Archive for January 27th, 2011« Previous Entries
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Leicester City confirm Patrick van Aanholt signing
DUTCH full-back Patrick van Aanholt has signed a loan deal with Leicester City until the end of the season. The Foxes and Chelsea agreed a short-term deal …
Official: Chelsea full-back Patrick van Aanholt set for Leicester City loan moveGoal.com
Leicester City target the 'new Ashley Cole'Leicester Mercury
Leicester City hoping to bring in Chelsea's van AanholtTribalfootball.com
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Football star Paul Gallagher, Leicester City,
His thoughts are never far from the memory of his younger brother Daniel – but never more so than during the euphoria of his goal celebrations – which are …
Leicester City may have to concede defeat in their attempt to re-sign Aston …
Assistant boss Derek Fazackerley has said that City are no longer favourites to land the 25-year-old centre-back after Birmingham City made an 11th-hour …
and more »
These are exciting times down Filbert Way. The demolition of Millwall on Saturday proved, at least to this happy spectator, that City are now one of the strongest sides in the division.
The Lions were on a nine-game unbeaten run and looked like the sort of solid, well-drilled side that can prosper at this level. But City had too much for them.
We were quicker of thought and deed, almost Premier League speed, and the Millwall back-line were twice caught out by instantly-taken free-kicks, leading to goals.
Recent additions to Sven’s squad have turned City into a very different proposition to the side beaten 2-0 by Millwall at the Den less than a month ago.
In Sol Bamba, we have a mobile centre-half who is comfortable on the ball and never stops talking to his defence, and you do get the impression it is HIS defence.
As a big bonus, he also has the happy knack of being in the right place at the right time in the opposition’s penalty area and has a goalscoring record that would be the envy of many a striker.
We haven’t had goals contributed regularly from the centre-half position in quite a while.
Yakubu, on loan from Everton, also looks a cut above the rest at Championship level.
In each of his two games to date he has conjured a goal out of nothing, from the same position on the left.
The opposition will get wise to that eventually, but I’m sure he has more surprises in his locker. You may recall the 2002-03 season when the Yak’s goals kept Portsmouth ahead of us in the title race, as we both cantered towards promotion.
Many a clubs’ managers, owners and supporters might have been content to sit back and admire such a performance and hope that we now had enough to grab a stake in the play-offs, but at City things seem to be fuelled by a greater urgency and a higher ambition.
A constant programme of improvement to any perceived weak spot has, this week, seen the arrival of young Dutch Chelsea left-back Patrick van Aanholt and a bid to bring Curtis Davies back on loan.
We know the latter can do a good job in defence and, apparently, the former will be to our left-back position what Kyle Naughton is to the right, offering attacking options as well as good defensive attributes.
Sven knows a good player when he sees one, and the Raksriaksorns appear to be backing him all the way.
Compare what would be considered our strongest starting line-up for the next game, with the 11 that Paulo Sousa put out for the first game of the season at Crystal Palace: Weale, Berner, Hobbs, Neilson, Morrison, King, Dyer, Oakley, Fryatt, Campbell, N’Guessan.
We have come a long way in six months, and now it just remains to be seen whether the new side can make up the ground lost during that poor start to the season.
The Walkers Stadium is beginning to resemble the fortress all clubs strive for. A few more points away from home and we will have cracked it.
Personally, I think we will make up the six-point gap and qualify for the play-offs and then, as we found out last year, anything can happen. But I bet none of the other three clubs would want us in the semi-finals.
Out-of-favour Dany N’Guessan will try to rebuild his career at League One Southampton who he has joined on loan until the end of the season.
He could be in for quite a debut as he is eligible for the Saints’ FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Leicester City striker made five starts for former boss Paulo Sousa, but has only played 20 minutes of first-team action since Sven-Goran Eriksson arrived at the Walkers Stadium.
Assistant boss Derek Fazackerley said the loan deal represented a “good opportunity” for the French-born winger.
Fazackerley said: “Dany has not played too much for us as, unfortunately, he got injured in our very first week at the club when we went to Thailand.
“He was missing for two to three weeks and has found it difficult to break back into the squad.
“We feel this is a good opportunity for him to play some football on a regular basis at a good club with ambitions of getting promotion themselves from the league below us.”
Southampton are in the play-off places under manager Nigel Adkins, who moved to St Mary’s from Scunthorpe, where N’Guessan was also on loan earlier in the campaign.
N’Guessan joined City in 2009 from Lincoln City after previously playing for Glasgow Rangers and Auxerre.
He has made 19 league appearances and scored three goals, including the winner in City’s first match back in the Championship after League One promotion when they defeated Swansea 2-1 in August 2009.
