Tag Archive: Leicester

By Laurie Fitzgerald

After 22 rounds of intense action, the cream of the crop in English rugby has emerged as Harlequins and Leicester Tigers prepare to battle it out in the Aviva Premiership final this Saturday.

Both teams emerged as the top two during the domestic season, and then came through tough tests in the semi-finals to reach the showpiece event at Twickenham.

Quins needed a late try from Joe Marler to edge out the Northampton Saints at the Stoop, while Leicester gained revenge over Saracens for their defeat at rugby HQ 12 months ago to reach their eighth consecutive final.

For Connor O’Shea’s side, while the trip across the road will not be of great distance, this match will represent a giant leap for a side that have fully overcome the trauma that ‘Bloodgate’ caused and stand just one win away from their first ever Premiership title.     Continue reading


By Laurie Fitzgerald

After 22 pulsating rounds, we now know which are the four teams that have earnt a crack at lifting the Aviva Premiership title and being crowned champions of England in 2012.

Harlequins, Leicester, Saracens and Northampton have emerged as the country’s elite over the past nine months, and this weekend’s semi-finals are finely poised as they battle for a place in the final at Twickenham on the 26th May.

The bookies are backing Leicester to emerge as champions; Richard Cockerill‘s side are looking to reach their eighth consecutive Premiership final, and are the form team going into the knockout stages having beaten the other three semi-finalists away from home in recent months.

But as this season has already shown, we could be set for more twists and turns as we prepare for two titanic tussles as England’s finest prepare to get a shot at the title.     Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

Today sees the 2nd semi final in this seasons FA Cup with the winner looking forward to a Wembley date with Liverpool in just 20 days time.
We are now at the penultimate stage but for Shouts From The Stands the tournament started way back in the first round proper in November 2011.
I started the tournament following Colchester United with the intention of following them until they got beat and then to follow their conquerors.

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By Tony Alvarez

At the beginning of the season the bookies favourites and many fans and pundits favourites to win the Championship was Leicester City. They had spent massively improving their squad in the summer and had a manager who was well regarded worldwide in Sven Goran Erikkson.

A look at the table shows just how wrong everyone was far from running away with the title the club are currently in 9th place with 62 points from their 42 fixtures, the former England manager has long since departed and been replaced with a much smaller name in Nigel Pearson.

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By Tony Alvarez

This weekend sees the FA Cup 6th round fixtures take place with sides hoping to cause upsets up and down the country and reach the semi finals of arguably the Worlds greatest Cup competition.

As regular visitors to the website will know both myself and Laurie chose a side to follow in round one of the competition, should that side lose we follow the side that beat them.

I initially started off with Colchester United who lost out to Swindon who in turn lost to Leicester in round four I followed Leicester through their 5th round victory vsNorwich and will now look ahead to their real glamour tie away to Champions League quarter finalists, big spending Chelsea.

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By Tony Alvarez

This weekend sees the FA Cup 5th round fixtures take place with sides hoping to cause upsets up and down the country and reach the quarter finals of arguably the Worlds greatest Cup competition.

As regular visitors to the website will know both myself and Laurie chose a side to follow in round one of the competition, should that side lose we follow the side that beat them.

Tomorrow, Laurie will publish his preview of the tie between Blackpool and Everton whilst I today will be focusing on Leicester and their trip to Premier League surprise packageNorwich.

I started my FA Cup journey with Colchester who lost out to League Two Swindon who I followed through a high profile victory against Wigan before a defeat in the last round toLeicesterCitythanks to two Jermaine Beckford goals.

Leicester entered the FA Cup in the 3rd round with a tie against local rivals Nottingham Forest, the tie was drawn 0-0 at Forest City ground in the subsequent replay Leicester ran riot winning 4-0 thanks to a hat trick from Beckford and a George Boateng own goal.

This brought them on to the League Two high flyers Swindon as mentioned above,Swindonjust couldn’t cope with travelling to the Championship big spenders where Beckford’s fourth and fifth goals of the competition were enough to seal progression to the next round for the Foxes.

Whilst Leicester have beaten Forest and Leicester Norwich have had a somewhat tough route to the 5th round, in the third round they brushed aside Championship side Burnley 4-1. In the 5th roundNorwichtravelled to fellow Premier League sideWest Bromthey progressed after a very hard fought 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson who were both notching their second goals of the competition.

Leicester will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing midweek defeat away atWatfordand will be hoping beating a team from a higher division will bring back the feel good factor around the club.

The foxes will be without Danny Drinkwater but don’t seem to have too many ore injury concerns ahead of the tie. They could also welcome back Sol Bamba fresh from playing for Ivory coach in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Norwichcome into this game on the back of a morale boasting 3-2 win away atSwanseawhich is only the Swans second loss at home all season.

Norwichare also not struggling from any major injury concerns or none that are not replaceable.

