Mails: Why can’t Leicester improve further?

Date published: Thursday 28th April 2016 2:14

Shinji Okazaki Leicester

Make sure you read the latest Mailbox guest column, explaining why South Asians are so obsessed with the Premier League. Send your mails to theeditor@football365.com.

 

How do you know Leicester can’t top this?
Has Nick Miller slipped into crack these days? Ive seen a few of his stuff lately and cant say I even see the point of it, never mind agree or not.

So Ranieri should retire because he won’t beat what he has achieved this season…? All of this is based on the fact Leicester will definitely not do anything in the Champions League and their best players will probably move on.

First off how do you know they won’t do anything in the Champions League?! They will be top seeds and have you been completely void of what Atletico Madrid are able to achieve playing the Leicester way. Second, why will their best players want to leave? Why wouldn’t the club bring in better players around them and build a team for continuous success? Where else will Kante, Mahrez and Vardy feel so loved and important?

Plus let’s face it. We all know Ranieri won’t even consider ruining everything he has just started to build and achieved at Leicester City football club by just retiring. I can see the point of this article in some ways if you look at it from a pure ‘personal achievement’ point of view, however for all we know Claudio has only just started something really REALLY special that will change English football significantly…not be a one-season wonder.

He might be in the Champions League Semi-Finals with a 1-0 first leg home win over Bayern Munich this time next year.
ToonBano

 

More fan mail for Miller
Where do Leicester go from here? An excellent question – Hopefully not the way of Nick Miller’s thoroughly depressing response.

For over a year we’ve been hearing reasons to doubt us. We’ll never survive. We’ll struggle without Pearson. We’ll struggle without Cambiasso. We’ll struggle with Claudio. We’ll never keep this form up. The goals will dry up. We’ve not played anyone good yet. We’ll struggle against the big teams. We’ll struggle against the little teams. We’ll struggle to cope with the pressure.

Now the same people that have been emphatically proven wrong time and time again proudly puff out their chests and tell us with no doubt that we will struggle in Europe and the league next year. I’m sure if Claudio and the players were half so defeatist we wouldn’t be close to where we are now.

As a Leicester fan the really exciting thing in this season has been the prospect that we use it as a springboard and properly establish ourselves as a premier league club. For all the talk of us showing that money doesn’t rule and it is possible to have success without the resources, how emphatically would that idea be dismissed if our summer consists of us having our team and back room staff picked off by the likes of Arsenal and United? You’ve had your fun Leicester, now know your place and sit back down. To win the big prize and still not be allowed a seat at the table. The message to any of the non-elite teams is basically thus; give up.

I prefer to be more optimistic. We might lose Mahrez. For all his glory he has still gone missing at times and we have got through. Demarai Gray looks like a hell of a player – why couldn’t he step up? We might lose Kante. Phenomenal player who would surely be missed. Daniel Amartey has been excellent in his limited minutes this season – who is to say he isn’t the next gem to come through?

More pertinently, we aren’t where we are through individual performances, it’s the teamwork and work ethic that runs throughout the club. If we maintain that then we have a chance at continuing our fine work. It’s definitely a perilous road we will need to take as we will no doubt be needing to strengthen for multiple competitions.

I’m not naive enough to think that a small club can carry on defying the odds. I live in hope that the success we have enjoyed may eventually lead to a paradigm shift where we are no longer seen as just that – a small club.

Who knows what the future brings? More important to try and enjoy the moment. Here is to Sunday and hoping we can bring home the three points!
Ben (Leicester til I die, regardless), LCFC

 

Mid-table is about right for Leicester
It seems the time has come to predict Leicester’s fortunes next season.

I think Leicester will struggle to keep both Mahrez and Kanté, they could lose both. I agree that Vardy is likely to stay. I don’t expect Leicester to cope with a season of extra fixtures, and I don’t expect them to have another injury free season. If I had to pick a final finish, I’d guess 8th or 9th. I think they will pick up fewer points than Chelsea did this season.

That said, I think Leicester’s squad and style of football is possibly ideal for a genuine run in the Champions League. It’s incredibly hard to win, and requires a lot of luck, but I don’t see why they couldn’t try to emulate what Atletico are doing, for example.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland

 

Predicting more unpredictability
I read this from Nick Miller today:

“In terms of probability, the chances of Leicester finishing anywhere near the top next season, or making much of an impression on Europe, is like a mile-wide comet hitting the earth on a Monday, followed by another on Tuesday.”

This made me wonder what that probability actually is (I mean of Leicester finishing near the top, not the comet strike).

I had a look at Skybet’s odds for teams to finish in the top 4 next season (as Skybet seems to be the only bookmaker already offering this market) and the list goes as follows. We can take this as an approximation of the most likely order that teams will finish, according to ‘statistics’. For Leicester it turns out to be 5/1, which may or may not be the same odds as a comet strike.

Man City (1/5)
Chelsea (4/11)
Arsenal (1/2)
Man Utd (10/11)
Tottenham (1/1)
Liverpool (11/10)
Leicester (5/1)
Southampton (12/1)
West Ham (12/1)
Everton (12/1)

What this tells us is:
– Leicester will suffer a dramatic slump, relative to their red hot form that has been maintained now for longer than a whole calendar year (they got 23 points out of a possible 27 at the end of last season) and probably won’t even make the top 6.
– Spurs, a team full of improving young players and with an improving young manager, who have looked like the best team in the country in the last couple of months, will similarly regress from this season to the next.
– Chelsea, a team in absolute disarray largely due to their previous manager’s stubborn, abrasive and combative personality, are going to be instantly turned around by the new manager (who has a similar personality). On that note, I know Conte won three Serie A titles in a row, but so did Mancini and I wouldn’t class him as a great manager. Incidentally, Conte arrived at Juve at the same time as one Andrea Pirlo. For me (Clive) Juventus are an even better team now than they were under Conte, despite having had to rebuild after losing the likes of Pirlo.