He also scored the winner to sink the Swans in the FA Cup five months later with his other strike coming to rescue a point at Watford in a 3-3 draw, also back in August 2009.
Richie Wellens would be happy sign a new contract and commit his future to Leicester City.
Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said last week he had been so impressed with the 30-year-old midfielder’s performances a new contract was “a formality.”
Wellens had been linked with a move to Birmingham City, but feels he can fulfil his Premier League ambitions with City.
“I am not looking to move and of the clubs I have been linked to, Leicester are a bigger club than any of them,” he said.
“Knowing my luck I would go there, they would go down and Leicester would go up.
“I look at Leicester and think if we can get into the Premier League there will be 32,000 in the Walkers Stadium every week. It would be a fantastic club to play for them in the Premier League.
“The manager has not spoken to me about a new contract but Gally (Paul Gallagher) was in for treatment on Tuesday and he heard about it, so he told me.
“I am happy here so I will be happy to speak to him about it.
“I think I have played quite well for him and he gives me a lot of confidence.
“I look at him, he is very calm and is a top manager. He has given me a freedom to play, get on the ball and enjoy my football.
“I think he has given that to everyone and we are playing some good stuff at the moment.”
City’s assistant manager Derek Fazackerley said: “It’s a terrific sentiment from Richie. He has had an excellent spell since Sven and me came to the club and, as he says, why would you want to leave a club that appears to be on the up?
“We are pleased to have Richie here, although you can’t stop speculation regarding other clubs’ players or for that matter your own.
“We are mature about it, and get on with what we’ve got on a day-to-day basis hoping we are heading in the right direction.”
Wellens believes City are in great shape to mount a promotion challenge and, while he admits confidence is good, he has warned against over confidence.
“If we keep playing like this for the next 18 games we have a good chance of going up this season,” he said.
“It is so tight. We need 12 or 13 more wins to get into the play-offs, and if we can sneak 15 who knows? We might get second.
“We need to keep focused and try not to get ahead of ourselves. We have to be professional.”
Leicester City may have to concede defeat in their attempt to re-sign Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies on loan.
Assistant boss Derek Fazackerley has said that City are no longer favourites to land the 25-year-old centre-back after Birmingham City made an 11th-hour move to sign him permanently and scupper the deal.
City had reportedly thrashed out a loan move which would see them pay Davies £40,000-a-week and then make it a permanent move for around £2.5m in the summer, as long as they were promoted to the Premier League.
However, although Davies said on Twitter yesterday that he was “on his way to re-join Sven’s revolution”, he has always insisted he would prefer to stay in the top flight, and he would jump at the chance to join Villa’s second city rivals.
The hitch over the Davies deal emerged as City confirmed that Chelsea full-back Patrick Van Aanholt has signed on loan until the end of the season.
Birmingham have confirmed their interest in Davies and would, at least, match City’s valuation while Villa will be happy to quickly recoup a portion of the £18m they splashed out to Sunderland for striker Darren Bent.
The Blues have also lost influential centre-back Scott Dann to injury and Davies would be a ready-made replacement.
The former West Brom defender spent three months on loan at City earlier in the season and Fazackerley said: “We hoped there might be a window of opportunity to bring him into the football club and that might not be the case. I would say it is less likely than more likely.
“It appears he has got, like all good players, one or two opportunities and there is a possibility he could be going somewhere else.
“There are one or two other interested parties. It’s the player’s choice and if they get the opportunity of a permanent deal at another club it is something they have to consider.
“Curtis has been on loan to us before and we have always said we would be more than willing to take him back.
“But he has other options from various clubs and we’ve just got to be patient and see what happens.
“I’m not so sure that Curtis wants to accept a permanent move with us at this moment in time as he has been at a Premier League club for the past four or five years and I think that’s where his ambitions lie.
“We can’t offer him that yet, but who knows what might happen in the future.”
Fazackerley said the van Aanholt signature was another important development in the club’s bid to make the Premier League in manager Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first season in charge.
The 20-year-old full-back, who has made first-team appearances for Chelsea, including four in the Champions League this season, passed a medical yesterday and goes straight into the squad for the Championship clash at Sheffield United on Tuesday night.
Fazackerley said the Championship experience gained by the former PSV Eindhoven youngster at Coventry and Newcastle will help him to quickly integrate into the team plans.
He said: “He is a talented footballer, who is quick and will come into the squad and give us extra strength in that position.
“With the loss of Greg Cunningham (who broke a leg against Hull), we were looking to bolster that position anyway and feel Patrick is the man for the job,
“He is a young lad very much in the mould of Greg and Kyle Naughton with plenty to prove and hungry to play first-team football, and I’m sure he will be a great asset.”« Previous Entries