Can The Foxes deliver another ‘hammering’?

Can The Foxes deliver another ‘hammering’?

What a start to the season! The lads put in a fantastic performance overall and the fans were great, I don’t think Sunderland we’re quite ready for a taste of Leicester passion!

It wasn’t the formation I think most of us suspected, but you do need a different strategy at home and Ranieri went straight in for the attack. A great debut by Okazaki; great energy and work rate and with the chances we created, we could easily have scored 7 or 8 goals.

Sunderland were pretty poor and it is a concern that we conceded 2 goals to them, so I’m erring on the side of caution when it comes to predictions for the rest of the season at this stage. If we stick with the same system of play throughout we could come unstuck, but it doesn’t detract from the win on Saturday.

A5_eskimo beats.2I remember those first games of a new season and it is a dream come true to start with a win, especially a thrashing! It should fill the lads with confidence and I would imagine they’re feeling pretty positive and motivated to keep it up.

This weekend we’re away to West Ham which is always a tough game, never in my career did we get many points at Upton Park or The Emirates, those 2 stadiums just never seemed to come through for us. But, last season we did manage a win against West Ham at home so we just need to carry on the energy and grit we had last weekend and I hope we come away with a point, if not a win.

I’ll be interested to see how Ranieri plays the squad for his first away game, whether he’ll stick with the formation he used against Sunderland or change to a more defensive strategy such as a 3-5-2. When we’d played a great game like that, Martin O’Neill probably wouldn’t have changed too much but we’ll see what Ranieri’s experience brings to the fold at the weekend.

Sadly, attention has been slightly deflected from
our victory by the news on Jamie Vardy’s conduct, which we could do without after Pearson’s exit in the summer. I’ve not really looked into the full story, but poor conduct, on or off the pitch, and bad press is never good for football.
Don’t get me wrong, I made my mistakes and was outspoken at times but the press are getting too intrusive into player’s personal lives and you have to be so careful when you speak to them as you never know what they’re probing for.

I think players should maybe be given some media training, particularly the younger players, as it’s a minefield which they’re not prepared for and it takes time to adjust. More importantly though it’s realising that your actions reflect on the club and making sure you always conduct yourself as well as possible…then there’s nothing to write about!

Let’s hope it’s resolved and Vardy can concentrate on getting us another goal this weekend…come on lads, show the Hammers what we’re made of!
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The Black Cats enter the Foxes den

Since the squad returned from their training in Austria, we’ve had a cracking pre-season which has no doubt fuelled the team and fan’s spirits for the new season.

With three wins under our belt already we are looking forward to a very positive start to the 2015/16 season.

Judging by our performance across the last three matches, it looks as though Ranieri has, as expected, tried out different squads and formations in order to pick the best combination to take on the Premiership, and it looks as though he will stick with the 3-5-2 formation which brought us success at the end of last season and against Championship side Birmingham City last week.

With Wes Morgan returning to the back three from Jamaica, further strengthening our defence, and Schmiechel in goal, the combination should give us a force to be reckoned with for any team’s attack. I believe that we had one of the best defences in the Premiership by the end of last season, and continuing that will be fundamental to our success.

Ranieri’s new signings mean we have an abundance of quality midfielders for the squad, a bit of a selection headache for Ranieri, but an advantage for us as a team. Aside from the replacements and new squad members, I hope that there aren’t too many changes from Pearson’s end of season squad, as we managed some great performances and the team spirit was electric.

The first match of the season against Sunderland is a great opportunity to pick up three points and start the season as we mean to go on, it’s a ‘must win’ in my opinion.

Sunderland’s pre-season has been mixed and they had a tough 2014/15 season, with the arrival of Dick Advocaat saving them from relegation in the final stages of the league. Looking at the two sides, I believe we do have a better squad, although, with ex-Tottenham player Jermaine Defoe up front, he could pose a threat.

Above all, I cannot wait to get back to the stadium and meet more fans and players, and I’m hoping we will recreate the fantastic atmosphere we had last year to spur the lads on.

See you all at the stadium.

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Steve Walsh Blog – 27th July 2015

With the first home game of the season in just 2 weeks, the spring has not been all that quiet for Leicester City FC; but hopes are high for the new season and I for one, cannot wait to get back to the club and see how the premiership unfolds this year.

After Pearson’s exit during the summer, the club welcomes Claudio Ranieri on a three-year deal to take the reins; bringing with him an impressive heritage, following a successful four years with Chelsea (2000-2004) and spells with international giants Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Roma and Valencia.

