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Archive for January 11th, 2011

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Leicester City closing on Yakubu swoop – FansFC.com

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Leicester City closing on Yakubu swoop
FansFC.com
Sven Goran Eriksson is eager to land a top striker this month, as he looks to launch a promotion bid in his first season at the Walkers Stadium.

and more »

Richie Wellens believes Leicester City must get physical with Manchester City … – Leicester Mercury

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Richie Wellens believes Leicester City must get physical with Manchester City
Leicester Mercury
The City midfielder was nursing a badly-bruised hand after Dutchman Nigel De Jong stood on him during Sunday's 2-2 draw with the Premier League promotion

Ben Jacobs,Sol Bamba,Leicester City – Leicester Mercury

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

SkySports
Ben Jacobs,Sol Bamba,Leicester City
Leicester Mercury
I reckon Leicester City's Cup tie with Manchester City could have been described as 'Wham BAM, thank you MAN.' That neatly sums up Leicester City's
Sol Bamba buoyed by Leicester City FA Cup displayBBC Sport
Leicester City v Manchester City – live!The Guardian
Leicester City v Manchester City: liveTelegraph.co.uk
Goal.com –bettor.com (blog) –ESPN
all 554 news articles »

Leicester City comment by Ben Jacobs: Sol Bamba is an instant hit

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s shock 2007 Scottish Cup win over Celtic sparked the genius headline ‘Supercaleygoballisticcelticareatrocious’.

I reckon Leicester City’s Cup tie with Manchester City could have been described as ‘Wham BAM, thank you MAN.’

That neatly sums up Leicester City’s tremendous 2-2 draw with big-spending Manchester City.

I know it is only one game, and it was not even a victory, but it was the kind of scintillating performance that could galvanise the Foxes as they strive to surge into the Championship play-offs.

Sol Bamba ‘wham-bambed’ Leicester into an early lead and was superb at both ends thereafter, capping a man-of-the-match display with a stunning block on Carlos Tevez in added-time.

It was, surely, the second best Foxes debut this millennium behind Stan Collymore, who began an eventful stint at City in 2000 with a dazzling hat-trick in the 5-2 rout over Sunderland.

As expected, Manchester City asserted some authority towards the end of the first half.

Spearheaded by the world-class James Milner, Roberto Mancini’s men edged 2-1 ahead but courageous Leicester responded by dominating the second half.

In the end, Manchester had Joe Hart to thank for a slightly fortuitous Andy King equaliser, albeit after a fluid build-up that deserved a reward, but plucky Leicester more than earned a replay.

In fact, Manchester City probably would not have begrudged them a win, which was only denied when Milner cleared Bamba’s late looping header off the line.

So it is off to Eastlands a week today but, unfortunately, fate is not now on City’s side, as they strive to set up an intriguing fourth round tie with Notts County, another of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s former employers.

Indeed, Sunday’s draw was the third on the trot against Manchester City in the FA Cup. Ominously, on the other two occasions, City have gone on to be well beaten in the replay.

Sven-Goran Eriksson targets Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Leicester City have made an inquiry about a loan move for Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

It comes after their hopes of signing Manchester City shot-stopper Shay Given were dashed.

City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has been trying to persuade Given, who is the number two to Joe Hart at Eastlands, to drop down to the Championship for a loan spell.

But the Republic of Ireland international was reluctant to leave the Premier League.

Eriksson had not given up on persuading Given and, according to sources in Manchester, the 34-year-old was warming to the idea after growing frustrated at his lack of games this season.

But Roberto Mancini has blocked any potential move because he wants to keep his two top-class keepers for the challenge for the Premier League title.

Eriksson is understood to have turned his attention to Poland international Kuszczak and wants the 28-year-old on loan for the rest of the season.

Kuszczak has been a number two at Old Trafford since he joined the club from West Bromwich Albion in 2006 and has made only 31 appearances in that time.

However, he has decided he needs first-team football so he can force his way into the reckoning for the Poland national team in time for the European Championships next year.

Regular United number one Edwin van der Sar is expected to retire at the end of the season but Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to look to recruit a high-profile replacement. The recent arrival of Dane Anders Lindegaard and the emergence of Ben Amos threaten Kuszczak’s number two status.

Kuszczak is out of contract at United next year and a loan spell at City would put him in the shop-window before he makes a decision over his future this summer.

Although Chris Weale has been in excellent form recently, and produced two superb late saves to keep City in the FA Cup tie against Mancini’s side on Sunday, Eriksson has made no secret of the fact he is looking for another keeper. He brought in Barwell-born Chris Kirkland on loan in November and only a persistent back problem stopped City attempting to keep the Wigan keeper for the rest of the season. Eriksson has also confessed his interest in Given before.

