“Are there a hint of nerves kicking in at Leicester?” wrote John Ashdown of the Guardian this week. Leaving aside the terrible grammar, does he have a point? Well there are certainly Leicester fans who, having become accustomed to disappointment in the past five seasons, have surrendered the title in their heads already. A quick glance a Talking Balls will show you what I mean.
But surely there is nothing to worry about. Even if Millwall win five of their last six matches (and Millwall haven’t won five consecutive matches since last September) City will still only need to scrape six points from their final six matches thanks to their vastly superior goal difference.
The more optimistic of you might be interested to know that City are the only side left in the Football League who can reach 100 points for the season. Though to reach this colossal total they will have to win six consecutive matches, something the Foxes haven’t managed in the 15 seasons I’ve been following the club. The best winning streak Leicester have managed this season is five, equalling a run they last managed in 2002/03.
The Week That Was
There was a large Steve Howard shaped hole in the Leicester side which travelled to Peterborough last week. It’s telling that in the three league matches in which Howard has not featured Leicester have failed to keep posession. At home to Colchester, City had 49% of the ball. At Peterborough, the Foxes managed just 43% possession. Most staggeringly at Scunthorpe, Leicester managed just 36%.
Matty Fryatt took the award for League One player of the season this week. The awards ceremony taking place whilst the season is still ongoing was one of the talking points raised by fans, and Fryatt’s Jekyll and Hyde season probably means another more consistent League One striker might have been more deserving. Fryatt scored 23 goals before Christmas but has only managed five in nineteen games since he signed his new contract. The Fryarstarter hasn’t scored in four matches.
Usually this season Leicester have been able to call off matches played on international weekends with Andy King, Aleksander Tunchev and Nicky Adams all representing their countries. It was one of the factors which has allowed King to keep a 100% appearance record this season. The Foxes certainly missed him at London Road.
The Week Ahead
Carlisle Untied provided League One with this season’s false start. The Cambrians took 13 points from the campaign’s opening five matches and looked set to begin anew their quest for promotion. 35 games and just 30 points later Carlisle lie just one point above the relegation zone and, thanks to the form of Crewe and Leyton Orient, its become a real scrap. No team below Huddersfield in 14th is yet realistically safe from the drop, though this blog being what it is, I should point out that only the top seven are mathematically safe from relegation.
Carlisle have managed just 17 goals away from home this season, only Yeovil and the damned Hereford United have managed fewer. Eleven defeats on their twenty road trips this season have made the majority of those long journeys back to Cumbria pretty miserable for the Carlisle faithful.
Without a win in six and with just one victory in their last ten matches Carlisle do not arrive at the Walkers Stadium in any sort of form. Though Leicester as we know are not exactly in great shape either. If the League table was based just on March’s results Nigel Pearson’s side would lie 14th
On This Day
Since beating Aston Villa on this day in 1970 Leicester have failed to win a match on 4th April. Arsenal, Millwall, Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Bristol City, Coventry City and Aston Villa (again) have all taken points against the Foxes on this day. Surely Carlisle won’t add themselves to this list?