Now the bookmakers may well turn out to be right, but after such an unpredictable and exciting season and with possibly even more unpredictability once the new TV deal kicks in, once Spurs and Leicester are getting CL money while Chelsea and Man Utd aren’t, with big clubs set to change managers, isn’t there a bit too much faith being put in everything going back to ‘normal’ with the big four at the top?

Am I being naive or does anyone else think that there might be another mad season in store?
James Bruschini
(MC – It’s a little dangerous looking at the bookmakers’ odds as a guide, given that they are very likely to cover their arses after this mad season)

 

Lovely uncle Claudio
If Claudio Ranieri retires from football management, the ideal next role for him would be to go on TV every time Jose Mourinho’s next team loses, and simply smile. He will not need to say anything.

Also, the Leicester City fans who contribute to the mailbox are getting increasingly touchy as the season goes on. They really are a big club now.
The literary Ed Quoththeraven

 

An appropriate Shakespeare quote for Leicester
Top, top work from Peter G in Pennsylvania, but I have to take issue with his choice for Leicester. Not that the line he chose isn’t apposite, but surely you can’t make reference to Leicester and Shakespeare without bringing Richard III into it?

How about:
“Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devis’d at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
March on, join bravely, let us to’t pell-mell;
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.”

Which acknowledges their, er, unsympathetic aspects while praising their courage and power.
Dara O’Reilly, London

 

Oh hey Mr Wordy
Peter G just wasted 20 seconds of my life googling concordance.

I’m never getting that back.

Cheers Pete.
Matt Stafford

 

Could Simeone recreate Atletico anywhere else?
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Atleti at the moment – they defend as a team, they’re well drilled, they have class up top in Griezmann and they play and fight for each other. But how much of that stems from the special conditions Simeone has in Madrid? He’s an ex-player who everyone knows would bleed for the club, and the main reason that everyone I know loves them is that they’re the best possible alternative to yet another Real/Barca/Bayern megaclub monopoly (or triopoly, if you want to be pedantic).

If he turned up at a club that’s expected to dominate and win in style, would neutral supporters really be impressed with 29% possession and bloodying the big club’s noses? Wouldn’t you want a big club (eg Real/Barca/Bayern) to be able to offer more?

Take him away from Atleti and he’d lose:
1) That special relationship with the fans
2) The lack of pressure to perform with style
3) The underdog status afforded to Atleti because they’re not Real/Barca/Bayern

Mourinho plays in a similar fashion and whenever he went anywhere with money to spend (Chelsea/Real), everyone hated him. He was popular whilst upsetting the natural order (Porto) and whilst bloodying Barca’s nose (Inter), but hasn’t been loved elsewhere. Would the same happen to Simeone?
Dan Wardle

 

And why Simeone would be ‘horrific’ for Arsenal
I wasn’t certain if the guy who thought Arsenal should get Simeone was being entirely serious but I have to say I think it would be an horrific appointment for both parties. Arsenal under Wenger are known for playing possession football with intricate passing in and around the penalty area, arguably the most attractive football in England over the last 20 years. Would Arsenal really tolerate the change in style Simeone would bring? Players such as Ozil and Cazorla would simply not fit in a Simeone team.

Furthermore, a large part of the reason Simeone is so successful at Atleti is that he is able to play on the fact his team are always underdogs compared to the might and wealth of Barca and Real. Arsenal are perennial Champion League qualifiers with one of the biggest stadia in the country, they can hardly be portrayed as underdogs. Were Simeone to manage in this country (I don’t see him wanting to leave Madrid any time soon) a team which is currently just outside the established elite but with the potential to gatecrash it would surely be a better fit. West Ham are understandably happy with Bilic but what about Everton should they sack Martinez? As I said, I see no reason why Simeone would want to leave Spain for now anyway so it’s enetirely hypothetical.
Alan Ewens

 

Footballer statues
I was watching the Man U/Everton FA Cup game at the weekend and when Fellaini scored he ran away pulling down on his own shirt. I thought to myself “he does that all the time, if there was ever a statue of him, it would be him doing that”. Then I started thinking of other footballers signature moves (how I picture them when I think of them), if they ever had a statue, what would they be like. I thought of a few….

Messi – putting his hand over his mouth to talk with one hand on hip.
Ronaldo – sitting down in the box looking at a ref, teary-eyed with his arms out.
Shola Ameobi – both hands on head after missing a chance (seriously, google him every picture is the same)
Lee Cattermole – walking head down off a pitch after being sent off, shorts up to armpits.
The Villa back 4 – looking bemused and slowly walking back to the halfway line after conceding their 8th of the game.

I was wondering if mailboxers can think of any more examples?
John Liddell

 

Go read the Mailbox guest piece
Not got much to say other than John Matrix’ missive today was cracking.

Good work sir
Lee, Highbury

 

…Brilliantly evocative piece from John Matrix – the idea of his cousin forcing him into supporting Arsenal really spoke to me.

Growing up in a multiple-generation family of Arsenal fans, i had the opposite experience. My older sister once pinned me to the ground and yanked my ear until I was sure it would detach, and would not let me go until I professed my love for Man United. The moment I relented she ran downstairs to tell my Dad that I had confessed my secret love for a team I truly hated at that point (1999, shortly after the Giggs FA cup semi-final).

I don’t think my Dad has ever really trusted me since…
Joe Rice, slightly deaf Gooner

 

We shared those thoughts
What’s that James T, Zweigen Kanazawa have 2 points from 8 games?

Someone get on the blower, I know just the man for the job…
Ben Smith, Gooner in South London

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