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Leicester’s season is success whatever happens now
For the love of all that is holy can all concerned, including Matt Stead this morning, please have some perspective on our season.
Granted we are now in March and therefore, clearly, involved in the title race. I know too that if it was ever going to happen then this is the season to do it (Chelsea’s recent form confirming that if one of the big boys decided to play like they should do across a whole season then they would be walking the league) and I know full well that the goodwill and backing of 95% of neutrals in this country means they would love it if we won and cause one of THE biggest stories in the history of the League Championship (let alone the Premier League era). So I can see that a draw at home with West Brom isn’t the ideal scenario, but you know what, I don’t think a single Leicester supporter is feeling down today.
Firstly, I read somewhere that we are officially and mathematically safe from relegation now. Considering the vast majority of pundits predicted us for the drop at the start, then staying up was the extent of our ambitions in August (apart from for a few foolhardy souls who placed the odd pound on us to win the whole thing). So that first achievement is out of the way.
Secondly, we now have our highest-ever PL points total and counting with ten games to go, this is uncharted territory for us Foxes and represents our most successful season since the sixties. Happy days.
Thirdly, it is looking increasingly likely that we will be playing Champions League football next year, baring a catastrophe that basically means we will be playing the likes of Barcelona, Bayern and Gent next season. Imagine that!
We are third in the form table for the last six games behind only the astonishing runs of Chelsea and Spurs, in a period that included games with Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal. We took four points from two tough games against teams set up to defend against us. A flukey last-minute win against Norwich (apparently this is what champs do) and a draw with Pulis that only bad luck, the goalframe and inspired goalkeeping stopped us winning by four or five (basically we played like Arsenal). The players gave their all and after watching the game last night, no City fan can complain about the commitment and incredible team spirit, let alone skill, we are watching at the moment.
If we continue this form we will be heading for the 80-point mark, this might be enough this year if the Spurs juggernaut slows down, but if it doesn’t happen then c’est la vie. But whatever happens, please don’t treat our season as anything less than an utter success, no matter what we do between now and the end of the season.
It’s no wonder fans of the big boys moan so much when they are constantly told they should be doing better and their latest draw/defeat is akin to the death of Princess Di.
Rob (Probably a bit more ranty than I was expecting but there you go) Leicester
…I’m trying desperately not to get too down about last night’s result. Against Norwich we really didn’t deserve to win, but did. Last night we really did deserve to win, but didn’t. Funny old game and all that.
We played a lot better last night than we have the previous two games. However if winning when you don’t play well is the hallmark of champions, not winning when you do… I think after last night we are mathematically safe, so at least that’s out of the question!
We played some glorious football last night that was a joy to watch. Mahrez was better than he has been for a while (what the f**k was that bicycle kick though?), Morgan was throwing everything at them the last 30 minutes, Drinkwater exceptional, King showing he still knows where the net is (true, he is no Kante, but who is?!).
Credit to West Brom as well. Despite all the talk of Pulisball they looked potent on the break. Rondon did what nobody else has this season and made Morgan and Huth look like schoolboys. Gardner’s free-kick was incredible, Fletcher was immense in midfield and Foster made more than one great save to deny us the three points.
Ultimately we are still three points clear at the top with the worst-case scenario that by tomorrow we are second on goal difference, with the two closest teams playing each other on Saturday. We’re in a title race when we were written off by everyone as relegation fodder – if we can’t enjoy that then we might as well pack it all in!
I think a lot of us are getting carried away. I had to talk down some non-Leicester fans in my office yesterday from lumping hundreds on Leicester to win the thing as we are ‘clear favourites’. We aren’t. You only have to look at where we were last season to realise how quickly these things can change. I’m going to try to hang on to that and enjoy the ride, knowing that whatever happens we are witnessing something I never thought I would get to see as a Leicester fan and quite probably never will again. We slipped last night, we did against Villa and Bournemouth too, and arguably Arsenal. Yet we are where we are because we have slipped up less than everyone else. Let’s hope we can learn from it and kick on for the rest of the season.
