The season gets ever closer, so the warm-up games begin to matter, whatever managers tell you about them being all about fitness, not results. So far? Narrow wins, mostly, against modest teams and a defeat to classier opponents (Benfica). Today, we were back to the narrow wins and, for the first of two likely reports, Rob Hutchison offers this thorough assessment …
If any Leicester fan wishes to offer a report, contact Colin Randall at the e-mail address to your left and up a bit …
Just back from Leicester; a few thoughts while they are still freshish.
We appeared to start with near to our strongest team with Campbell alongside Bent, and midfield of Ahmed al Muhammadi, Henderson, Catts, and Steed, with Bramble and Turner centre backs and Ferdinand and Richardson full backs. Brucey looks to fancy this line-up although imminent arrivals hopefully of Mensah and Welbeck may change things. (Mignolet was between the sticks).
Campbell was excellent all day and looks like he’s pipped Jones in the pecking order at the mo – took his goal well, looks physically stronger and a better first touch; he really impressed.
We took our eye off things for parts of the first half and Leicester pushed hard and got a deserved equaliser. We still didn’t seem as well organised as we should be at the back, notably half asleep at a couple of short corners, and leaving free headers on which Leicester didn’t capitalise. Some things just never seem to change.
Bramble looks like a man mountain of a centre half and was constantly gesticulating and trying to organise things – he appears very strong and you can see why Bruce likes him. I’m hopeful he will be a success for us. Ferdinand tweaked a hamstring and left the action after half an hour. Wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes surplus to requirements if Mensah arrives as expected next week.
Second half we looked sharper and quicker to the ball. Henderson’s goal was a Robert Green style gaffe by their goalie as a partially stopped shot trickled over the line, and we could have had more had it not been for good saves and Benty being just a touch off the pace. Too many substitutions to mention second half including Colbeck, Waggy, Jones, Da Silva, Liddle and possibly more. All did OK, but nothing outstanding.
Overall a good run out for me. Bent is not alone in being a bit off the pace and it’s clear more fitness work is needed. But some looked really up for everything, notably Campbell, and Richardson who has signed a new three year contract today. I think there will be more movement next week if as expected Fulop goes, and with Fiorentina reportedly interested in AF, we could end up with a healthy net profit of transfer dealings over the summer for the first time in as long as I can remember.
Brucey looks to be getting the parts together for his jigsaw this season. I’d still like to see one “landmark” signing, but can’t see it happening.