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Treading Water: Leicesters Identity Crisis

You can’t really complain at our league position right now. Nor our recent form. Southampton fans couldn’t either when Puel managed them. Yet deep down most of us know that something doesn’t feel right.

To counter Nevs tired old arguments about the fact none of us wanted him in the first place, you can dig up articles from me and many others that were genuinely positive about Puel when he first started. Remember those early days? Slick and fast attacking football, with young players being given a chance and more possession. I thought it was great.

That feels a long time ago now. Following a spell of 5 wins in 21, when Mahrez was in the side, he was lucky to keep his job. He has been given over a year to mould the team into what he wants and we have gone from a side with an attacking front 3 that would terrify any team, to a blunt object that doesn’t really create much anymore.

It’s nothing to do with Vardy either. Ok he’s not been in the best form, but he gets scraps to live off these days. He played throughout last season 5 wins in 21 games run, alongside Mahrez - they both struggled. Why? Simple. Safety first.

Safety first has become our new mantra. It’s partly to do with the fact the club has never addressed the defensive issues evident since the title win and partly due to Puels own defensive mindset. But we are treading water right now and in grave danger of forcing Maddison, Maguire and Chilwell into a decision at the end of the season.

Puel has said we need European football to keep those players. We blew that last year when Burnley clinched it. We won’t get it this year. It will be a 9th place finish and not enough reason to keep the talent we have got.

With Khun Vichai gone how will Top react? Can Leicester find 3 more gems in the summer? Because if they can’t then we are heading the way of Stoke. A club struggling to find an identity, slowly but surely slipping backwards.

comment by Foxello (U6985)

posted on 9/12/18

Joby; a very fair and balanced post. I'm more than willing to judge Puel and the end of the season and, as I've said, it might well be best if we part ways if it isn't working out.

Blackstarr; you're right, the events of Vichai's death shouldn't be used as an excuse, but is it not fair to look at it as a possible reason as to why we have looked lethargic in games? Vichai was like a father to some of those players and I don't think it's reasonable to expect that there won't be any after effects of what was a period of mourning. I had hoped, perhaps unrealistically, that we, the fans, may have been a little more understanding of this and not just jump on them when we lose or draw a match.

As for 'challenging for 7th place' - we're currently one point and GD from that position after less than half a season. Is that not challenging? Have Everton not had just as many frustrating days as we have had so far?

posted on 9/12/18

comment by Foxello (U6985)
posted 27 minutes ago
Joby; a very fair and balanced post. I'm more than willing to judge Puel and the end of the season and, as I've said, it might well be best if we part ways if it isn't working out.

Blackstarr; you're right, the events of Vichai's death shouldn't be used as an excuse, but is it not fair to look at it as a possible reason as to why we have looked lethargic in games? Vichai was like a father to some of those players and I don't think it's reasonable to expect that there won't be any after effects of what was a period of mourning. I had hoped, perhaps unrealistically, that we, the fans, may have been a little more understanding of this and not just jump on them when we lose or draw a match.

As for 'challenging for 7th place' - we're currently one point and GD from that position after less than half a season. Is that not challenging? Have Everton not had just as many frustrating days as we have had so far?
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It’s all in the performances for me. The league table can’t be looked at until the end of the season - put in the right performances (which Everton are doing more than us right now) and the table will take care of itself.

If we were playing really well and were unlucky then I would share your optimism. The fact is we just don’t look like troubling many sides and given the quality we have - that’s just not acceptable in my view. I can’t see us finishing higher than where we currently are but I accept of course I could be wrong. I hope I am. I would be over the moon if I’m wrong!

Frustrating days will happen - that’s why we aren’t in the mix for top 4! But every week feels like Groundhog Day at the minute

With your Vichai point - yes it must have affected the players but I’ll come back to my original point on this which I don’t think anyone can really challenge - We we’re playing as frustratingly as we are right now, before the accident

In fact on the day of that tragedy we turned in the worst first half performance I’ve seen since Ranieri was here, against West Ham. It took a red card and a deflection to bail us out of that game. Nothing really has changed either side of that - I don’t count the Burnley and Cardiff games which were understandably charged with emotion

I trust the players to be able to put any and all off field events behind them when they cross that white line - aside from those two matches for obvious reasons. Again if I saw a decline post tragedy, I could agree with you - but all I’m seeing is more of the same

posted on 9/12/18

Comment Deleted by Article Creator

posted on 9/12/18

We had a great win and a better performance with a maddison wonder goal was that moving backwards?

posted on 9/12/18

Sorry Nev. I won’t have the tragedy used to back up peoples positions on Puel and for points scoring on football forums. I don’t want it to be part of a tactical discussion

posted on 9/12/18

comment by Nevsaysagoal2city (U5194)
posted 17 minutes ago
We had a great win and a better performance with a maddison wonder goal was that moving backwards?

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You have to look at an extended period of time (as foxello is attempting to do) to answer the question of moving forwards or backwards.

Remember - I said this long before Puel was appointed. I’ve been the only one saying it

posted on 9/12/18

By the way if you want to create your own thread to discuss the tragedy and how it relates to our current performances then feel free to do so, I just don’t want to address this on this particular thread. It’s too emotive for me if I’m honest and I’m not interested in trading insults and sarcasm over it.

posted on 9/12/18

I don't but if you are not prepared to except that will effect the team including there confidence motivation concentration. The manager has had to manage the players through this period so any progress this season will be slower unfortunately but we will win a FA or League cup.

posted on 9/12/18

comment by Nevsaysagoal2city (U5194)
posted 11 seconds ago
I don't but if you are not prepared to except that will effect the team including there confidence motivation concentration. The manager has had to manage the players through this period so any progress this season will be slower unfortunately but we will win a FA or League cup.

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Let me put it this way - and I’ve said this before - I see no difference in the style of play, build up, tactics, any of the frustrating things we have been talking about for 8 months - since the tragedy happened.

I’m sure it’s affected the players personally, but that West Ham first half, before the accident, was the worst I have seen for a long time. All of the things spoken about in this thread have been going on way before the accident happened and that’s why I will not entertain that as a valid reason for the tactical frustrations I have. I don’t want to keep repeating myself on this and don’t want to talk about this again if that’s ok. Like I said, create your own thread if you want to delve into that subject

posted on 9/12/18

I don't think it's necessarily a case of safety first, I just think it's an outdated style of football, Puel's trying to encourage the style of play that Arsenal had success with 15 years ago. The problem is that we don't have the technical players to make it work - and also that teams know much better how to counter that now anyway.

The big tactical point for me under Puel is that we don't press as a side. Opposition players will find, when the come to the King Power, that they will have a lot of time on the ball, to look up, to pick out passes and the like. It's probably the same on the training ground, where our attack likely looks excellent in attack vs defence drills because they aren't pressed and have time to pick people out. What is more, I see no sign that Puel wants to incorporate pressing as part of a greater plan. Hanging back most of the match seems to be the plan. When we started pressing yesterday (around 75 minutes when both Albrighton and Okazaki were on), we actually started asking questions. But until then we played it more like a chess match, at the speed of a chess match.

Regardless on anything else, this is Puel's primary failing for me: No pressing, no intensity. It's all just patience, intending to dominate through possession but ending up getting dominated though not matching the opposition for effort.

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