The Premier League - Who Wins The Title?

KanKeano
Legend
Tips
Posts: 10265
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: Yorkshire

Postby KanKeano » Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:07 pm

You must be in dreamland at the moment? I mean its pretty good for Spurs fans at the moment but Leicester fans must be pinching themselves.

I note you have Chelsea away last game if the season. How sweet would it be for Ranieri to achieve one of the greatest managerial feats in the history of the game in front of the Chairman who discarded him a decade previous.
OLBG Moderator

Twitter | KanKeano_OLBG

Owner of KanKeano Bears | SUPERBOLBG
AFC Conference Champions Season 5
AFC South Champions Season 3, 4 & 5

davidg3907
Stallion
Tips
Posts: 5993
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: Oadby , Leicestershire

Postby davidg3907 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:50 pm

Taken from my relegation blog at the beginning of last season.

## LEICESTER CITY

The owners have the (fanciful) ambition to become a top 5 team within 3 years. Realistically they want to cement their place in the top flight during the first season and press on after that. A figure of £180m is being quoted as the ultimate war chest, surely sufficient to make Nigel Pearson wary of a bad run.

They do have several good young players blended with some vastly experienced players but a bit of squad building and strengthening will be required as they kept injuries to a minimum last season and therefore only used a very small number of players on a regular basis.

This has commenced, including a couple of established Premiership players, one long term and one seemingly to help keep them in the top flight whilst building that team.

They will get beaten by most of the elite but I can see their home form being good enough to keep them up (even if it is not without a fight). ##


All that is really happening is that the plan is slightly ahead of schedule, and barely opened the lid off the war chest.

I think Bobslay was about the first OLBGer (in December) to acknowledge that Leicester were viable title contenders.

I was fortunate enough to back them in the Betfair handicap with 45 points start this season, just unfortunate that not enough people wanted to be laying them at fancy prices! :lol: :lol:

Can I edit out (fanciful) please :?
LAYING Taking it further
LAYING Delving deeper - NEW

FOOTBALL blogs under Blogs/Football
New RELEGATION diary in Blogs/systems

sofaking
Group 2 Class
Tips
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:00 pm

Postby sofaking » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:48 am

I think today's result made a believer out of most people. Leicester proved that they are genuine contenders and I believe that they'll win the title. If my team (Spurs) can't do it then I'd love to see Leicester go all the way. :cool:

nors
Legend
Tips
Posts: 15844
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: Coventry

Postby nors » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:30 pm

Leicester have become favourites for the title, and that is bad news for those that still want to treat them as the underdogs. Of course that could be a double-edged sword,


It may not be in the Arsenal game but will be in the future.

Do we think Man City underestimated Leicester? They now go to a team and manager who make a habit of underestimating teams and not preparing for the opposition in Arsenal.

Arsenal will consider this a winnable game because that what it has always been, they may be slightly more cautious but not so anyone will notice.

So we should have 2 teams playing to their strengths and going forward, it may be more like a cup game. Arsenal allowed Bournemouth plenty of space in front of the back four and midfield and only engaged as Bournemouth got closer to the box.

At home when they will be forcing the game so there may be spaces behind. which leads me to believe that we are in for a we score/you score game.

Leicester did Tottenham a disservice in alerting Man City that they need to be better, and i expect they will be when they take on Tottenham at the Ethiad in their next match.

Whoever wins or loses this weekend nothing is settled in this topsy turvy season.

After next weekend

Leicester 53
Arsenal 51
Man City 50
Tottenham 48
Man Utd 44
OLBG Community Manager.

monkeytennis
Triple Crown Winner
Tips
Posts: 1108
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:00 pm

Postby monkeytennis » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:05 pm

I don't mean to be disparaging to Leicester's achievements or say they won't win the league but Man City really played into their hands on Saturday. Leicester's toughest matches this season are now going to be against the smaller sides who see a point against Leicester as a good result - something they wouldn't have done at the start of the season.

When teams start parking the bus (like Watford did at White Hart Lane on Saturday) Vardy isn't going to be able to get in behind defences. Admittedly they still have big Huth from set pieces and Mahrez who can create something out of nothing but it will still be a new challenge for Leicester. There should be some good value in some no goalscorer bets in some of Leicester's forthcoming matches - looking at the fixture list the games against West Brom, Watford, Palace, Man Utd and Chelsea all have the looks of very low scoring affairs.