Meanwhile, full-back Tom Kennedy returned to City yesterday after his three-month loan spell at Rochdale.

Kennedy joined City from Dale in the summer but returned to his former club on loan after failing to establish himself at City. He played six games for the League One side.

City’s reserves will play a behind closed doors friendly against Wolverhampton Wanderers this afternoon at Wolves’ Compton training ground.

Fazackerley says Premier League players should think of a move to Leicester City

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Leicester City’s transfer targets should see the bigger picture before turning down a move to the Walkers Stadium, assistant manager Derek Fazackerley has said.

City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has been targeting Premier League players to bolster his promotion-chasing squad during the current transfer window, but has been frustrated so far by players’ reluctance to drop down a division.

Eriksson has inquired about Robbie Keane, Roque Santa Cruz and Shay Given, but all have said no, and former loanee Curtis Davies has refused to commit himself to another spell at the club as he wants a move to a Premier League club. Wolverhampton Wanderers are rumoured to be interested.

Fazackerley said it was proving difficult but urged targets to think long-term as he believes City can satisfy players’ Premier League ambitions in the future.

Fazackerley also admitted a healthier league position in the Championship would help City’s chances of pulling off some transfer coups.

“It is most players’ ambitions to play in the Premier League, but it is also the ambition of this football club to play in the Premier League,” he said.

“If these players get the opportunity sooner, and it is a well established club and a decent-sized club, obviously those players will take the opportunity.

“It is out of our control because we are not currently in the position to offer people Premier League football. Hopefully, we will be able to do that in a period of time and will be competing with these clubs for signings.

“I hope players look at the bigger picture, the progress that has been made in a short period of time and see the strides we have made up the table.

“We are also realistic that is the easy part.

“The hard part now begins as we try to push on and maintain the momentum we have created and see that through to the end of the season, and see us into a play-off position, if not more.

“But, if someone can guarantee you Premier League football, it is difficult to compete with that.”

Despite City’s divisional handicap, Fazackerley said players were still considering City as a good employer, and he said they were still confident they could attract a big-name player.

“The indications are that people will consider Leicester City, because of the size of the club and the prospect of working for the manager we have,” he said.

“But we have to be realistic and, if there are other Premier League clubs in for them, they will probably take that opportunity.

“That shouldn’t stop us asking the question because you may as well start at the top of the tree and work your way down rather than work your way up. That is the philosophy we have to follow.

“Hopefully, we will knock on enough doors and someone will actually say yes.”

The financial backing of the club’s Thai owners has meant City will be able to pay Premier League wages and that will certainly help attract players with Premier League pedigree, but Fazackerley said Eriksson would make sure any recruits were coming to the Walkers Stadium for the right reasons.

“Well, obviously you do your homework on the player as much as you can,” he said.

“One of the things you look at is are they hungry and have they got the desire to play football? Are they coming for the right reasons in terms of the right career path?

“You don’t want to be taking players in just because they think it is a good club to play for and there is a good pay cheque with a nice lifestyle.

“We want people who are hungry and a desire to take this club to the Premier League.”

Replay switch

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Leicester City’s FA Cup third-round replay at Manchester City will be a week today with a 7.45pm kick-off, not a week tomorrow as originally announced. Ticket details are expected soon.

Morrison reveals reasons for move from City

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Michael Morrison said he chose to step down to League One to take a step forward in his career.

The 22-year-old defender decided to move from Leicester City to Sheffield Wednesday last week after becoming frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities under Sven-Goran Eriksson, but believes he will soon be back playing in the Championship.

Morrison said it was only a temporary step backwards and believes the Owls, who paid £250,000 for his services, can get promotion this season.

“Hopefully, this is a step forward in my career, I’m sure it will be,” he said.

“It was sad time when Wednesday got relegated but I think you can take one step back to go two forward.

“First-team football isn’t guaranteed. I’ve been given the chance straight away. It’s up to me to keep the shirt. This is a Championship team,” said the 22-year-old.

“When you look at Leeds, Leicester and Norwich, you see what can happen. If you do well in League One, there’s no reason why you can’t push on and do well in the Championship.

“The players here are ready. Promotion is what everybody wants. We’re more than capable.”

Wednesday boss Alan Irvine revealed new owner Milan Mandaric, who moved to Hillsborough after selling Leicester to the Asia Football Investments consortium, was key to Morrison’s transfer.

“I think Milan managed to do a deal with Leicester that nobody else would be able to do,” he said.

“He has strong Leicester links and did the negotiations as far as the clubs were concerned and was very confident the deal would go through.”

Morrison made his debut at right back in Saturday’s 3-0 FA Cup third round victory at Bristol City, and Irvine was pleased with his new signing’s performance.

“Right-back is not Michael’s favourite position but he understands that we needed him there, and he defended very well,” said Irvine.

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