Ranieri has been at pre-season training in Austria with the team for the past week and, a man known for his methodical and entertaining system of play it will be interesting to see which tactics he begins to apply at Leicester, and the results that ensue.

Other team news included the potential return of Esteban Cambiasso, after a one-year deal at the club last summer, during which he made 33 appearances and scored 5 goals. But, the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid player decided not to renew his contract with the club, which many fans were disappointed to hear. In an interview with the BBC, Cambiasso on his time at Leicester said, “I have lived one of the most important years of my career.” We wish him all the best wherever the next phase of his impressive career takes him.

The signing of centre-half, Robert Huth from Stoke, will be vital to this season’s success; between him and Christian Fuchs, we’ve got one hell of a defence which will help us compete against the best of the Premiership.

Goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel is reportedly enjoying his return to the team for pre-season training; fighting fit and raring to go, after missing some of the 2014/15 season through injury and international commitments.

The fans pre-season insight has been positive and I think we’re all just eager to get the new season underway and see what Leicester can do. I believe that the squad we now have is a recipe for success and should everything go to plan, I see no reason we cannot finish the 2015/16 season mid-table.

None of this would have been possible without the terrific support the owners have given the team, the management and the club and I think the players and fans are all greatly appreciative that they are as committed to Leicester’s success as we are.

The fans last season were amazing, always a great atmosphere and that’s just what you need on the pitch, and off it. I think we really surprised some of the Premiership last season and the fans did us proud, I’m looking forward to a great 2015/16 season.

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We will be running the podcast as a monthly series with more special guests.

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Steve Walsh Blog – 10th May 2014

This has been one long party for Leicester City Football Club since winning promotion. Now we are the Champions after a great final game at the KP stadium, we should spare a thought to Paul Dickov as his Doncaster team succumb to life back in League 1 after a dramatic last minute Birmingham equalizer decided their fate. Unfortunately one of their fans died at the final whistle, so condolences to the family and RIP.

A Nugent second half penalty soon put the icing on the cake for the Leicester City boys and it looked like Vardy was having another party night.

Thanks to the owners and Susan Whelan for inviting me and Muzzy into hospitality we had a fantastic breakfast brunch with champagne and directors box seats – they were magnificent. The after match celebrations were truly awesome and I finally got my photo holding the cup with Pearson. It will be a picture to finalize my book. Well done to Nigel Pearson and all the Leicester City lads you deserve a holiday… but I’m sure that the transfer market will be very important and can’t wait to see the fixtures on June 18th – raring to go already!

The bank holiday bus tour was another amazing day as 5000 Leicester City FC fans gathered outside the City Town Hall to greet their heroes. This was a moment that brought back so many amazing memories of all my Wembley visits and so did the sea of blue flags that filled the KP stadium.

Lastly well done to Birchy who’s 34th run raised thousands of pounds for local charities.

Well done the birch!!

Now it’s time to sign off for the summer, but look out for a brand new premiership blog starting early August. Have a great summer everyone. I hope to see everyone at the Leicester Music Festival, its a great line-up and promises to be a great weekend. http://www.leicestermusicfestival.co.uk. Don’t forget to per-order your Walshy biography book “50 shades of Blue” anyone who wants one email [email protected]

 

Steve Walsh Blog – 25th April 2014

Well, we are nearly at the end of a fantastic season and LCFC has been rightly crowned champions after another fantastic result up at Bolton. Lloyd Dyer put the icing on the cake in the 62nd minute of a game we had 62% possession and our 96th point of the season was in the bag.
We have now won 29 games and only lost 6 so far in a season that will match just about any in our history and all us fans have enjoyed the ride to the premier league.

Only two games left and today we travel to Huddersfield and meet up again with a Leicester City old boy, Mark Robins who is doing a great job at the John Smiths Stadium. If I see Mark he might have an interesting take on the events at Old Trafford where he once saved Fergie’s job and now they are in a bit of turmoil! Older fans will remember Mark’s time at Filbert Street when he joined us in the relegation year of 1995, but then great memories of the 1996 promotion under Martin O’Neill and the unforgettable cup win in ’97!! A final note about Mark – when he left Leicester he had a very successful move to Copenhagen where he picked up a fans nickname with his fellow strike partner of Batman and Robins. I might remind him of that one!

Back to us, and LCFC sits proudly at the top of the league with 96 points and our last two games should give us every chance of breaking 100 points, but what really matters is getting into the top league with all the massive fixture that brings. Before then we finish off the season at the King Power and what a day that should be as the trophy will be ours after what will be a tough test against a Doncaster team scrapping for their lives and I will add a bit more next week in my final blog of the season.