The title race is so difficult for the bookies to call. Arsenal and Man City have the most potential but there is a reason they are behind Leicester and Spurs - they haven't been as good this season. People seem to have forgotten how well Man City started - they won their first 5 games of the season without conceding a goal! Since then Spurs have gained an extra 10 points on City in their last 20 matches. That should make scary reading for City fans as they certainly don't have the momentum. They were lucky against West Ham and particularly Sunderland recently too and if Aguero picks up another of the injuries he regularly picks up they are finished.

davidg3907
Stallion
Tips
Posts: 5993
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: Oadby , Leicestershire

Postby davidg3907 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:31 pm

I don't mean to be disparaging to Leicester's achievements or say they won't win the league but Man City really played into their hands on Saturday. Leicester's toughest matches this season are now going to be against the smaller sides who see a point against Leicester as a good result - something they wouldn't have done at the start of the season.

Really? Are you suggesting having gone 1-0 down in 3 minutes, Man City should have settled for losing by that score? Or maybe, that they should have classed themselves as a lesser team and parked the bus from the first minute?

When teams start parking the bus (like Watford did at White Hart Lane on Saturday) Vardy isn't going to be able to get in behind defences. Admittedly they still have big Huth from set pieces and Mahrez who can create something out of nothing but it will still be a new challenge for Leicester. There should be some good value in some no goalscorer bets in some of Leicester's forthcoming matches - looking at the fixture list the games against West Brom, Watford, Palace, Man Utd and Chelsea all have the looks of very low scoring affairs.

I'm not sure Chelsea and Man Utd will be happy at being classed in the same bracket as West Brom, who couldn't even park the bus at home after they took the lead.

Of those teams, Man Utd were fortunate to only concede one goal; the others didn't get so lucky.


The title race is so difficult for the bookies to call. Arsenal and Man City have the most potential but there is a reason they are behind Leicester and Spurs - they haven't been as good this season. People seem to have forgotten how well Man City started - they won their first 5 games of the season without conceding a goal! Since then Spurs have gained an extra 10 points on City in their last 20 matches. That should make scary reading for City fans as they certainly don't have the momentum. They were lucky against West Ham and particularly Sunderland recently too and if Aguero picks up another of the injuries he regularly picks up they are finished.

Spurs and Man City haven't been as good, so they are more likely to win the title. No comment :lol: .
I'm not getting at you personally so please don't take it that way, you just happened to be the one posting what many are thinking.



Man City won their first five matches, but have only won consecutive Premier League matches once since, at home to Newcastle and Bournemouth, who with respect, would not have been their sternest tests. Should they have parked the bus against teams 'better than Leicester' ( Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, West Ham and Stoke ) to avoid losing to them too?

When Leicester were beating the 'lesser' sides, people were saying 'they haven't played any of the big teams away yet'.

The last two away matches have seen them beat title rivals, Tottenham and Manchester City.

Rather than give them credit for doing so, it now becomes ' wait till they have to play the lesser teams'.

The same 'lesser teams' that Leicester have beaten away from home. Leicester did struggle ( although creating many chances ) when 10 man Bournemouth played for 30 minutes with all players rooted to the penalty area. That was with an unfit Vardy and coming at the end of a week when they had already faced Liverpool and Man City. That is possibly the one time that a smaller squad has counted against them.

I've even seen an article saying that Leicester's lack of fixtures could count against them, as other teams will be match fit!

Leicester have exactly 13 matches left, others could have at least twice as many. I'm sure I have seen teams complaining of fixture congestion at the end of the season, rather than say it was an advantage.

I'm not saying Leicester are bound to win the title, but comments such as these are the reason why we've been able to get exceptional value on a regular basis when backing them.

Another example.

They have a small squad and will not cope with injuries and suspensions.

More players went out in the transfer window than came in, including a record signing and an international captain - neither could get into the team.

Leicester also have one of the better disciplinary records and best fitness regimes. For the previous two seasons they used less players than most other teams - many less when taking 102pts to win the Championship..

Against Arsenal, Leicester are likely to play the same starting XI for the sixth successive match, not out of desperation, but out of choice.

For 38 matches last season and 25 this season, Leicester have played the same way. Opposing managers know this, but since Leicester tightened up their defence, you could be forgiven for thinking it was them parking the bus.

In eight matches they have conceded just 3 times. Once in the defeat at Liverpool, once at Villa, and the consolation at Man City. They have scored 10 in the last 5 games.

All this is done with around 40% possession.

Now, is that because they are not good enough to gain more possession, or they make better use of the possession they have
:?

Now cast one's mind back to a certain day in September 2014 when Manchester United came to Leicester and got walloped 5-3 having led 3-1. In hindsight, maybe they should have parked the bus too! :shock: :lol:

The serious point is that it was Leicester's 5th match last season, and United were simply unprepared for what happened. They had some justification, but Leicester have played the same way for most of the 58 matches since, even during the dreadful spell.

