Welcome back to Letou Choose, which today features the demise of the former Premier League Champions.
Tonight, we play Leicester City, who are having an absolute stinker of a season. Predicted to come 10th, which seems pretty reasonable, they find themselves languishing down in 20th and last place in the Premier League.
Claude Puel, who I think was harshly treated at Southampton, was sacked early in December and replaced by Guus Hiddink. The Dutchman didn’t piss about in the January transfer window either. He shipped out Shinji Okazaki (Everton), Leonardo Ulloa (San Lorenzo), Robert Huth (CSKA Moscow), Ahmed Musa (Bordeaux), Daniel Amartey (Ajax) and Yohan Benalouane (CSKA Moscow). In their collective stead, he has signed Luis Alberto (Lazio), Juan Forlin (Oviedo), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Joshua Brenet (PSV), Ricardo Esgaio (Braga) and Guillermo Burdisso (Leon). Basically, it’s a much-changed squad to the one we all know and are familiar with.
Aside from Fellaini, I don’t know a great deal about any of the newcomers but I asked our resident romantic novelist Chris Darwen about Juan Forlin and his judgment was “decent”. He has only played one game for Leicester in the Premier League though, which might explain why they are down in the basement position, having amassed a goal difference of -23. In fact, now I look at it they’ve scored just 28 goals in 35 league games. Mahrez has suffered a hip injury that’s seen him on the sidelines for two months, which goes some way to explaining the lack of goal action. Vardy has started 27 and been a sub in seven but the poor bloke’s been like Sherlock Holmes trying to solve a crime without any fingerprints, he’s had nothing to go on.
Before the game, it’s traditional to host the press conference but no journalists have turned up today. Hmm. Maybe I missed them yesterday in the confusion of changing websites. If I find out that my assistant Nigel Gibbs has been talking to them behind my back I’ll sack him!
What I will do is just look over Leicester’s last game, which was a 3 – 1 loss at home to Huddersfield Town with Leicester’s Vicente Iborra sent off on the hour. Leicester have only themselves to blame for being in the position they’re in. They’ve beaten both Chelsea and Tottenham in recent weeks but lost to Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Watford, Huddersfield and West Ham. I respect a team which takes the fight to the big boys but you’ve got to beat the teams around them.
The good news for Leicester is that they can save themselves. They have three winnable games against ourselves, then West Brom and Burnley. Realistically, it’s three from four. If Leicester want to remain a Premier League team, they need to win at least two.
Congratulations go to Mike van der Hoorn for being named in the Premier League team of the week, he’s come back in the side in recent games and has hit the ground running.