Tag Archives: paulo sousa

A Kick Up the R’s

Leicester City 0:2 Queens Park Rangers

City suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to league leaders QPR yesterday afternoon, unable to cope with the visitors’ gamemanship or find a way through to goal…

Paulo Sousa changed Tuesday’s winning side, bringing Fryatt in for Howard, and City found themselves a goal down to the leaders after just 11 minutes. Taarabt lobbed a cross over from the right and an unmarked Mackie kept up his goal a game record launching a header beyond the reach of Ikeme.  
There was little other notable action in the first half with Rangers content to sit on their lead and City unable to convert possession into penetration. Waghorn sent a free-kick over the bar, and then, having inadvertently blocked a Fryatt shot, found the ball at his feet but was unable to beat keeper Kenny from close in. 
The second half was an ill-tempered affair with some familiar Warnock spoiling tactics and City never got close to the level of Tuesday night’s performance.
Fryatt fired a shot over and King sent a side-footer straight at Kenny when well-placed.
Gallagher and Howard came on for Dyer and Oakley, with City revereting to 442, but they still failed to make any impression on a tough QPR back line. Howard almost immediately received a forearm in the face, one of many incidents missed by the ref, and had to go back off to stem the flow of blood. There were two other good shouts for a penalty – for handball and for a bearhug on Howard, but the ref was giving City nothing.
Kenny then went down for a long period of treatment after landing awkwardly, and had to have his goalkicks taken for him which gave QPR more opportunties for time-wasting.
City never really looked like scoring and Rangers doubled their lead in the 86th minute.
Mackie took possession out on the left, waltzed round a pedestrian Morrison and then beat Ikeme with ease to claim the three points and delight the large away following.
Seven minutes of stoppage time couldn’t help City, who had been mugged by a highly professional Rangers side.
They weren’t good enough at the front or the back and Paulo Sousa has to go back to the drawing board.

Leicester: Ikeme, Berner, Hobbs, Neilson, Morrison, King, Dyer (Gallagher 58), Oakley (Howard 63), Wellens, Fryatt, Waghorn. Subs Not Used: Logan, Moreno, Moussa, Abe, Miguel Vítor.
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Connolly, Gorkss, Walker, Derry, Buzsaky, Ephraim, Taarabt ( Leigertwood 78), Mackie (Smith 89), Helguson (Agyemang 73). Subs Not Used: Rowlands, Cerny, German, Parker.

Referee: G D Scott. Attendance: 22,968.



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Cardiff Succumb to King Power

Leicester City 2:1 Cardiff City

City finally claimed their first victory of the season, two goals from Andy King settling a thrilling game against Cardiff at Filbert Way on Tuesday night…

Paulo Sousa made one change to his side with Howard in for Fryatt, facing a weakened Cardiff team missing the considerable talents of Craig Bellamy, Michael Chopra and Jay Bothroyd.
After a hesitant opening the first chance fell to the Bluebirds, with Koumas’s shot being held by on-loan keeper Ikeme after a spot of juggling.  
City then had a better spell with crosses from Dyer and Waghorn not finding any takers and Wellens sending a long range effort over the bar. Despite this it was the visitors who took a  25th minute lead completely out of the blue.
Naylor, some 40 yards out on the left, struck what looked like a cross but could have been a shot. It completely deceived the backpedalling Ikeme and ended up in the net.
Cardiff almost extended their lead but Ikeme made a good save from an unmarked Keogh from 15 yards.
City almost went in even at the break but a Howard header was cleared off the line and then Waghorn couldn’t quite convert a Dyer cross at full stretch at the far post.
As has been the case for much of this season, City had nothing to show for a decent performance, but they were to put that right in the second half.
Just six minutes after the break Wellens delievered a precise cross for King to nod past Marshall and City were on level terms.  
City had their tails up now, creating chance after chance, roared on by the home crowd. Waghorn and Dyer both sent efforts narrowly wide, and Marshall was almost caught out by an Oakley effort, saving with his knee. Waghorn saved forced a great save from the Cardiff keeper with a low shot, before sending yet another effort just wide.
Such was the pressure on the Welsh side that a goal had to come and it arrived in the 68th minute. A neat passing move saw Neilson feed Wellens, who set up King for a cool finish from close in.
The noise that greeted what turned out to be the winner could have come from a full house and seemed signify a corner being turned in Sousa’s management.
Marshall then gifted Dyer a chance with a wayward ball out but the winger fired his shot against the right hand post.
Yuki Abe came on for his debut in the 81st minute, replacing King who was given a fantastic ovation off the field.
After Burke sent a shot well over Cardiff were done. City’s increasingly polished passing game denied them any meaningful possession and even the five minutes time added on was comfortable.

A delighted Sousa expressed himself as only he can: “I am very happy and we have deserved this win before so it is nice to get under way. I feel the team is closer to my personality now. We had the character, anger and desire to win the game and my image is on them now.”

