Who’d run a football website? Just as we’d settled into some really good readership results, along comes the dreaded passion killer known as the internationals. Suddenly, the readers disappear, the Facebook group goes quite silent, the Twitter account may as well shut down. Then, with the scent of resumed normality in the nostrils, we present Guess the Score and another good Who are You? interview ahead of Leicester vs SAFC. Interest, I have to admit, has barely recovered from the Euro 2016-induced slump.
Tantrum over, let’s welcome back Sunil Armar* and Chris Moore**, our pair of bright and bushy-tailed Foxes who nobly volunteered to speak for their club. The first part of the double interview can be seen at https://safc.blog/2014/11/leicester-city-v-safc-who-are-you-1-on-superkev-racism-and-survival/. I was going to say it’s very good for those who missed it but there’s no need as nearly everyone missed it (a desultory few hundred hits all day whereas we had previously and regularly been in four figures and would be still if we just filled the space with tosh lifted from sports agencies and websites). Let’s see if we can capture anyone’s attention with their thoughts on Sunderland, star Leicester players (and duds) past and present and how Saturday will go …
Who are the best players you’ve seen – or wish you’d been around to see (feel free to mention Banks or Lineker)- in Leicester colours?
Sunil: Yeah, Lineker, Banks, Shilton, Weller, Worthington (see aforementioned Dad stories).
From my time supporting the club, best players I’ve seen are probably Muzzy Izzet and Emile Heskey.
Chris: Always a tough one but I suppose the best one has to be Gordon Banks. Peter Shilton was a magnificent goalkeeper & the second best keeper I have ever seen playing for any club, but Gordon made fantastic saves look simple & also made numerous’ impossible’ saves. I suppose my all time hero was Frank Worthington, apart from George Best, Frank is the most naturally talented player I have ever seen & he was at his peak with us. I know he played for you for a while when the gypsy in him took over & hopefully you got at least glimpses of his mercurial talent.
Other players of considerable note were Davie Gibson & Frank McLintock, obviously our ultimate poacher Gary Lineker, Keith Weller & Lenny Glover.
Name and shame: who should have been allowed nowhere near your club?
Sunil: Happy to name and shame! Peter Taylor. Although Martin O’Neill was tough to follow, Taylor just did all things wrong. Purchasing Ade Akinbiyi for an obscene amount was his biggest mistake.
Chris: Dennis Wise without doubt is my number one. I never liked him or his attitude as a player for Wimbledon or Chelsea & when he started getting England caps I realised an England cap didn’t mean as much as it used to. He was clearly at Leicester purely for the money & he contributed nothing to the team, & on top of that he unsuccessfully tried to sue us when we were in administration.
The other one is a player called Junior Lewis. He was signed in an era where we bought a few no hopers, & was possibly the worst player I ever saw wearing royal blue. Not his fault he was just totally out of his depth.
What thoughts do you have on Sunderland – the club, the fans, the region and city, Poyet?
Sunil: Don’t like Poyet and haven’t done so for a while even before he moved to Sunderland. In a nice way, I don’t have any opinion on Sunderland. A club that don’t really make the headlines every now and then for any bad reason; fans are harmless.
Chris: Obviously a club with great support, but one that has never really reached the heights in all the years I have been watching football. Your fans always seem to have been loyal & given good support when we have played you . One black note was when we played you & there was a minute’s silence for one of our all time greats Keith Weller, & a few of your fans starting jeering. I was staggered because I have always thought of your fans as being amongst those who knew & really loved the game. But all clubs have a few idiots.
I always had hopes that Martin O’Neill would return to manage Leicester, & I was quite jealous when he joined you. I think it’s sad both for Martin & Sunderland that he couldn’t reproduce what he did for City, where he is still idolised to this day. Gus Poyet is really not proven yet as a top flight manager, & in a way I was surprised you didn’t get a bigger name, but if he is given time hopefully he will produce the goods.
The only other thing I meant to mention in my thoughts on Sunderland, was your famous 1-0 FA Cup Final win against Leeds when Jim Montgomery had a blinder. I’m sure most neutrals like me were rooting for your lads, & it was in the era when the greatest cup in the world still meant something. Hope you were at Wembley to witness it !
Any special memories of past games between us?