Surely no manager can say it comes as a surprise any longer.
LAYING Taking it further
LAYING Delving deeper - NEW

FOOTBALL blogs under Blogs/Football
New RELEGATION diary in Blogs/systems

monkeytennis
Triple Crown Winner
Tips
Posts: 1108
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:00 pm

Postby monkeytennis » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:59 pm

I agree with many of your comments David, especially Leicester's run in where every single game will be a cup final. I think that is a big advantage. The reason they might not be as good against teams they have already beaten this season when playing them a second time is because teams will adopt a more defensive approach this time around. If a team adopts different tactics against the same opposition their is grounds to think the result might be different.

I never said Man City should have parked the bus, just that the way they were set up (and the personnel they had in defence) was perfect for Leicester to play against. The two different styles brought to a game by each team determine how a game is played, in Saturday's game Man City's style left them wide open to Leicester's style of attack. Leicester will come up against more defensive teams in the remainder of the season and not look as impressive (even if they win) and that's a fact.

I wasn't classing Chelsea and Man Utd in the same bracket as West Brom, simply stating that some of those teams will play more defensive against Leicester and that out of all Leicester's games left those are the ones I'd fancy to be very low scoring.

You seem to be reading someone else's final paragraph when you respond to mine! I was saying that Man City have been awful since their loss to West Ham (their 6th game of the season) and only compared them to Spurs because Spurs started the slowest out of the current top 4 yet are now in 2nd and have made up a huge amount of ground on Man City. The only time I even mention Leicester is to say Man City and Arsenal haven't been as good as Spurs and Leicester so not sure where you interpreted that I was saying Man City and Spurs are more likely to win the title than Leicester!

I actually have a huge amount of respect for Leicester and I think in many ways they have reinvented how to play football. No tika taka nonsense or anything like that just very effective football and they have earned their right to be top of the table at this stage. If Spurs don't win it I hope Leicester do!

davidg3907
Stallion
Tips
Posts: 5993
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: Oadby , Leicestershire

Postby davidg3907 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:10 pm

My point is this. If a 'top' manager like Pelligrini, with 'top' players at his disposal can't find a way to combat Leicester, others may try - but most will fail.

Not all of them I hasten to add, as some managers are more adept than others at parking the old thingy.

Leicester can afford the odd draw; other teams will drop points too - against probably the same teams, playing the same way.

They even have virtually 2 defeats in hand, one less if they use one on Sunday. :lol:
LAYING Taking it further
LAYING Delving deeper - NEW

FOOTBALL blogs under Blogs/Football
New RELEGATION diary in Blogs/systems

nors
Legend
Tips
Posts: 15844
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: Coventry

Postby nors » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:37 pm

The point is david top managers first thought has not been to combat Leicester but to take them on.

Like all pundits and most of us we expected Leicester to fade and that is how managers have approached games, so when City took on Leicester combating them was not to the forefront of his mind. He expected his players to beat them.

Now they are top and looking like winning the title managers will be setting up to combat them which will be a different test for Leicester.
OLBG Community Manager.

monkeytennis
Triple Crown Winner
Tips
Posts: 1108
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:00 pm

Postby monkeytennis » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:37 pm

I think I\'m making a different point. Leicester have shown they can beat up quality teams but I\'m not yet sure they\'ve shown they can break down lesser teams that park the bus. That would be my one nagging doubt about Leicester and they longer they keep up this great form the more they will be seen as a scalp by opposition managers.

I think they have the best chance of any team and agree with the bookies making them favourites but now that everyone is now standing up and taking notice I reckon the value is in some goalless draws pretty soon.

meoldmate
Legend
Tips
Posts: 23409
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: Fife

Postby meoldmate » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:56 pm

Be great to Leicester win the league, as I remember when Alan Clarke, use to play for them and David Nish was the skipper, with a player I liked Peter Rodrigues, of course Len Glover.
Matter of fact, I have a F A Cup final football programme with Manchester City v Leicester, back in 1968- 69 season when City won 1-0, this cost 3/6
This was a Daily Mirror special.

Anyhow, enough of the past.

I think, if Leicester come up against a team that defends, they could easily come unstuck, as they become open at the back, where quick breaks could catch them out.
With attacking teams like Manchester City, they leave spaces and this where The Foxes, can be creative,to move forward and opportunities for Vardy and Mahrez, to score.

What is in favour of Leicester, is with teams like Chelsea and Man United under performing, that has given them a chance to get those points difference wider.

Take nothing away from Leicester, they are playing some good football and for once, they are getting the run of the ball, like all the big clubs in the world seem to get.


They play at the Emirates this weekend, we will practically have the top three goal scorers in the league on the field, with Giroud from Arsenal.
Both defences will be tested and if The Gunners move the ball swiftly, like they can do, they will get the goals that matter, if Arsenal do the one thing, that has cost them dearly in the past, is that one pass to many.