Having seen second placed Cardiff despatched, City fans now await the visit of table-topping QPR with relish…

Leicester: Ikeme, Berner, Hobbs, Neilson, Morrison, King (Abe 82), Dyer, Oakley, Wellens, Howard, Waghorn (Gallagher 85). Subs Not Used: Logan, Fryatt, Moreno, Moussa, Vítor.
Cardiff: Marshall, Naylor, Gyepes, McNaughton, Hudson, Koumas (Wildig 60), Burke, Whittingham, Rae, McPhail (Blake 69), Keogh. Subs Not Used: Quinn, Heaton, Taiwo, Matthews, Jarvis.

Referee: K G Evans. Attendance: 20,510.

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City Make a Point at the Ricoh

Coventry City 1:1 Leicester City

The final scoreline did not tell the whole story at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday with Leicester dominating the M69 Derby from start to finish…

Paulo Sousa made six changes to his side with Ikeme, Morrison, Neilson, King, Fryatt and Waghorn all in the starting line-up.
It was a well balanced team who employed a slick passing game against a poor Coventry side, but they couldn’t find a finishing touch and were perahps a bit over-elaborate at times.
The lively Dyer went close with a shot that Westwood fingertipped out for a corner, and then beat his man down the right but angled his shot behind the goal when King was pleading for the ball.
Dyer then sent Fryatt through and he rounded Westwood only to sky his angled shot over the bar.
Dyer then crossed for King, but his header from a great position went straight at the Sky Blues keeper.
Coventry then gave City a lesson in finishing , scoring from their only decent chance of the game five minutes before the break. Wellens was robbed in midfield and the home side came forward on the break… McIndoe, just on for McSheffrey, delivering a hanging cross from the left and Platt powered a header home from 12 yards.
City should have had the chance for an equaliser just before half time when Clarke clearly handled the ball in the goalmouth, denying Dyer a chance, but neither referee or linesman saw it.
City continued to press forward in the second half and enjoyed an even greater share of the possession.
Waghorn met an Oakley cross with a well directed header that beat Westwood but hit the right hand post.
Then the Coventry keeper went to ground sharply to save a well struck 30-yarder from Dyer. 
Gallagher came on for Waghorn in the 74th minute and City eventually got the goal they deserved two minutes later.  Gallagher’s chip forward found Dyer in the area and as he battled for possession with the Sky Blues’ defence King ghosted in to nip the ball away and flick it over Westwood and into the net.
Howard and N’Guessan came on for the last ten minutes and N’Guessan appeared to have broken through on goal, but checked back and wasted a good chance.
City won only their second point of the season, but the 4,000 visiting fans applauded them off, having seen signs of better things to come.

Coventry: Westwood, Keogh, Wood, Turner, Clarke, Carsley, Clingan, Platt, Jutkiewicz (Doyle 77), McSheffrey (McIndoe 36), Ward (Gunnarsson 67). Subs Not Used: O’Donovan, Ireland, Cameron, Bottomer.
Leicester: Ikeme, Berner, Hobbs, Neilson, Morrison, King, Dyer (N’Guessan 81), Oakley, Wellens, Fryatt (Howard 81), Waghorn (Gallagher 74). Subs Not Used: Kennedy, Logan, Moreno, Moussa.

Referee: A Taylor (Manchester). Attendance: 20,060.

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Lost In Translation – Player Power and ‘The List’

by that Truro off of Bentleys Roof…

I think the transfer window deals have been good for us with Abe and Waghorn in and Campbell out. Like most City fans, I wondered what would happen with the players that reportedly expressed a desire to leave, (reported as Wellens, Gallagher, Fryatt and Campbell [and Hobbs, and Morrison, and King, and Oakley…] as people speculated).
People were talking about them being “transfer listed” but there is no evidence that this was ever the case. For those who don’t know, “the list” is a real thing, not some euphemistic entity used by the tabloids like a “come and get me plea”.
“The List”, or “The PFA Transfer List” to give it it’s proper name, can be accessed by anyone and is used by managers and agents (among others) to see who’s freely available. In days of yore it was a great tool to publicly off-load unwanted players but these days it is generally used to dump kids who haven’t made the grade and aged journeymen, desperate for one last contract (Ade Akinibiyi’s on it to choose a fairly cruel example). The only Leicester player on “the list” is Alex Cisak, a young Polish/Australian goalkeeper.
Few players use “the list” to orchestrate a move these days as it will cost them loyalty bonuses etc. so it will only be those desperate to leave who will make such a public demonstration of their displeasure. In reality, amongst bigger transfers particularly, the list is used as a marketing tool; to apportion blame, show lack of loyalty or whatever might suit the situation.
If City had still not accepted Blackpool’s bids for Campbell at the 11th hour, he may have asked publicly to be transfer listed for two reasons:
1) To remove certain payments owed to him by Leicester – therefore making the deal more financially attractive to Leicester or
2) To overtly show that he no longer wished to play for City – effectively making it impossible for Sousa to pick him.
There will be few cases as transparent as that of Campbell, we all knew he was pining for the Seaside, but he (or his agent) played the game brilliantly – orchestrating the move with the maximum financial return.
Like many things with Sousa, the comments about some people wanting to leave were lost in translation. There are always players who are unhappy; Hobbs because he struggling with form, Oakley because he knows that fans don’t appreciate him, King, Gallagher, Neilson, N’Guessan and Fryatt haven’t been regular in the side while Wellens has never made the difference we all expected. To be honest, with the team at the foot of the table and Sousa’s methods not paying dividends, there won’t be many who AREN’T unhappy in one form or another, while players express a desire to leave far more often than we could ever imagine. Being a footballer is a transient existence at the best of times, and many of them are looking for the next big pay day in a pretty much constant basis, although this is easier if you happen to be an Ibrahimovic or an Adebayor.
My guess is that certain players “had it out” with Sousa, over the style, man management and confusing tactical direction. Let’s face it, he couldn’t be more different than Pearson if he tried, a manager who had the respect and admiration of the overwhelming majority of players, bought many of them (which creates a significant bond between player and manager) and whose style brought us very close to promotion.
So those that “went on the list” never did. They had a moan, and were probably ignored by Sousa, meanwhile we get rid of the Foxes failure that is Campbell, bring back Martyn Waghorn as a replacement and recruit an exceptional International midfielder in Yuki Abe.
Hopefully, the air has been cleared, and the players will start to take Sousa’s ideas full on board, the Portuguese certainly won round one. Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn has put his money where his mouth is and continues to see City as a “Top” Club, both literally and metaphorically.
So, the future could still be bright for Leicester, for Campbell it’ll only be orange.