Looking atLeicesterthis term they will have to outscore their opponents with the likes of Jermaine Beckford and David Nugent up front they have every chance of doing this, as I earlier mentioned Beckford has 5 goals in 2 games in the competition already this season while Nugent has 12 goals in all competitions this term. That’s not also forgetting Paul Gallagher who has notched 9 goals in all competitions this season.

Norwich are a good unit they all work hard for each other and they play some decent football, Leicester are the most hit and miss team in the country in my opinion, when they are good they can match most teams when they are bad they can lose to anyone Unfortunately for their fans have been more bad than good this term, I would never completely write them off but my money would be on a 2-0 Norwich victory.

What are your thoughts? Who will progress to the next round? Can Leicester cause an upset? Can Beckford add to his scoring record in this seasons competition?

If you ar eon twitter follow us @sfts1

By Tony Alvarez.

This weekend sees the FA Cup 4th round fixtures take place with sides hoping to cause upsets up and down the country.

As regular visitors to the website will know both myself and Laurie chose a side to follow in round one of the competition, should that side lose we follow the side that beat them.

Yesterday, Laurie published his preview of the tie between Blackpool and Sheffield Wednesday, whilst I will be focusing on Swindon and their trip to Championship big spenders Leicester City.

Paolo Di Canio‘s Swindon side have reached this stage thanks to a series of victories over higher placed sides; they beat League One high flyers Huddersfield Town in round one before seeing off Colchester in round two.

In one of the shocks of the tournament so far, Di Canio’s side beat Premier League Wigan 2-1 in round three thanks to a fortuitous winner from Paul Benson, although you would be hard pressed to say the victory wasn’t deserved. Continue reading

By Laurie Fitzgerald

It has been a hugely disappointing Heineken Cup campaign for the Aviva Premiership sides as the pool stages concluded last weekend.

From the seven representatives from England, only Saracens reached the quarter-finals of Europe‘s elite competition, the same number as Scotland and Wales, who only had two and four entrants into the tournament respectively.

While Sarries secured top spot in Pool five and gained home advantage in the knockout stages, the rest of England’s top teams had campaigns to forget. Continue reading

By Laurie Fitzgerald

As we approach the new year, the 2011/12 Aviva Premiership campaign has officially reached its halfway mark.

It has been an incredibly tight campaign so far, with several teams still harbouring genuine hopes of a play-off spot and a shot at the title come May. Continue reading

By Laurie Fitzgerald

After several days of negotiating a compensation deal, Nigel Pearson has been appointed Leicester City manager for a second time in 18 months.

He leaves Hull City after just over a season in charge at the KC stadium, and goes back to a club in a very different financial situation to the one he left last summer.

One of the main reasons that Pearson left Leicester was due to the limited financial budget he had in place, meaning it was difficult to take the club forward with little room to strengthen the squad.

The 48 year-old did a brilliant job at the then-Walkers stadium, having got the club out of League One and then in their first season back in the Championship guiding the Foxes to the play-offs.

Now there is a new stadium name and a new financial climate to work under for Pearson, as the former Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough defender has a squad at his disposal that on paper is one of the strongest in the division.

With the likes of Matt Mills, Sean St. Ledger, Kasper Schmeichel, Paul Konchesky, Andy King and Jermaine Beckford available to him, Pearson will feel that he now has the players in place to take the club forward.

However, the main issue is creating a team out of this hugely-talented squad, and so far the failure to do this has already cost Sven Goran Eriksson his job.

Despite starting the season as promotion favourites, Leicester find themselves nine points off of West Ham United in second and a massive 14 points off of top of the table Southampton.

But while it has been a disappointing start, the main issue is finding consistency; even with the removal of their manager, there is only a three-point gap between them in 12th and those in the play-off positions.

Pearson will know it is a squad under-achieving and therefore getting the best out of them can reap serious rewards come the end of the season.

One question mark that Pearson will need to answer is can he live up to high expectations after a managerial career where he has continually impressed under clear restrictions.

When he took charge at Southampton, he managed to keep them in the Championship against the odds before working wonders in the Midlands.

Even at Hull when it seemed he would have more to work with, the club were counting the cost of relegation from the Premier League and had to strip the squad down – yet still managed a mid-table finish.

Now it seems that roles have reversed and Pearson is doing what few managers have done in going back to a club they have previously managed.

He will also have to win over Leicester fans that will have felt let down when Pearson left the club as it was viewed as a sideways move and done purely for financial reasons on a personal level.

There’s no doubt Pearson is a good manager and if he can get the best out of this squad then Foxes supporters can harbour realistic hopes of getting to the Premier League come May.

But he will need to get the squad and all the fans back on his side to ensure that his second coming to the Kingfisher stadium leads to Pearson taking the club to the next level – something he felt he could not do previously.

So what do you think? Are you pleased with the appointment of Pearson? Can he find consistency with the squad and launch a successful promotion push this season? Leave a comment and let us know your views.

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