The Leicester View
To find out the latest on the Foxes, TEB went across the pond to have a chat with the guys at New York Foxes to find out how their season has been so far and their thoughts ahead of this match up.
Q. What did you make of last season for Leicester?
Last season was incredibly emotional, which has become par for the course every season since we climbed out of League One. It was wonderful to celebrate the title and an incredible experience and honor to watch our club in the Champions League (and play so well in that competition). The league form was disappointing until the end of the season and it was difficult to let Claudio Ranieri go, he was such a gentlemen and so many of us felt a personal connection to him.
Q. What were your hopes for the new season before a ball had been kicked?
To find more consistency in the league and add a cup run. A top-half finish would satisfy a lot of fans, a chance at a European spot would be a bonus.
Q. Was it is the right decision to make the managerial change?
So far it looks like our owners have made the right decision but we need more time to properly judge the move. It was not long ago that we went on a winning streak with Shakey that kept us in the league last season. He was a victim of circumstance as a result of the Adrien Silva transfer debacle but that’s when a manager has to show his resourcefulness. Shakey was such a big part of our club’s success this decade, so I think fans will appreciate him no matter what happened earlier this season. However, under Shakespeare this year, it looked like we did not have any ideas other than long-ball counters. Out of the realistic options available, I think we could have done much worse than Mr Puel.
Q. What have the fans made of Claude Puel since he joined the club?
I think we are still getting used to watching us play with the ball. It has been a long time! He seems to have freed up Riyad Mahrez and found the right buttons to push with Demarai Gray, together they are a lethal and creative duo. Puel showed that he is not afraid to play our youngsters, which is great for us since we have a crop of exciting young players.
Q. How was the summer transfer window for the club and were all needs addressed in the squad?
We made some great signings, Vicente Iborra and Harry Maguire look to be shrewd acquisitions. We are still in need of a goal-scoring striker to to back up Jamie Vardy (it looks like Kelechi Iheanacho might not be in Puel’s plans), and a creative central midfielder would do wonders. We thought we had our man in Silva but we will have to wait until January to register him. Puel likes his fullbacks to join the attack, so we could use someone along with Danny Simpson to play in that position.
Q. Do you expect much business to be done by the club in the January transfer window?
The main concern is holding on to Mahrez, who requested a transfer last window. His form has improved dramatically and he must be catching the eyes of several European suitors. If he leaves, I hope the club has a special replacement lined up.
Q. Explain in no more than 140 characters how the last ten years have been for the football the club.
Is that’s possible? We’ve seen it all, coming back from League One, two play off heartbreaks, The Great Escape, the title, Champions League…
Q. What do you make of Palace’s current predicament?
Palace have been unlucky, there have been games where they have thrown everything plus the kitchen sink at the goal and the ball just has not gone in. That last match against Bournemouth was simply tragic. I think the points will start to come and the side is good enough to get out of the drop zone. They remind me a lot of our Great Escape team.
Q. Name one player from EACH side that you think the opposition should consider a real threat.
Wilfried Zaha is your man and will win the games that keep you up. But he is too obvious. Christian Benteke must have something to prove after stealing that penalty and missing. He has given us fits before and we could have our hands full with him. For us, even though Mahrez and Gray are our dynamic duo at the moment, Vardy is due for some goals and Saturday might be the day he gets back on the score sheet.
Q. Your prediction?
Palace is usually a tough one for us, and we might have a difficult time in Southampton midweek, but I think we’ll have enough at home to get the win. We have not been the tidiest at the back, so you will find the net but we should have the edge in quality up front. I will say 2-1 to Leicester.
Q. And finally, please tell us a little more about your fan group and how it came about.
My twin brother and I have been fans since Kasey Keller was in the side in the late nineties. In 2011, it looked like things were really turning around for the club and we suddenly realised there was no organised group of Leicester fans in New York. We have known Jack at Football Factory for some time and we set up there as our natural home so folks could watch the odd Championship match on television here with other Leicester fans. As the club’s fortunes and visibility increased, ours did as well and we have been growing ever since.