In fact, it just might be my very last blog as I am tempted to change my weekly ramblings into a fortnightly podcast for the Premier League and I will be joined by a few footballing mates and contacts to bring you views about our progress next season. I will have a think over the long summer when all there is to look forward to is the small matter of a World Cup with England competing against the best of the rest!

Steve Walsh Blog – 18th April 2014

LCFC’s fight for the Championship title was further enhanced by Burnley’s slip up against Middlesbrough. As I have said before, and you all probably know that points in the bag are better than games in hand at this point in the season. I think our convincing loss against Brighton shook up the players and made them realize that their job isn’t quite finished yet. I know that we have already secured promotion, which is great, but we all want to go up in style and win the league. Winning the league would also give us that bit of extra momentum next season.

 

These last few games of the season are the perfect time for Nigel Pearson to play around with his team. It’s important for him to make sure he knows what needs to be done for next season. I think for the last match against Doncaster he will play his first 11 that have been consistent this season in getting us to the Premiership. I can’t wait for the last game of the season, Birchy will be doing his 34th run but only a few laps this time. He’s raised over a million pounds for over 100 different charities, what a fantastic achievement!

 

Whilst the LCFC team had a weekend off, I was invited down to Wembley for the Arsenal vs. Wigan FA Cup Semi-Final. My old club Wigan nearly upset Arsenal but in the end the inevitable happened and Arsenal won on penalties. It was a great day other than seeing Wigan lose, I met up with a few of the legends. Bob Wilson, Ray Clemence, Alan Kennedy, Martin Chivers and Phil Neal. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day of meeting Arsenal fans and reminding them of my equalizer at Filbert Street! No sign of Ian Wright to remind him of our polite discussion coming off the pitch!

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Back to business on Monday night for LCFC. They were straight back into the action against Reading who needed a win to secure their play-off dreams. We managed to secure a draw but we should have won that, we created more than enough chances but couldn’t quite force another goal. It was great to see Jamie Vardy back on the pitch, we will need him again before the end of the season. My player of the year definitely goes to Danny Drinkwater, his equalizer was just amazing! Mahrez had another great game and Schmeichel made some vital saves.

 

Good luck to Nigel and the lads for last push, come on lads, I know we can do it!

 

 

Steve Walsh Blog – 12th April 2014

Saturday’s results couldn’t have gone any better for LCFC! Our opponent’s downfalls were our victory. We are once again in dreamland. We’ve been away for 10 years and I couldn’t be more excited for our return.

After a busy weekend of celebrations from the player’s, it was obvious that they were suffering on Tuesday night when they played Brighton at home. Had we been promoted over the weekend or not it was going to be a tough game. Brighton are fighting for a place in the play-offs so they were always going to be determined to get a win. It’s a shame that we saw our undefeated record broken, and in such style! But, I’m sure the boys will be back on form next week.

After the brilliant season LCFC have had, it must have been pure euphoria for everyone over the weekend even though this did prove costly on Tuesday night. Nigel Pearson really changed the team lineup and I think at this stage that was an important move to make, Pearson needs to see which players are ready for the Premiership! The manner of Tuesday’s defeat will have been the last thing everyone wanted to see, but hey, at least they lost convincingly! One thing is for sure, my lucky shoes definitely lost their luck!

I know it was a disappointing defeat, but you have to look at the achievement LCFC have made over the full season! No one can take that away from them. The fans on Tuesday were brilliant, no one can deny that the atmosphere was great. There was a lot of support for the team.

There’s a lot of work to be done until the end of the season, I think the players and staff will now be reaching for the Championship title. There’ll be a lot of work to do over the summer as well to get all the players ready for the big league. I can’t wait until 18th June when next season’s fixtures are released!

Good luck to everyone at the club for the remainder of the season. Keep the faith fans, I think we can do it!

This weekend I’m off to Wembley for the Wigan vs. Arsenal match. I’ve been invited to work in the hospitality area. I’m really looking forward to seeing my old home town team!

Steve Walsh Blog – 5th April 2014

A delayed blog this morning after another Friday night performance at the King Power, and we are as close as we can be to a massive promotion party! More of that later as there have been another two memorable matches to report on in the last week.

