by Bulldog Drummond.
OK before we begin, Leicester at home can only mean one thing – the greatest ever match to have been at, which those of us who were there will never ever forget
Ah, the good ol’ days. More video footage anon, but first yes Arsenal are being tipped to end the season 6th, and Leicester 8th, according to all those people who know everything and write about it in the wild and wacky newspapers. Except the bits they don’t know of course.
Last season away from home Leciester were not that hot: here is the league table just recording away games…
|12||West Bromwich Albion||19||3||7||9||16||29||-13||16|
Yes, only Sunderland, Burnley and Hull had worse records than Leicester away. Quite how they are going to improve on that we have not yet been told by the all-seeing pundits. But apparently they will.
At home, in contrast, Arsenal were not too bad
That gave Leicester an average away score of less than one but we’ll say one to be generous, and Arsenal an average home score of two and a fraction. So if it’s an average game it will be 2-1.
Looking at Leicester’s run to the end of the season in their final ten games they managed two wins.
|09 Apr 2017||Everton v Leicester City||L||4-2||Premier League|
|12 Apr 2017||Atlético Madrid v Leicester City||L||1-0||Champions League|
|15 Apr 2017||Crystal Palace v Leicester City||D||2-2||Premier League|
|18 Apr 2017||Leicester City v Atlético Madrid||D||1-1||Champions League|
|26 Apr 2017||Arsenal v Leicester City||L||1-0||Premier League|
|29 Apr 2017||West Bromwich v Leicester City||W||0-1||Premier League|
|06 May 2017||Leicester City v Watford||W||3-0||Premier League|
|13 May 2017||Manchester City v Leicester City||L||2-1||Premier League|
|18 May 2017||Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur||L||1-6||Premier League|
|21 May 2017||Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth||D||1-1||Premier League|
Arsenal’s last ten by comparison was rather positive…
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|17 Apr 2017||Middlesbrough v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|23 Apr 2017||Arsenal v Manchester City||W||2-1||FA Cup|
|26 Apr 2017||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||1-0||Premier League|
|30 Apr 2017||Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal||L||2-0||Premier League|
|07 May 2017||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|10 May 2017||Southampton v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|13 May 2017||Stoke City v Arsenal||W||1-4||Premier League|
|16 May 2017||Arsenal v Sunderland||W||2-0||Premier League|
|21 May 2017||Arsenal v Everton||W||3-1||Premier League|
|27 May 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||FA Cup|
Their out index of the players they have let go currently reads
- Marcin Wasilewski, released as a free agent
- Ron-Robert Zieler to Stuttgart for £2.5m
- Bartosz Kapustka to Freiburg on loan
- Callum Elder to Wigan Athletic on loan
In their pre-season Leicester played in the Asia Trophy
|19 July 2017||Leicester City||1–1
|West Bromwich Albion|
|22 July 2017||Liverpool||2–1||Leicester City|
Then upon returning from foreign parts they played thus:
- 26 July: Luton 0 Leicester 1
- 28 July: MK Dons 0 Leicester 0
- 29 July: Woverhampton Wanderers 1 Leicester 0
- 1 August: Burton Albion 2 Leicester 1
- 4 August: Leicester 2 Borussia Monchengladbach 1
Of course you can’t tell much from friendlies pre-season, but we might perhaps note that Leicester scored four goals in those five games, having scored 12 in the last 10 of last season, so we might therefore also be looking for them to buy some attacking forwards. Let’s see what they got…
|1 July 2017||CB||Sam Hughes||Chester||Free|
|1 July 2017||CB||Harry Maguire||Hull City||£17,000,000|
|6 July 2017||DM||Vicente Iborra||Sevilla||£15,000,000|
|19 July 2017||GK||Eldin Jakupović||Hull City||Undisclosed|
|3 August 2017||CF||Kelechi Iheanacho||Manchester City||£25,000,000|
|8 August 2017||RW||George Thomas||Coventry City||Undisclosed|
So yes they bought a centre forward for £25m. He played 20 Premier League games last season for Man C, scoring four goals. He also played nine FA Cup, League Cup and European games and scored a further three goals, making 29 games and seven goals: one goal in every four. As for departures they released a number of free agents and sold goal keeper Ron-Robert Zieler to Stuttgart.
The club is 250-1 to win the League in some quarters but 1000/1 in others. Arsenal are 14/1. Manchester City are favourites.
Here’s the February 2016 game
And now here’s a thought: in the last 27 years Leicester have had 18 different permanent managers.
In 19 out of those years, have either been promoted, relegated, just avoid relegation, played in the play offs, won a trophy (they don’t do “not a trophy” in Leicester) or lost in the League Cup final.
To celebrate what WS Gilbert in his librettos would have called “Topsy Turvey Land” they are very much into free hats, free clappers and Vardy masks. Indeed they have been at this topsy turvy stuff for so long that eventually it plunged them (perhaps one might say inevitably) into an existential crisis.
For this summer, lo and behold, Leicester’s owner, King Power, was accused of £327m corruption in Thailand. King Power let it be remembered is owned and run by the Leicester chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and his son Aiyawatt. Untold twice before this seismic event covered the stories concerning the strange workings of their marketing company, and suggested that there were a few questions that perhaps could be answered to make things a little clearer.
Of course not everyone agreed, and some abuse came forth, but those questions about where the marketing money came from are still there. And of course it wasn’t just us, for the Guardian also ran the headlines
• Leicester sold sponsorship rights to company which sold them back to owners
• Football League investigating amid concerns club appear to have broken rules
There will be more (and more vid clips) in the next exciting episode of Arsenal v Leicester: the match.
- Ref Preview Arsenal – Leicester: yes it’s him
- Selling Oxlade-Chamberlain could well be the biggest mistake Arsenal make
- The 37 Players being tipped to leave Arsenal in this transfer window
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