Date:Sunday January 1 2006
Clearly Leicester City's Walkers Stadium is possessed.
That's the only conclusion I can draw from manager Craig Levein's comments after our latest footballing disaster.
Levein stands by the touchline and sees one game. I sit in the stands behind him and see something completely different.
Speaking about City's 1-0 home defeat against Norwich, Levein told the Official Leicester City website: 'We outpassed, outplayed and outshot our opponents today'.
'There is still a long way to go and we will be judged on results. I still believe we have the right players although I do think we need another striker.'
Well if paragraph one is correct, how come Leicester lost 1-0?.
The truth is Norwich scored while Leicester didn't, Norwich had the second closest effort when Ashton headed onto the bar and Norwich had the third best chance when Douglas saved brilliantly one-on-one at the feet of Huckerby.
It would have been harsh but the result could easily have been 3-0.
That we need a striker is undeniable.
But it was probably Levein's fault that he didn't have anyone lined up to replace Connolly when he was sold for £2m, going on £3m and was is probably his fault that he didn't sign a loan striker when it was quite obvious months ago that we weren't scoring enough.
As for 'outpassing and outplaying' Norwich, this was only arguably true in the first half when Norwich adopted a deliberate policy of containment.
In the second half the Norwich shots ratio incrased and they were far more dangerous than City but when, in any case, has style, as opposed to goals, ever had anything to do with results.
If Levein truly believes, as he says, that he should be judged by results, his are as bad as they've ever been at Leicester.
The club are in the worst position of their long and sometimes distinquished history and the details behind the results are equally depressing.
Twenty-six games played, 26 points. Two points from 18 in the six matches of December. No wins in December. Five goals in those six matches but three successive games without a goal from outfield play.
Five wins all season from 26 League games. Twenty-seven goals all season and it was Levein who signed, in Hume and Hammond, two players who had no pedigree as proper centre-forwards.
Would an exorcist help Levein and I to see the same game?
Would it help him to see that we rarely got beyond 25 yards from Norwich's goal. To see that we contrived no more that two unchallenged chances anywhere within 20 yards of the Norwich goal. To see that we couldn't shoot straight in any case.
To see that most of our attacks foundered through playing aerial passes.To see that Norwich waited until we committed to desperate attack before delivering their killer blow and, very nearly a couple more for good measure.
Those are the facts and I cannot see how they would be in dispute unless the view from the touchline is somehow possessed and shows a different picture.
Finally Craig's remark about the right players...
These players have delivered the results that have made up Leicester's wretched season.
The question is have the players lost the points because they've not been good enough or have the tactics cost us?.
Looking at today's performance I'd say we were tactically outplayed from the start, the same as at Reading.
Sometimes, in the past, we have got results from a defence based strategy. Against Sheffield United we benefitted from an all-out attacking policy.
In recent games we have done neither and that has been reflected in the results. We seem to have paid for only being half-committed to anything.
It's like going into a tackle really. Have doubts and you'll probably get injured. Go for it and you'll probably come through.
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Go on, get vitalled!
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|Leicester City||3||-||2||Aston Villa|
|AFC Bournemouth||1||-||1||Leicester City|
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|4. Crystal Palace||8||5||0||3||4||15|
|5. Leicester City||8||4||3||1||2||15|
|6. West Ham||8||4||2||2||6||14|
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