Steve Walsh Blog – 28th September 2013

This last week has well and truly kept me on my toes! There’s been two LCFC games, I’ve attended a Tiger’s match and been doing all the final preparations for the grand opening of The Dragons Den Chinese that I’ll be hosting in Countesthorpe.

LCFC had Blackpool away last Saturday that in the end I didn’t manage to go to. I’m glad that we did manage to squeeze a point out the game, but overall it was a fairly disappointing result. I think Schmeichel had a tough game and his rush of blood gave away the penalty that Blackpool didn’t really deserve. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get the full three points as Blackpool now sit just one behind us in the league.

Although I couldn’t make it to the LCFC game on Saturday, I was invited to go and watch the Tigers game in hospitality. I was invited to the match to sit in the Legends Suite with Brian Cleaver (AVP). It was a great afternoon and had the chance to meet a few of the players after the match, and Peter Wheeler, the Leicester Tigers Chief Executive. A big thank you to Brian Cleaver!

LCFC’s Cup match against Derby County on Tuesday saw us with a great result. It was good to see all the new players get a good run out on the pitch, I think Nigel Pearson used the non-league game to its full advantage by experimenting with new talents and formations. I was starting to get concerned as to whether LCFC could pull it off in the 1st half as they seemed to be struggling to keep the ball up front, but a few changes at half time proved just how strong a few of our first team players are. The addition of Dyer, Knockaert and Nugent turned the match around and gave us a great result. Knockaert scored an absolutely cracking goal, and for me, he looked stronger on the pitch than I have ever seen him. Matty James also looks to be shaping up as a great player for the future.

We’ve been really lucky in the next round of the Cup as we have drawn Fulham at home. As soon as I heard the draw, memories of my equalizer against them in the semi-final came flooding back! It should be a great game and I have no doubt that with enough determination from the players we can move on to the next round.

This weekend, LCFC face Barnsley. It’s going to be a dangerous game as both us and Barnsley are desperate for a win. LCFC have got to keep on their guard as Barnsley are definitely not to be taken for granted. They’ve taken an absolute hammering recently and although LCFC should breeze through and get the three points, it’s easy to let your guard slip against the supposed lesser teams!

Tomorrow night is the grand opening of the Dragons Den Chinese in Countersthorpe. It’s a restaurant that I am hosting and I’m really excited about it. It’s a restaurant, takeaway and delivery service that runs in the same building as the Bulls Head pub. If you’re around on Sunday night, the opening is shaping up to being a great evening. I’ve got loads of the ex-Leicester lads coming down and you if fancy sampling the new Walshy special, ‘King Power Chicken and Spicy Sauce’ then you’re all welcome!

Steve Walsh Blog – 21st September 2013

I had no sympathy for my old club Wigan Athletic last Saturday as a resurgent 4-4-2 LCFC dominated and got a well-deserved 2-0 win. Liam Moore landed another Man of the Match after scoring his first professional goal. He must be ecstatic, and what a header it was! His timing was perfect. I think it’s safe to say he is shaping up to be a great player, his all round game is improving and definitely one to watch. Moore’s header reminded me of a few goals I scored back when I was playing for Leicester, I’ve got great memories of my goals, and I’m sure Saturday’s goal with stay with Liam Moore for a long time.

There was no Matty James or Nigel Pearson on the side-lines, but I could see plenty of instructions! There was a great attacking selection on the pitch that gave LCFC plenty of width, with Knockaert and Dyer starting the game. Personally I thought there were notable performances from Wes Morgan, Paul Konchesky and Jamie Vardy. Vardy was looking sharp on the pitch. It was also great to see Nugent take a no-nonsense penalty!

I must admit, I did think that Wigan would have put up more of a fight. I thought they would have much more to offer than the few chances that they made, but they just couldn’t outplay a strong LCFC team.

A win against Blackburn on Tuesday put us top for 24 hours until QPR managed a point on Wednesday. LCFC are going away to Blackpool this weekend, and with Blackpool sitting in third, it will be a great game to win.  Although it is still early in the season we must beat the contending clubs to give us that all important momentum to gain automatic promotion.

Would just like to give a mention to Dragons den at The Bulls Head in Countesthorpe who are having there opening night next Sunday the 29th. Ill be down their for it and suggest the Walshy special ‘King Powder Chicken’!

