Archive for February 9th, 2011« Previous Entries
Rotarian award for Leicester City legend
ALAN Birchenall MBE has been presented with a prestigious Rotary award for his fund-raising efforts over more than 30 years and contribution to sport. …
Sven-Goran Eriksson, Leicester City academy, Jon Rudkin
Rudkin said the City manager has taken a keen interest in how the academy has been performing and the development of the young players, with several being invited to join first team training. Eriksson has also recently announced he plans to get …
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Leicester City Council makes U-turn on some of its planned cuts
The city council has made a U-turn on some of the most controversial cuts in next year's budget. …
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Leicester City defender Jack Hobbs has been told he can go out on loan.
Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has decided it would be better for last season's player of the year to get first-team action after falling down the pecking …
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There is no question that Sven-Goran Eriksson has made a significant and dramatic impact since taking over at Leicester City. Under the Swede, City have won 11 and drawn four of their 20 Championship games to push themselves back into contention for promotion after a poor start to the campaign, which resulted in Paulo Sousa’s sacking after just nine league games.
Only Nottingham Forest have a better points return in that time, having taken 39 from their last 18 games.
Third, behind Eriksson’s City, are Leeds with 35 points from 20 games and Swansea City with 34 from 20.
It is a remarkable turn-around in fortunes since Eriksson arrived at the Walkers Stadium and City now have high hopes they can go all the way back to the Premier League this season.
Eriksson has certainly been given massive assistance by the club’s ambitious new owners, who have strongly backed their manager financially.
Whatever Eriksson appears to ask for, the Thai owners have given him, including a new playing surface at the Walkers to help his side’s brand of attacking football.
City now boast a squad that would be the envy of many Premier League sides, with the likes of Yakubu and Darius Vassell leading the attack. But while it is true Eriksson has had more resources available to him than any City boss since the club came out of administration, it would be naive to say that it is just the owners’ cash that is responsible for City’s transformation, even if it is a big factor.
Eriksson has also demonstrated he can spot a player. Out of all his recruits, only the loan signings of striker Roman Bednar and goalkeeper Chris Kirkland could be classed as unsuccessful.
Vassell and Yakubu look potent against Championship defences, while he has called upon his contacts to recruit promising young defenders such as Ben Mee, Kyle Naughton and Patrick van Aanholt from Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea respectively.
Sol Bamba was almost unknown in England until he arrived at City and he has looked a superb signing for just £250,000. Plus, Eriksson has recouped £1.2 million, rising to £1.6 million, for Matty Fryatt and £250,000 for Michael Morrison as well.
With such a turn-around in playing staff in such a short space of time, there was always the danger it would prove too much too soon. But Eriksson has been able to blend the old with the new and the side has gelled incredibly quickly.
Richie Wellens, Andy King and Paul Gallagher, who have been some of the few players from the last season to retain their places in the starting line-up, are currently producing the best form they have shown all season.
Three of the back four at Sheffield United and against Barnsley are on loan. Bamba has only been at the club a fraction longer than the likes of Mee, Naughton and Van Aanholt, but they seem to have struck up an instant understanding.
In fact, while there has been a big influx of players, Eriksson has managed to keep good continuity in the system he adopts and the players he uses in key positions.
The midfield trio of Wellens, King and Yuki Abe in the engine room have been virtually ever present under Eriksson. He has not strayed from his preferred 4-3-3 system in recent months, and the players all seem to understand their role in his system.
Incredibly, when Eriksson arrived at City, some critics were already sharpening their knives and even questioned his ability, which is remarkable considering his record in club football in Sweden, Portugal and Italy, as well as his relative success with England.
Those critics are very silent at the moment as they know Eriksson has awakened a sleeping giant of the Championship and he has got the City ball well and truly rolling towards the Premier League.
Leicester City’s academy manager Jon Rudkin has said Sven Goran Eriksson’s interest in developing young professionals gives everyone within the academy a boost.
Rudkin said the City manager has taken a keen interest in how the academy has been performing and the development of the young players, with several being invited to join first team training.
Eriksson has also recently announced he plans to get 18-year-old striker Jeffrey Schlupp involved with the first team squad when he recovers from an ankle injury.
“The manager has been excellent ever since he came into the building,” said Rudkin.
“He is very keen on the development of the young players.
“He always takes time out to talk about the academy side, even when he is very busy.
“He came and watched the FA Youth Cup game against Blackburn Rovers, which was great.
“Steve Beaglehole, Trevor Peake, Chris Tucker – everyone has worked incredibly hard in the academy, and it is a nice little reward for them to see, not only the players playing so well but the support from the senior set-up as well.”
City’s academy side were held 1-1 at Coventry City last Saturday, and are looking ahead to their FA Youth Cup fifth round home tie soon.
“We haven’t won the FA Youth Cup before and it is something we would like to go on and win,” said Rudkin.
“We won the Premiership in 2007, and the cup would be nice but there are a lot more rounds ahead. The challenge is to continue to replicate our performance against Blackburn.”« Previous Entries