Sunil: Yep. Was at a game at Filbert Street where Collymore and Heskey slaughtered you. Game ended 5-2, Collymore scored a hat-trick on a debut. If I remember correctly, Super Kev was playing that day too. Collymore’s first of his 3 was a superb right foot volley.
Chris: A couple stick out. We destroyed you 5-2 at Filbert Street when Stan Collymore made his debut & got a hat trick. Emile Heskey was the perfect foil for Stan, & O’Neill said years later that he thought city would have got into Europe every season IF he could have kept that partnership together. But Heskey left for £11 million to Liverpool shortly after, & Stan was never the same player again.
Our two legged League Cup Semi – Final against you was obviously special as Tony Cottee scored in both games to put us through to the 1999 Final against Spurs.
Give me this season’s top four in order and the bottom three
Sunil: Chelsea (storming the league right now. A level ahead in every department.
Man City (they just have the sheer depth across all positions to be Chelsea’s biggest challengers)
Arsenal (reckon they’ll surprise a few later this season)
Man Utd (LVG is no mug and although in a ‘transition’ period, he’ll get it to click. Probably concede a load more but have the attacking talent to dispatch of teams)
Down? Burnley, QPR and Aston Villa.
Chris: Chelsea. Manchester City. Arsenal. Manchester Utd.
Crystal Palace, QPR, Burnley.
Tell us one thing the authorities should do to make the matchday experience better for ordinary fans
Sunil: I’ve never really had any negative personal experience with authorities. From what I’ve heard from other Leicester fans, perhaps some stewards at certain clubs can be less heavy-handed or stringent.
*** Guess the Score in Leicester City vs SAFC whoever you support: https://safc.blog/2014/11/phew-internationals-nearly-over-so-guess-the-score-as-sunderland-visit-leicester/
And see the first instalment of this interview: https://safc.blog/2014/11/leicester-city-v-safc-who-are-you-1-on-superkev-racism-and-survival/
Diving. So prevalent we may as well give up and stick it in the coaching manuals, or something that needs – along with other forms of cheating – to be stamped out?
Sunil: Definitely needs to be stamped out. If you are trying to con the referee and a fellow professional, to me, that shows you’re not good enough to play properly in order to be successful. Some players don’t even need to dive. It’s a lack of honesty and a coward’s move. I hate it. I equally hate when referees don’t punish it (ie player clearly goes down looking for a free-kick/penalty & doesn’t give it yet doesn’t blow the whistle to book the player)
Chris: Unless referees do more to try to get rid of it, I think it’s always going to be in the game & I suppose it always has been since Francis Lee perfected the art for Man City ! I think refs ought to book players more often for fake dives & yet they rarely do (there have been a couple of times when I thought our own players should have been booked this season).
Will you be at our game and what will be the score?
Sunil: Unfortunately not. Think we’ll scrape a win 2-1. Probably won’t be pretty but at the moment I couldn’t care less how we win!
Chris: I’ll certainly be there & I suspect it won’t be pretty, but I think Leicester will win 2-1.
* Sunil Parmar on himself: Been supporting City since Dad took me to a match in 1996/97 season. First match was against your rivals Newcastle. I live and work in Bedford. Used to have a season ticket but a combination of work/uni prevented me from going to matches regularly. Now try and go to as many as possible with my dad and brother (also City fans).
** Chris Moore on himself: I am now semi-retired having worked as a surveyor in a number of diverse roles throughout my working life. I live in Leics & as a season ticket holder I continue to watch City home & away as much as possible. My son was introduced to the joys & lows of supporting the club at an early age, & he has remained as keen as I am ever since even though he has to come from London to watch home games.
In theory I should be a Man Utd fan as the first game I saw was Utd V West Ham at Old Trafford when my parents lived in Cheshire. I would have had a far more legitimate claim than the guys who live in Bournemouth, Birmingham or Bristol etc ! But I was born in Leicester so there was only one club for me & I have been addicted since 1961 when is my first game. As very genuine fan knows once a club is in you blood you have had it no matter what, as a friend of mine once brilliantly put it: “It’s like a never ending love affair.” Certainly my beloved Leicester City have given me some the highest possible highs of my life & also some of the worst possible lows!
Interview: Colin Randall
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