Best of luck to Nigel and the lads, I’m keeping the faith.

Steve Walsh Blog – 14th September 2013

Since there wasn’t a match last weekend, I haven’t got a huge amount to report this week. But I think the time has come for me to making a few predictions. We are about to hit a hard part of the season, with the games coming up against some of the bigger contenders in the league. This Saturday’s game against Wigan will be a tough fight, but I’ve got every bit of faith that Leicester can pull it off; especially as it’s a home match. I think Wigan are doing really well so far and will definitely be up there with the top teams at the end of this season, but I’m not sure I would go as far as saying as them making the play-offs.

QPR on the other hand, are looking like automatic contenders to me. They are strong at the back and I think they have the resources to spend money and make their team stronger. Our neighbours Forest are also starting to shape up to look like a threat; Billy Davis knows the play-offs inside out and they have now got the backing behind them that they need.

Blackpool have made a cracking start to the season and looking comfortable at the top, but personally I don’t think they will be able to keep pace all the way through the season. Watford surely will be competing again, they’ve got a goal machine in Deeney and a fantastic manager. Watford has also got a great counter-attack team, they seem to be able to swing round goal opportunities very quickly!

Personally, I think that Burnley, Reading and Leeds could also be big contenders this season but Leicester should be able to out play these teams and get maximum points in the crunch games.

At the other end of the table, it will be a long hard season for the likes of Yeovil, Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday who are my tips to drop out of the Championship.

It may be still very early in the season, but Wolves will be back to bother us next season, unless we can make this our season to remember and Chesterfield will top league two for those who watch football in the bottom leagues!

For those of you with just a passing interest in the Premier League, look at a Mourinho revival at Chelsea to take advantage of David Moyes getting to grips with Man Utd and Spurs (not Liverpool) taking the 4th spot for Champions League ahead of Arsenal.

Anyway, back to the important stuff and good luck to Nigel Pearson and the lads for their game against Wigan. Let’s bag those three points!

Steve Walsh Blog – 7th September 2013

Don’t you just hate waking up on a Saturday morning with no game to look forward to! All the jobs in the house need doing today, but somehow you just can’t get round to them and the excuses wear a bit thin without the usual “got a game to go to”.

It’s all made a bit worse after watching England last night. I know, I know, there’s no such thing as an easy game in this day and age, but that didn’t stop Ukraine scoring nine but on the bright side, the points dropped by Montenegro in Poland put us back on top of the World Cup qualification league so it’s still in our own hands. It could get even better in midweek with another good result, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that no Man Utd forward being available will not be too hard to bear!

Just to get back to last Saturday, just how many defeats in a row is that we have suffered against Charlton now? Before the game I was thinking about a cautious approach and that became clear after a disappointing defeat. Once again Kermogant came back to haunt us. I remember saying that we would go to London and sort him out but he has become a thorn in our side. I am bound to say that he would never have scored against me in my day, I’d have been in his ear telling him that all through the game! Still, it’s very early in the season and unfortunately we can’t win every game and now the concentration moves on to responding against Wigan next weekend.  I remember when Martin O’Neil was in charge and we would suffer a bad defeat, we would rally around and fight to get winning mentality back. Bouncebackability – just ask Helen Chamberlain!

With the international break it gives the team chance to prepare for two big games with Wigan and Blackburn. Neither will be easy but it gives us chance to show what we are made of and that we are capable for challenging this year. With Matty James suspended it gives Liam Hammond a golden opportunity to step right in and stamp his authority on our midfield. I’ve hear that he’s a tough player that plays a very physical game which is something I feel we currently lack so I’m looking forward to seeing him in action.

QPR are looking my favourites for automatic promotion at the moment they continue to grind 1-0 wins and will only get better as they settle back into the division. Good to see Forest slip up against my old team Wigan, I have fantastic memories from my time there and have to thank them for giving me my first professional career debut but come a week on Saturday I will only be rooting for one team and that’s Leicester City.

Come on Foxes!

One final reminder on the football front is a charity game organised for the 6th October at the King Power stadium, kick off 3pm. It’s all in aid of LCFC Foxes Foundation and Alex’s Wish which is the charity selected by Robbie Savage who will be getting his boots on – as will yours truly. There will be plenty of famous names playing, so put the date in your diary and get down and support us.