For Robert Champman, homes games mean a long old haul from the Home Counites. So Lweicester was a doddle. Here are his measured post-match thoughts and a conclusion about David Moyes that may generate discussion. The headline sums up his outlook – and no, by ‘deserving time, Bob doesn’t mean the boss should be chucked in jail …
Having already decided that I wouldn’t be returning, almost certainly, to the moronic clappers’ stadium (Pete Sixsmith description) next season, I was in relaxed mood setting off in the late afternoon for the short drive up to Leicester.
I was trying to think when was the last time I had visited Leicester City for an evening fixture. I came to the conclusion it must have been a 1-1 draw when they were managed by Martin O’Neil during the 1996/7 season.
During that evening at Filbert Street I remember we scored early on through Darren Williams. We were then torn apart by a flying Emile Heskey on their left wing. He was unplayable that night, although to be fair he was up against Gareth Hall!
The current kit man and our first team coach both played that night. Anyway through sheer graft and determination we managed to get something out of the game.
I was hoping for much the same. Destined for the Championship I know, I will be unable to stop myself from going to all the remaining fixtures. Consequently all I want to see is 100 per cent effort from the side until the final afternoon against Chelsea.
Prior to the match we found ourselves in the Dry Dock pub, just a 10 minute walk from the ground.
The bar area is located in the hull of an old fishing boat which has been transported into the middle of an industrial estate. Considering how close to the ground it was, it was remarkably quiet, especially as it was supposed to be away fan friendly. In fact I think there had been only three Sunderland supporters in all evening and that was us.
Arriving at the ground it was heartening to hear a once familiar chant, about going out for an evening drinking with Lee Cattermole!
Great I thought, he must be starting and not on the bench. It was also good to see N’Dong starting as well. I have not checked but I would assume that Ndong covers more distance than most in the team.
Moyess argument about dropping him and needing a more “British attitude and work rate” was clutching at straws and just an easy excuse to drop him in favour of ex-Evertonians. But with Anichebe on the bench it was good to see us match them using a 4-4-2 formation with Borini offering support for Defoe up front.
Leicester started in typical fashion and had their first chance within the first couple of minutes. However with Cattermole organising, we soon began to match them. Denayer looked much more comfortable partnering Kone, rather than the midfield role he played against Watford.
I know the results have been poor but Rodwell is looking a better player than he did earlier in the season. With him partnering Cattermole we looked pretty solid through the middle of the side.
Although Leicester had two further chances in the first half, both saved by England’s future number one, I felt we finished the half positively and was hoping that we just might get a break in the second half, possibly when Anichebe was introduced.
Ten minutes into the second half Defoe had a shot on target, but it was becoming all too obvious that Leicester were beginning to get on top.
They then increased the pressure by bringing on Albrighton and record signing Slimani. No counter from Moyes and with substitutions immediately needed Leicester scored.
Moyes finally made the changes and it nearly paid off with an equaliser, however he should have made the changes 10 minutes earlier. Anichebe hit the post and in typical Leicester fashion a quick counter, a stumble by Jones and Vardy finishing off from a good run and cross from Albrighton.
So it was a typical Leicester performance. They are so predictable and yet so hard to beat.
Still, we played well and on another night may well have come away with something. Unlike Leicester we are not going to go on a six-match winning run and save ourselves.
But the club must stick with Moyes and allow him the opportunity to rebuild the side. The pre-season debacle resulted in the problems we have had this season. Give him the chance so that he can start planning now using the remaining fixtures this season to decide who is going to be with us when we start life in the Championship.