Friday, 1 January 2016

Rival Lines: Ranieri prefers pizza to Ostriches - Leicester Till I Die

Rival Lines
Leicester City v AFCB Preview
Blogger Interview: Leicester Till I Die
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Over the Christmas period I asked Chris Forryan, who writes on the Leicester Till I Die website, what he thought about Leicester's chances of grabbing the title or at least finishing in the top four and whether he reckons that the Foxes will hold on to Vardy and Mahrez.

CC: Do you think the difficult times that Leicester City in the first half of last season is something that has made you a better team today?

LTID: Defiantly. We appeared, come April to have learnt by our mistakes and improved. The main thing I believe going through that difficult period did was to bring the team closer together. It is an overused phrase but I honestly think it helped develop a siege mentality at Leicester and that can only be a good thing.

CC: Do you think the atmosphere that Claudio Reniera creates around the players has been not only better for the team but more positive for the fans than when Nigel Pearson was at the club - nevermind the results?

LTID: Not an Ostrich in sight any more!! He's like everyone's favourite uncle isn't he? He has brought the Italian flair & style to a good old fashioned team. Pearson had the team behind him, he never lost them, but I think Ranieri has the team with him, and there is a difference.

CC: Which game has given you most pleasure so far this season?

LTID: From a personal point of view the Bournemouth away game when Vardy started his 11 match record breaking goal scoring run. Not just saying that but living in Poole I had to sit in the away end and you could see my face on Match of the Day and Vardy runs past to celebrate, with me not lol. But that game showed out fighting spirit.

CC: Do you hope that Jamie Vardy's record is never broken and do you believe it helped the team keep winning matches with his team mates knowing he wanted to beat the consecutive Premier League goal record?

LTID: The team were 100% behind Vardy but it wasn't all about Vardy, The Swansea match which followed the Man Utd game where he'd achieved his 11 in 11 would have beaten an even older record, But he failed to score as he passed by a chance to shoot and pas to Mahrez to get his hat trick. That shows the team ethic of LCFC at the moment. Do I hope its never broken, Of course but records are there to be broken so it will one day, but lets live the dream for now.

CC: Riyad Mahrez has been sensational on the right wing as well but if one next summer you had to sell wither him or Vardy who do you think the club would fight harder to keep?

LTID: Mahrez. Vardy is good the last question highlights that point, but Mahrez is a creator, Some games he doesn't turn up but when he does watch out. Vardy can get us goals but just as, if not more so, are the player who help create the opportunities for him to score. Mahrez does that, and oh yes, chips in with a few goals of his own.

If Leicester finish in the top six and play European football next year do you expect the team to change significantly with the money that will come into the club?

LTID: We did spend last summer and have got quite a strong squad, but yes we would have to buy as though the squad is strong it is not big, This season we have not had Europe to distract us like the other clubs around us. I think it would be good to get in some players who have actually played in the Champions League or Europa League as now is and have that experience we would need.

CC: Every club has a dip in form they say so are Leicester fans biting their nails wondering when that might happen?

LTID: One word YES. But its not happened yet so fingers crossed even with bitten nails.

CC: Leicester drew against the Cherries down at Dean Court but do you expect a similar tight game at the King Power Stadium?

LTID:  Leicester are now on amazing run and Bournemouth have had a few good wins recently. A month ago to be honest I though this would be a sure 3 points, but with your current good form I am not so confident now.

CC: How do you think Leicester will line up for this game?

LTID:  The same as the last 18. If its not broken why fix it, and only two losses means it ain't broken and Ranieri refuses to tinker which is good. Rumours are circulating regarding illness's to Vardy & Mahrez after the Liverpool performance. Let's hope Vardy's party was the reason.

CC: How do you think the top four will look at the end of the season and who are the three teams going down?

LTID: Difficult this season, its so open at the top. In no particular order I think the top 4 will consist of Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and yes I am going to say it Leicester City.

Going down? Well one has to be Aston Villa. Bottom with less points than even Leicester had this time last year. They are not playing with the team spirit that Leicester were either.

The other two? Swansea are in free fall and Sunderland are still struggling despite Big Sam's arrival.

I would like to see Newcastle go down though. They have flirted with relegation for a few years and are the new Wigan, Its nice to see the big boys struggle and the so called little teams do well. Would love Bournemouth to stay up I really do. Not because I like in Poole either but there’s is a true rags to riches story. The modern day Wimbledon and I think they are vying for first place with Leicester for everybody’s favourite second team this season.

CC: It is good to hear that Leicester City fans are enjoying themselves. May be AFCB can pick a brief moment when the Foxes might slowdown a little with their points accumulation, but going to the King Power stadium is probably the last place any Premier League team is expecting an easy game. There is such a great atmosphere at the ground and it is always a great day out so if you are going up have a good day. There are more previews on the Leicester Till I Die site and before the game there should be my answers to the questions I was given about Eddie Mitchell and Peak 6 among others.

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