Just when I thought we were about to slip – boom! A performance that surely will send us into dreamland!!! 2-0 away on their own patch the first time Burnley have lost or conceded two goals rubberstamps our intentions and the players commitment not only to get promotion but do it in style. The unbeaten run goes on and shows why we are the best team in the league by a country mile. And how about two class goals to go with it and show Ings & Vokes that we can finish. I suppose I felt a bit sorry for Burnley and really hope that Sean Dyche’s men can see things through and come up with us. They deserve it for a club who really has stuck with a 16 man squad all season and really performed miracles. Without those two front men they will struggle as proved against us. But let’s not take anything away from City and their faithful fans. It must have been an awesome atmosphere, I had a ticket but couldn’t go in the end so I was gutted.
I ended up watching the first half at the Dog And Gun in Whetstone, then home on the big screen to see the second half in comfort so onwards & upwards. I can’t wait for the party but as you know in football we need to be level headed and that’s why NP and everyone at the club don’t mention the word PROMOTION – they leave it to me:)))

However, I did go to the DW stadium to see my old club Wigan and was well looked after by ex-playing colleague Graham Barrow. Also saw Alex Cribley one of the players who helped my early career and I thank them so much. What a great game!

The gaffa made 6 changes, resting players for two important back to back home games and it shows how great our squad rotation can be utilised. We really did sneak a point. My old club certainly looked after 4 of us in style full hospitality and great to see my old pal Graham Barrow back as first team coach. I was paraded at half time and it brought back some fantastic memories but only one team was where my loyalties belong and that’s the proud Foxes. A Kingy special and late Hammond equaliser was good enough to keep the unbeaten run to 20 games and set up the Sheff Wednesday Friday evening potential promotion weekend in style.

On to last night, and again we made a bit of hard work about it, but the result is what matters and another 3 points were put firmly in the bag. The way we started was really exceptional and for the first 10 minutes or so I saw a glimpse of what we will need to produce consistently next season in the Premier League. There, I’ve said it – it’s a done deal and nothing will now keep us out of the best league in the world next season. The likes of Man U, City Chelsea, Arsenal and the likes are on their way to the King Power and the team are more than capable of doing a job and staying there. Last night’s goals from Mahrez and Knockaert were enough to see off a stern test from a Sheffield side rejuvenated by Stuart Gray since taking over from Dave Jones half way through the season.

I know that promotion will be confirmed if today’s results at QPR and Derby go with us, but nothing will now stop the inevitable and I now send a massive congratulations to the Manager and Team on their fantastic achievement! Well done all round, and bring on the big boys!!

Don’t forget I’m hosting at Dragons Den in Countesthorpe. Come Down and give it a go. I promise the food never disappoints!

Also The K Kong Corporate Golf day is coming up fast. Ive still got a few teams spaces available.

Golf Flyer 2014

Steve Walsh Blog – 29th March 2014

I have to admit, I feel a little deflated with the performances and results from the last two games, even though the club record of unbeaten games goes on. Burnley are closing the gap and we now have only three points more with a goal difference of two. Today’s game could possibly be the unraveling of LCFC.

I travelled to Blackburn for the match last weekend, good old Andy King got me two tickets. I went up with Jimmy Sehmi and met Nicholas Humphreys in Blackburn. We had a really good lunch at the Cavendish Pub in Bridle and sampled some of their finest cask ales! Then, off we went to the football. I was disappointed with the turn out of Blackburn fans, and they have a serious pigeon problem at their ground. I won’t deny that I was a little disappointed with the result, it should have been an easy three points for LCFC. Schluup put in a good performance, as did the ever-consistent Danny Drinkwater. When Nigel Pearson made his substitutions, I thought he made good choices and it was good to see Liam Moore on the pitch.

Tuesday night’s game showed a little fatigue and complacency from the squad. It was clear that Yeovil Town were desperate for points, but LCFC should have had an easy win. It was an incredibly frustrating game to watch. The lads created so many chances but in the end relied on the amazing Schmeichel to create a goal for Chris Wood. I will admit it was a fantastic end to a poor game but we should have had the points in the bag before stoppage time!

I really hope the second rate performance against Yeovil was a one off as we need to be on top form for the last few games of the season. This weekend’s match against Burnley is going to be the toughest yet. Burnley are on fire at the moment and LCFC will need to be on top form when facing them. If they just get a draw that will good enough for me. I think all the fans will agree that winning the Championship is a must; I’m not convinced that I’ll be happy with anything less but the gap between us and third is a great safety net.

Come on lads, not long now! I wish a speedy recovery to the one and only Nigel Pearson. Best of luck to all the players and the staff at LCFC for the up and coming games, they are going to be tough but I believe we can do it!!

My brother in law Terry is just starting his road to recovery after his operation. He is now in a wheelchair but still in hospital. I will be doing three fundraisers so watch this space!

I’ve had a call from Sky and have been invited for the Sheffield Wednesday match next Friday. Fingers crossed it’ll be a good win for us! I have also been invited to go to the Arsenal vs. Wigan game, 12th April. Lots to look forward to!