I also think it’s great that Spurs are right up there, neither would have been expected to be here at the start of the season and there is a genuine prospect of a new winner this year. That said, pressure goes to them now – they know a win tonight will take them top. It might not be the worst thing in the world to take us off the front foot slightly.
Onwards to Watford!
Ben (Obviously still gutted if we don’t do it though), LCFC
Scary, Scary times for Spurs
Driving in this morning I suddenly realised Spurs have the league title IN THEIR OWN HANDS! Arrrrrgggghhh, Bloody Hell, WTF? My stomach went all funny, I don’t think I can cope.
By they way Adam LCFC, battering defensively-minded teams at home and having to settle for draws, welcome to our world 🙂
Diamond (oh god, it’s West Ham followed by the Woolwich – Arrrrrrrrggghhhhh) Lights
The Arsenal fans could turn…
Tonight ain’t going to be pretty at the Emirates.
A couple of days ago if you tried to get tickets for the Swansea game there were loads available on ticket exchange. This means season ticket holders couldn’t be bothered attending turning their tickets over to other Arsenal fans.
Season ticket holders tend to be a philosophical bunch while the more infrequent visitors tend to be much angrier.
Swansea are usually a team that rubs salt into the wounds when our form is in the toilet.
Expect a 1-2 Swansea win with Wenger being booed to kingdom come.
I actually feel sorry for the likes of Cech, Per and Welbeck.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Arsenal are losing 2-0…but not to Hull
A good analogy about Arsenal being 2-0 down in the Premier League, but I can’t help thinking that Arsenal are actually 2-0 down at this point in time, to Barcelona in the Champions League. So do you think they can ‘recover like they did in 2014’, against Barcelona?
No me neither!
Paul Murray, THFC
Midweek Palace conclusions from Ed
Morrissey once claimed every day was like Sunday, when I write in, every day is like Monday. Must be why everyone loves me so much.
* Sam Allardyce has accused Alan Pardew of being full of himself. In the same vein, I’d like to accuse every other Mailbox contributor of going on a bit.
* Wasn’t there a website yesterday concerned about Leicester having to call on Andy King? Also, didn’t Andy King score at least one important goal when called upon during the Foxes’ incredible run at the end of last season?
* Ha! In your face everyone who said Connor Wickham was rubbish! If the last two games have proved anything, it’s that he’s at least ‘decent’. In addition to his goals, Wickham was a constant nuisance to the Sunderland defence, and was involved in most of Palace’s best play.
* I felt a goal was coming for Sunderland when the Glaziers had a spell of dominance but couldn’t find a goal – this was as much down to Sunderland’s resilience – and good goalkeeping – as it was to Palace’s ineptitude. I would say Sunderland were good value for their lead, but the nature of their opener, being an innocuous shot with a killer deflection, was sickening. Wickham’s first goal took a deflection of Yedlin, so it evened things up in every way.
* On a run as rotten as ours, a point anywhere is a bonus. It’s frustrating when you don’t win, but when it takes a goal as good as that to peg you back, there’s not a great deal you can do.
* At the start of the season, Steve Parish and chums insisted we should “stop thinking like Palace fans”, in response to concerns at the amounts of money being spent on players so soon after the club nearly went out of business. However, part of the “thinking like Palace fans” has also been to show a lot of patience to a team and manager operating at well below their true capabilities. Regardless of what you think of Palace, or of Alan Pardew, there are plenty of clubs whose fans would have done more than grumble about how poor their team have played for, in effect, a quarter of the season.
If we’re not “thinking like Palace fans” any more, is it fair to expect some investment in the squad this summer? While the first XI is generally very good, the gap between starter and replacement is too great in most positions (apart from striker, assuming Adebayor stays, and Sako is an able back-up utility attacker) that there are too many weak links.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven
We went early
Funny to see Mediawatch go live quite so early today. I can just imagine the F365 team being so desperate to give The Sun’s ‘Super League’ story a kicking it was akin to when you have something really nice for your lunch and start revising when is an acceptable time to eat it…