Obstructed View – Reflections on the Leicester City (H) Game

A Review that will, unlike someone else allegedly, pull no punches…..ffs, just when you think you’ve seen everything, you watch some tit throw a punch at your star midfielder, and if you’re reading this and assume I’m talking about Robert Huth pulling one out of his locker, no, it’s some lovely chap after one too many sweet sherries, aiming at, and maybe even connecting with, Ross Barkley. And not in a platonic sense. In a violent sense. Allegedly. Right, let’s leave that there for the ‘authorities’, let’s get back to football.

You have to start here really, not just for the face and the wispy hair, or the fact that he’s found his razor at last, but ‘F*****g Chicken Lad’ had a fairly sizeable and early impact on this game. The Ketwig Kaiser has finally shaved, and now looks every bit of his 18 years, putting the rest of us oldies to shame. I’m old enough to be his Grandfather let alone Father. I must admit though, despite very positive words from pundits such as Ian Wright and Martin Keown at the weekend, I thought Davies had one of his poorer games, and if the squad allowed it, I’d give him a rest sooner rather than later, and sooner than the long Summer he’s been promised, bereft of England duties. His energy is undoubted, but in the second half he gave the ball away a lot, and was frequently muscled off the ball, mostly illegally according to my myopic position in the UG, and certainly not something an appalling Bobby Madley seemed inclined to agree with. In Drinkwater and King, Leicester had the nark and the wisdom to show Tom’s immaturity, but thankfully, the boy seems to be learning every week, so that’s a load more for his memory bank. He’s a great player, not someone we expected to make a breakthrough this year, but who has thrived with the responsibility he’s been given, and will quite clearly go far. Not seen him threading the passes of late though, so perhaps he needs a breather, and we give Lookman, Williams or even Valencia some game time. But he’s a boy. And I’m not getting at him. I just want what’s best for him, and my view is a rest, but I’ll doff my Dutch Cap (what?) the way of Ronald McKoeman to make the best decisions – after all, he’s probably better at this Football Manager lark than I am.

Also “a boy” is Romelu Lukaku. I know he was only talking figuratively, but once I’d looked up what “figuratively” meant, I can suggest that Koeman’s use of the phrase “the boy” to describe this man mountain of a striker, is a term to be used in the loosest sense. Except that he is still only 23, albeit a mighty 24 next month, and we best remember that. He still has a lot to learn to make him one of the best strikers in the world, a bracket that our current and former managers would have him in, as well as his goalscoring record that has him leading the race to see if the Golden Slipper will fit him at the end of the season. Only this lad is no Cinderella. He may even be an ugly sister (I think I’ve taken this as far as it will go). And whilst we wait to see if he is swept off his feet by a Prince Charming (no I haven’t) this summer, in the mean time the allegedly lazy striker has 23 PL goals to his name, and bagged another two on Sunday. I remind everyone I ever speak to, he’s built the size of a house, he’s strong, he’s quick, he’s got quick feet, and whilst he may help the team cause if he was to close down a bit more, or find space more often, I’d rather have a Lukaku like this than a Lukaku like Janssen at Spurs or even an AJ at Everton. His job is scoring, and he appears to be rather good at it. Oh, and for those of you that say he wasn’t in the box as often as he should be, our friendly Dutchman moved him out wide to exploit their rather vulnerable and short full backs. So there. Nah.

In a game that had a kind of end-of-season-testimonial-your-turn-then-our-turn feel about it, there was an hilarious moment when Mirallas showed his second bit of snide within a week to square up to the rather larger Robert Huth, who bears a striking resemblance to one of the cooling towers at the Radcliffe-on-Soar power station near where I live. If you’re going to square up to someone, even though Okazaki wasn’t playing, there must have been smaller Leicester players he could have a go at. Mirallas has had some great game time of late. His relatively early booking made me fear for his time on the pitch, either due to a second yellow, or a tactical withdrawal, but he actually played the full 90, and for those that said he faded in the second half of the second half, perhaps remember he is usually either a substitute or the one to be substituted, so maybe he was flagging a bit. His early pick up and drive was the Mirallas we love to see, and he clearly was ‘at it’ all game, and that’s a real positive for me; he has been somewhat mercurial in his time at Everton, and now would be a good time to play as consistently as his last two games before the end of the season, just as RK thinks about his players for the 17/18 campaign.

On we go then, another home game to enjoy next week, against the serial away game under performers in Burnley; we’ve got the 3rd best home form in the PL; we’ve got the best home form in the last 6 games in the PL and scored 23 goals in the process; we’ve only failed to score once at home; Burnley have only scored 9 away all season. So that’ll be 0-2 to them then! Let’s hope not, unless we choose to take our foot off the pedal against a team still not mathematically safe, we should have far too much for them, even if Tom Davies is to be seen in a deckchair in front of the Gwladys slopping on the Factor 50 if he is to get the rest I think he needs.

Ross Crombie



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