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City set to sign Japanese star

According to Japanese media sources City are on the verge of signing Japanese midfielder Yuki Abe.

City are reported to have made a firm offer for the 28-year-old, who is currently playing for Urawa Red Diamonds in the J -League. He appeared in all of Japan’s games in this summer’s World Cup in South Africa, taking him to 49 caps for his country.
Abe. who has broken two J-League records for youngest player and largest domestic transfer fee, has been rested by his his club suggesting that a move is imminent.

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City Turned Over at Turf Moor

Burnley 3:0 Leicester City

Paulo Sousa’s side put in a poor performance at Turf Moor on Saturday with Burnley never having to move out of third gear to register a 3-0 win…
Sousa made one change to his side with N’Guessan in for Dyer, and neither Dyer or Fryatt were included in the squad, despite no injuries being reported.
City got off to a lively start and should have taken a lead inside the first minute, but Jensen denied N’Guessan when the Frenchman should have found the net with his low shot, having been sent through by Berner.
Burnley had the ball in the net in the 5th minute but Bikey’s header from a Wallace corner was ruled out for an earlier infringement.
In the 18th minute City spurned another chance to take the lead when Campbell latched on to a Howard nod on, but skied his shot over the bar from close in.
The rest of the half saw little action at either end, until the home side enjoyed a major slice of luck in injury time. A long range, speculative effort from Wallace hit Moreno on the back and span beyond the reach of Logan, who’d replaced the injured Weale three minutes earlier, and into the net.
City failed to make any impact after the break, with the midfield cylinders not firing at all, and Burnley added a second in the 62nd minute.  Wallace was allowed plenty of room to deliver a cross from the left and Hobbs misjudged the flight of the ball allowing Iwelumo a comfortable header at the far post.
Twelve minutes later it was all over when one substitute, Lamey, needlessly tripped another, Eagles, in the area. Alexander never misses from the spot and made it 3-0 in his 900th career game.
Substitute Moussa sent a late chance over the bar, but the game had been lost long before that.

The league table showed City at rock bottom, still looking for their first league win of the season.
Paulo Sousa claimed that small mistakes had cost City, and it was difficult for them to react to going a goal down.
What we saw was a poor performance in which too many players had an off day.

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Fox, Carlisle, Bikey, Alexander, Wallace (Eagles 66), Marney (Cork 66), Elliott, Paterson, Iwelumo (Thompson 76). Subs Not Used: Cort, Rodriguez, McDonald, Grant.
Leicester: Weale (Logan 43), Berner, Hobbs, Neilson (Lamey 57), King, Oakley (Moussa 80), Teixeira, Wellens, Campbell, N’Guessan, Howard. Subs Not Used: Kennedy, Gallagher, Morrison, Crncic.

 Referee: G Eltringham (Sunderland). Attendance: 15,516.

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Sousa Meets With New Owners

City boss Paulo Sousa is scheduled to meet up with Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Raksriaksorn of the Asia Football Investment consortium, the club’s new owners.

They plan to discuss a transfer budget, which could push City up among the bigger spenders in the division.
Saturday’s opponents Middlesbrough spent £6m over the summer, while City’s total transfer outlay was just £300,000.
Sousa commented: “Of course, the main thing is they have passion for the game and, hopefully, they can support that passion to help us improve the club. From what they said to me, they are going to support me and the squad to add some numbers and some quality. I don’t know yet what kind of budget I will have, but they guaranteed they will give me support to make the right decisions to create a very strong squad.”

Sousa added to his squad over the weekend with Belgian midfielder Franck Moussa, from Southend, signing a two-year contract.
To subscribe to The FOX for the 2010-11 season, get your Summer Special in the post right away, and claim your free limited edition print send a cheque for £14.00 to:

The FOX, PO Box No 2, Cosby, Leicester, LE9 1ZZ

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