CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – Reviving the Foxes Part 2

After my successful first game against Hull we head into the second leg of the Champions League first knockout round. We are currently 3-0 down from the away leg with no away goal against Sevilla. It would be incredible to turn this around at the King Power Stadium and probably the club’s biggest achievement since their league win. Since the Hull game I have brought in some backroom staff to plug some gaps on the training ground. I’ve had my Head of Sports Science poached by Tottenham which isn’t great as the last thing I need to worry about is the backroom team leaving me just as I’ve joined.

MATCHDAY

SEVILLA (H) Champions League

For this match I’m going to be putting out as good a team as possible to give us as good a chance as possible to make it through to the next round. Annoyingly Slimani, Fuchs AND Drinkwater are all suspended which means the team will not be as strong as I which.

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FIRST HALF

In the opening 20 minutes we have a few shots from long range but none are anywhere near the goal. Disaster… Sevilla find a gap in our defence and Vazquez slots the ball past Schmeichel in the 25th minute. We now need five! For the rest of the first half we struggle to really get the ball of Sevilla.  

SECOND HALF

For the second half I tell the team to go attacking as we need to give this everything to stand a chance. Goal (56)! We get a corner and Okazaki heads the ball down to Vardy’s feet and he shoots into Steven N’Zonzi and it deflects past the Sevilla goalkeeper into the bottom right hand corner. Only 4 to go. Despite his deflected goal Vardy has been poor so I swap him for Ahmed Musa for his first game for me. Goal (63)! A beautiful piece of passing play leads to Okazaki getting in behind the Sevilla defence and scores our second and puts us up 2-1 on the night. 3 more, just 3 more. At this point I’m urging the team forward. For the last half an hour of the match it’s end to end stuff with both defences defending well to prevent any more goals.

FULL TIME

Unfortunately our commendable win wasn’t enough to overturn the first leg result. Maybe if we didn’t concede the first goal we wouldn’t have seen such a steep mountain to climb. We receive £5.16m for playing in the first knockout round.

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Another win (sort of)! A good start but I’m worried that this early form could be destroyed by our next opponents, Arsenal away. Join me in the next update as we head into a critical run of fixtures.

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Coming Soon…

 

 

CHALLENGING TIMES – Reviving the Foxes Part 3

MATCHES

ARSENAL (A) Premier League

A strong Leicester team faced Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. However Arsenal scored 2 goals in 7 minutes in the first half to damage our mindset going into the match. We switch to counter for the second half. Unfortunately the second half only got worse with Walcott scoring a tap-in in the 54th minute and a defensive error from Danny Simpson that leads to Sanchez finishing nicely to summon us to a 4-0 defeat. Only 3 points clear of the drop zone now!

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STOKE (H) Premier League

After a strange three week break which has left us with a game in hand. I used the gap between games to switch up the tactic to a 4-1-3-1-1 Wide in order to add a DM to the team to protect the defence more. The first half was dull until Diouf scored a long ranger in the 42nd minute but luckily we replied swiftly just before the interval via a Fuchs freekick. In the 56th minute Diouf goes on an incredible run from inside the Stoke half and slots past Zieler to put us 2-1 down. The full time whistle blows and we lose 1-2 to Stoke. This disastrous result leaves us 2 points clear with our game in hand against bottom placed Sunderland up next.

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SUNDERLAND (H) Premier League

This match is a huge match for our mission to remain in the Premier League, a win could put us back at five points clear. In the 28th minute Mahrez whips the ball into Schlupp who nods the ball past Mannone at the far post to put us a goal up. In the 50th minute Matty James puts in a stupid challenge to pick up his second yellow card and puts us down to ten men. I swap Vardy for Andy King to fill the defensive midfield role. We manage to see out a scrappy second half and hold on to a massively important 1-0 win against David Moyes’ Sunderland side. We are now 4 points clear still with a game in hand on 18th place Hull.

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TABLE

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We find ourselves still stuck in the relegation battle and struggling to pull away due to the sloppy result against Stoke. Improvement needed.

SUMMARY

This has been a disappointing period where I would have hoped for a better result against Stoke and maybe being more defensively solid against Arsenal would’ve been good. One thing I have noticed is the large amount of fouls we are conceding (56 in these three matches!) which has resulting in a sending off in our last two matches and this has to be fixed if we want to be competitive for the full 90 minutes. However, we move on in a half decent position in the relegation battle but we face four tricky fixtures where I’ll be aiming for at least 6 points. See you then!  

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Coming Soon…

REPLACING RANIERI – Reviving the Foxes Part 1

BREAKING NEWS

Unknown manager bennyashesFM has been appointed by Leicester City to replace Claudio Ranieri in a strange turn of events for the reigning champions after their 3-1 victory against Liverpool. He has signed a contract that lasts until June 2018. No-one knows what to expect from him as he attempts to revive their season and avoid the drop. Gary Lineker tweeted “bennyashesFM? Really?” showing his confusion at the appointment. His first game in charge will be against Hull City at the King Power Stadium.

 

So here I am, I have been appointed Leicester manager. I applied as a joke and they actually wanted me! Unbelievable! On my first day I spoke to the chairman who gave me a brief rundown of what he expects from me for the remainder of the season. I then walked into the team meeting wanting to get the team to understand what I am about. I told them i wanted a mid-table finish come the end of the season. A tricky objective but with a bit of form there is no reason why we cannot achieve this. In terms of tactics I will be adopting a 4-4-2 and instructing the team to use the flanks to put balls into the box. This is going to be one heck of a bumpy ride.

 

MATCHDAY

HULL CITY (H) Premier League

I will be fielding a weakened team in this match despite its importance in the relegation battle. I want to field the strongest team possible against Sevilla in the Champions League as it is a competition that Leicester are unlikely to be competing in again anytime soon.

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The Teams

FIRST HALF

2 nil up at half time! Defensive mistakes from the Hull defence and McGregor in goal allowed Slimani and Okazaki to score from close range.

SECOND HALF

Hull score in the 64th minute from a free kick with Michael Dawson heading the ball in as a result of poor defensive marking. The team are looking nervous approaching the final 15 minutes so I urge them from the touchline to calm down in order to hold on to our 2-1 lead. I pull as many players back as possible bringing on Albrighton to defend our right flank. A couple of corners for us up the pitch allow us to waste some time as we near the final whistle.

FULL TIME

Finally, the whistle blows for full-time and we get a vital 3 points against our relegation rivals. An impressive performance from the weakened team and we move up to 14th with Bournemouth having a game in hand. We are now five points clear of the drop zone.

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SUMMARY

What a great start to my time at Leicester! However, we must not get too excited as we need to concentrate on the massive game against Sevilla at the King Power Stadium where we need to attempt to overturn a 3-0 away loss*.

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Please feel free to give me feedback on my first post. Whether it is positive or negative it will be much appreciated. Also follow me on Twitter @bennyashesFM for updates!

*this was a fault of the database I am using from SortItOutSI. Link to the custom date database here: https://sortitoutsi.net/football-manager-start-date