, attendance: 23,863 (1,868)
BBC Match Report

  • It could hardly have gone any better. This was not a whizz-bang start to the season but a very patient one, typical of a side now moulded in the image of Nigel Pearson. The game hardly came alive until the second half when, within ten minutes of the whistle, City had three clear chances on goal (one of which was supremely headed-home by new skipper Wes Morgan). The Foxes were able to build on that lead, growing in confidence to construct a goal from Andy King to start the season in a manner that is quite simply perfect.
  • If it ain't broke... Many assumed that today's side would be vastly different to that which started-out against Torquay on Tuesday night, but they were wrong. Pearson stuck with his winning XI - leaving out big names such as David Nugent, Andy King and Neil Danns in favour of newcomers Jamie Vardy, Matty James and (in the case of King) January arrival Danny Drinkwater. The inclusion of Jermaine Beckford will have raised a few eyebrows, too (not least in this commentator) but his performance answered his numerous vocal critics. Finally, Pearson elected to keep Liam Moore in the team at centre half. Far from this being a season for Moore to develop slowly, a la Jeffrey Schlupp last term, the manager has thrust the young defender into the limelight early in the season - and he is thriving.

Wes Morgan
As cool as they come, Morgan is dependable and reliable in defence and has the power and presence to cause a nuisance from set pieces. He used that power effectively to rise above the Posh defence and head home a sumptuous goal, City's first of the league campaign.

Jermaine Beckford and Jamie Vardy
The Foxes' front men deserve recognition for their efforts against Peterborough, despite neither man etching his name onto the score sheet. The industry shown by Beckford today is a far cry from some dismal, detached performances he showed last season whilst Vardy is comfortably settling in to Championship-level football.

Liam Moore
He could almost be a veteran centre half, judging by his performance this afternoon, rather than a 21-year-old full back filling-in as part of a team that has everything but defenders in abundance. Moore has stepped into the breach to fill a surprising gap in Pearson's planning, shoring-up the back four at a time when, of the clubs three recognised senior centre halves, one is injured and the other is yet to prove his fitness. A lot of credit must be awarded, then, to Moore who has shrugged-off the pressure of stepping-up to the senior team with some aplomb.

David Nugent
Will David Nugent become this season's forgotten man? With the signing of Vardy, there's only one place up for grabs in the front line, with Nugent and Beckford the preferred partners for the £1 million man. But with Beckford performing - and, soon, hopefully scoring - where does Nugent fit into the picture? Here's hoping that he has recovered from a slowdown in his form during the latter half of last season and he can fight his way back into the team to offer some competition to Pearson's new Main Men.

Derby County
Lost their lead (at home) for the second time in as many games.

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