The Leicester View
The countdown to the end of the season continues as the Eagles welcome Leicester City to South London, so we caught up with New York Foxes to find out about their season so far and thoughts on this match up.
Q. Let us kick off with your views on our meeting earlier in the season when Palace ran out winners at the KP.
I don’t think anyone saw that one coming! Palace absolutely dominated us on our own patch and finally grabbed some goals and points on the road. That match showed that your boys were better than the results but, unfortunately for us, it was a sign of things to come after the new manager bounce.
Q. How has the season gone for Leicester since the league game at the Amex?
We were the luckiest side in the country to come away from that game with three points. It was atrocious. The next three games have been much of the same, slow starts, poor chances, and leaving it too late in games where we would expect results. We had a real chance at Europa League before the trip to Brighton but now those days feel so long ago.
Q. Did the club do the business required in the January transfer window?
It was an interesting window. We kept Riyad Mahrez, were finally able to register Adrien Silva, and Diabate looks like a great young player. We loaned out our two big forwards, which has given us no aerial presence in our now cross-heavy attack and no plan B up front. We also sent the long-serving Andy King out on loan to Swansea, which has left us lacking depth in the middle of the park. It was a mixed window but we really give our board credit for sticking to their valuation of Mahrez and resisting a late attempt by Manchester City to swipe him, which would have left no time to bring in a replacement.
Q. Claude Puel has done a great job since being appointed, do you think he will make his own mark on the squad over the summer?
It started off so well but the wheels have really come off, with ten points in our last ten league games. There are already clear “Puel In” and “Puel Out” camps among supporters. Some see a bit of deja vu from his days at Southampton but others point to Southampton’s place in the table this season. Puel is definitely trying to build the club as a possession-based side that relies on youth and attacking fullbacks. There’s been every indication that the club will spend this summer, and we’re all anxiously awaiting the start of the window.
Q. Who would be your player of the season both for your club and for the Premier League as a whole?
Earlier in the season, I would have said Wilfred Ndidi was our top player but Jamie Vardy has been absolutely incredible. We’re doing an awful job of giving him chances and he’s still scoring goals an an incredible and efficient rate. Mo Salah is my player of the season in the league, hands down. What Kevin de Bruyne has done at City has been great but Salah is breaking goal-scoring records as a winger in his first season in the league.
Q. Explain in no more than 140 characters how the last ten years have been for the club.
This is the least eventful season we’ve had for over 10 years and it still had us sacking Shakey, who was with us almost that whole time!
Q. What have you made of Palace this season?
You guys are better than a relegation fighting side, and the signs were there even during the start with de Boer.
Q. Name a player from EACH side that the opposition should be concerned about?
We’re waiting for Mahrez to erupt again but Vardy is still our main threat. He’s shown lately that he only needs one chance to put the ball in the net. I said Wilfried Zaha last time around for you and will say the same this week. He’s hot right now and Puel is experimenting on our right side, which could lead to confusion and difficulties containing him.
Q. Your prediction?
We start slow and leave it too late to get points. 2-1 to Palace and you’re in the Premier League again next season.
Q. And finally, tell us a little about your fan group and any projects that you may be working on.
We held our second Annual Holiday Vardy in December – the club supported us with some great memorabilia to raffle off and we raised $1,500 for New York Cares, a local charity. We recently filmed a piece with Premier League USA, which should be released soon. And we’re fully behind Alan Birchenall’s 38th Annual Run, in support of Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre this year. We encourage all Leicester fans to chip in to help The Birch’s fundraising, no matter where you are!