If looking at results going back to 1998, The Foxes have yet to beat The Gunners at the Emirates, they have drawn, as they say, there is always a first.

I hope Davidg gets his bet up, well done for taken the chance, I can kick myself for not taking 20/1 at Christmas time, as I could not believe the price, as they say, if heading the table this time of year, normally the title is there's for losing.

If Leicester do win the league, it just goes to show, spending big does not bring you glory all the time.
Jamie Vardy has shown this coming from non league football, Conference league.

Have to be honest, here, I look at Leicester football result first, would you believe that, beginning of the season, would not consider this.

Good luck to the Foxes, I hope, they get a result, their first at the Emirates.
I think, I write them up in the UNDERDOG thread this week, beat Davidg to it
:win:

davidg3907
Stallion
Tips
Posts: 5993
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: Oadby , Leicestershire

Postby davidg3907 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:02 pm

Other teams can't suddenly have more players than Leicester. :lol:

If these teams are going to park the dreaded bus, where will they get any players to attack. If they do attack, why would they be immune to being caught on the counter.

It is incorrect to think of all Leicester's goals as breakaways or counter-attacks. These are generally more spectacular, but for sheer class, Mahrez's effort in a crowded Chelsea penalty area takes a lot of beating. I've just found the statistic that says just 5 of Leicester's goals have been on the counter-attack.The jury is out, deciding whether Mahrez's effort on Sunday constitutes a sixth.

Leicester have played this way for two seasons: poor teams trying to play a different way for one game, is potentially disastrous.

Nors said to me after Arsenal had beaten Leicester, why didn't Leicester just park the bus and try to contain Arsenal? I replied to the effect that Leicester can't play that way and that changing for one game was pointless if it stood little chance of doing any better than their normal way. Had Leicester taken one or two of the chances to go further ahead before Arsenal equalised, we have no idea what would have happened.


Arsenal have been the only team to continually present real problems for 90 minutes, and the scoreline suggests they didn't do so by parking the bus!

They were simply the better team on the day. However, Arsenal lost 4-0 at Southampton. Arsenal could not break them down even though Southampton were not set up solely to defend. If they had been, scoring 4 goals may not have been too easy.

Of course Leicester are unlikely to go through the rest of the season without suffering another defeat, but it will have taken a lot longer than anyone else, and now some say teams shouldn't even try to beat them!

Leicester will face many mid-table teams during this run-in. They will have nothing to lose so are unlikely to adopt a totally negative approach.

Man Utd have earned the wrath of their supporters by playing that way, and may not be in a position to settle for a draw.

Chelsea, in the last match will have little to play for themselves, but may want to avoid losing twice to Leicester in the same season.

Watch ANY of Leicester's games and they are capable of defending with 10 men behind the ball. Indeed, watch the highlights from Saturday and you will see a lot of it. Anyone seeing the whole match would have seen a lot more of it.

Watching matches in full is the only way to appreciate how little possession Leicester have. Teams taking 3 minutes and 40 passes to get from their penalty area to the halfway line before passing the ball back to the goalkeeper gets edited from the highlights. This also gives Leicester plenty of time to regroup.

Now look at it this way.

The 'lesser' teams will not fancy beating Leicester, so they park the bus.

The same teams will fancy beating Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham, Southampton, Everton and both Manchester clubs, so won't park the bus!

Either that is a tremendous compliment to Leicester, or an extremely unlikely scenario.

Some of the shambolic defending I've seen this season would struggle to keep out the local school's third team, let alone the division's top scorers.

Tommy, and a few others I have spoken to over the last season and a half, particularly since having the privilege to cover Leicester in the blogs, will know how passionately I have been expecting something like this to happen.

Maybe not as soon as it has, or in quite such bewildering fashion, but it has been the ambition of the owners since taking over. They have made no secret of the fact that if it cost money, that would be no problem. So far their pockets have only been required to carry small change!

Take the first 5 and 8 of the last 9 matches of last season (the Chelsea loss was a postponed fixture due to Mourinho not wanting to play Leicester on a blank Saturday prior to defeat by PSG in the Champions' League), along with the 25 matches this season, and you have a record of P38 W24 D11 L3, equivalent to a season with 83 points.

Some media pundits just wanted to look at the middle period of Leicester's results from last season, and effectively wipe the beginning and end from the records as being irrelevant because they were different. Readers and viewers chose to follow their lead.

As far as the media is concerned, was that an error of judgment, easier to believe, or maybe just more convenient? Now, it is primarily a case of any excuse to save face, and in some cases that excuse has to keep changing.
LAYING Taking it further
LAYING Delving deeper - NEW

FOOTBALL blogs under Blogs/Football
New RELEGATION diary in Blogs/systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users