NWR General Football Thread

The thing about strikers is quite apt for Leicester. Vardy is 28 and his current injury and minor surgery are both bound to take their toll on someone who is quick for a young lad, but remarkably quick for an oldster. And poor Mahrez has looked so tired. I wonder who introduced him to that great Leicester tradition of overdoing it on the (pork) pies over Xmas? Melton Mowbray is very close.

Damarai Gray looks a good signing. Typical Leicester, get someone from the Championship rather than an Inter Milan reject. He also has great pace. They do have some great depth in the squad, but Ulloa and Okazaki just rarely seem to find the target. Sadly, the former Brighton man seems to miss even when there's no goalie, poor s*d.
My concern for Leicester is their relatively small squad. Since Xmas they've only brought in Denmark's U19 keeper (no surprises there). They tried to get a striker from Russia but Putin said No! Fourteen games to go and, for Vardy, a few more in the summer perhaps. I hope he and Mahrez make it through without injury, and that Vardy can score one like he scored last night for England. Okazaki is playing well, though. He's been unlucky.
It's interesting that both Arsenal and City seem to have suffered more because of injuries, even with their bigger squads - they also both have potentially 25+ games to play. I'm not sure there's much to choose in terms of difficulty with their respective run-ins - some big games to come over the next couple of weeks which could affect the points tally. Don't see Spurs getting involved, though they do seem to be in a great run of form. Should be exciting either way (for a change!).
If they can beat City at the weekend and then get something against Arsenal the real pressure will start. But I feel that the Leicester crowd will help them get through some inevitable sticky patches.
If Leicester manage not to lose their next two games (City and Arsenal) they'll be in pole position. They have already played Spurs, Liverpool and United twice, so have easily the most straightforward run-in.
It will be a really tough test at the Etihad, Mark. But the team do seem to have woken up a bit since the Xmas pork pie blitz. I'm not too sorry Spurs knocked us out of the Cup, though. For me, Saturday is the game. If we were to win, I may start to dram. A draw and we'll need to see what happens against Arsenal. A defeat and we may be looking at 4th. After those games we have a good run of lesser teams, but as the draw with Villa showed, you can never tell. I thought Sunderland looked decent against City, for instance.

I'd not write spurs off. The idea that they always fade is etched in most people's minds, but they do seem to be playing well and scoring freely, not really needing the lucky breaks many teams at the top get.
Simply fantastic. City had the best home record going into today's game. And they were outclassed, outfought and second best in every department. A record crowd at the stadium saw their expensively assembled team humbled by team spirit and desire.
Leicester will hopefully be crowned champions in May, they have been miles better than anyone else and are sitting on top on merit.
Agree with all that except the champions bit, being an Arsenal fan. But they've been much better than us and if we can't win the league (and seemingly we can't - again), Leicester would be the next best thing.

A fascinating premier league season for sure, but likely only a blip? Guardiola at City next season, Mourinho seeming going to Utd, and I predict Simeone to Chelsea. Will the likes of Leicester get a look in with those guys in charge?
Let's be honest, there are still plenty of games to go. After this trio of matches, which will end next weekend with a team which may be doing badly, John, but did beat us 5-2 (remember we drew 0-0 with Man City at home), will we be able to keep the tempo up against the likes of Watford, West Ham and Southampton, all good teams we still have to play? Don't forget how tired we were after Christmas, drawing 0-0 with Villa. Leicester have really been helped by Tottenham, though. Obviously I don't mean today (Watford did us no favours there), but by knocking us out of the Cup. Spurs do look impressive, though. In some ways they are the team of the moment. We played them at a good time.
I think in England, Warren, people say you are fluent in a language if you scrape a GCSE. I don't blame Linekar. He played for Barcelona, so he probably speaks more Catalan than Castillian. And it was a long time ago. As I am aware myself, a language fades without use.

Spurs are a worry. The problem is that Claudio says Leicester don't need to win the Premiership, which is true, but for the first time I think fans think they might just have a chance. Opens one up to disappointment.

Leicester facts:

1. Last game of the season is at Chelski. What if Claudio lifted the trophy there!?

2. Leicester's reserve keeper is Aussie Mark Schwarzer. Last season he won the Premiership with Chelsea without, I believe, playing a single first team game. Schwarzer hasn't so far played for the first team at Leicester this season either. Two Premiership titles without coming off the bench once might be a bit unique?
At the (extreme) other end of the spectrum I am going to see my beloved Grimsby Town this Tuesday play at Bromley. I didn't even realise Bromley had a team - it would appear their "stadium" is a park with some dogs in it. The point is, it may not be Premier League, but I would never ever change from supporting Grimsby Town - the quality is bad, the results are shocking, the grounds are awful - but the experience is real.

I'm so excited for the Leicester fans (as I am sure we all are). So great to see the big clubs getting a doing-over - if they dont win it then I'd love the see Spurs win (maybe with a last minute goal to deny Arsenal)
Paul, it's the real football fan who follows their team, even through the lower divisions. You won't be happy to be told, however, that like all supporters of teams in lower divisions, as LCFC were for a while, my "Premiership Team" was always Arsenal, though obviously they were second to Leicester. Almost everyone down here supports Arsenal, and in the parks there are as many kids in Arsenal shirts as Brighton shirts. Another neighbour actually has season tickets for both clubs.

The current Leicester situation is truly shocking, especially where we were at this time last season. I remember telling my dad we'd go down for certain, but he was totally convinced we wouldn't, as only the faithful could be.

Leicester did have, IIRC, a week on top of the Premiership under Martin O'Neill, immediately preceding the end of that particular spell in the Premiership. I have a neighbour who's a season ticket holder here, and we occasionally go together to see Brighton. He's almost scared of what would happen if they got promotion, almost happier with a good season in the Championship rather than serial defeats in the Premiership. Likewise, much as I'd love to see Leicester in the Champion's League, just to see how their brand of counter attacking football would go down with all those smooth passing, slow build-up teams, it remains a daunting prospect. For a mindset like mine, conditioned by failure, staying up is always number one priority.

But now I am allowed to dream...a tiny bit.