Tag: Leicester City

Leicester City: Claude Puel’s future hangs in the balance

Claude Puel has to prove to Leicester City that he is the right man to lead the club into next season amidst growing unease about his management style and the poor run of results that has led to the first signs of supporter unrest.

Thus far, Leicester have won only four of their past 17 league matches and there is growing concern within the club that they are in danger of heading into a critical summer, when there is expected to be a significant turnover of players.

Their final four games of the campaign — against Crystal Palace, West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur — could be critical in terms of whether Leicester decide to stick with Puel.

Puel was appointed as Craig Shakespeare’s successor in October, but the second half of the season has fallen well short of expectations and it is also clear the Frenchman’s approach to the job has gone down badly among some of the playing squad.

Nonetheless, players have been left bemused by Puel’s chopping and changing of the team, not least because it is not his style to explain the thinking behind his decisions to those who are left out, and that have also been questions over the intensity of his training sessions.

It was a lack of communication is understood to be an issue across the board, with Puel described as distant.

The supporters made their thoughts clear last Thursday at the end of an uninspiring 0-0 draw against Southampton, a result which was greeted with loud booing as Leicester dropped points at home for the fifth game in succession, with three of those opponents now in the bottom four.

Relegation looms for Saints after Southampton draw at Leicester

Southampton manager Mark Hughes says that his team has to “take more risks” and “just go for it”, after they were held to a goalless draw against Leicester at the King Power and the prospect of relegation looms.

The Saints would remain four points from safety and are winless in their last eight games as they head into Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley.

Southampton’s Shane Long was denied from close range in the second half after Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho went close before the break.

Saints keeper Alex McCarthy also tipped over Jamie Vardy’s prodded effort as Leicester searched for a winner.

“We need to be on the front foot,” said Hughes. “We have to ask more questions than we did of Leicester.”

“Defensively we were better but we have got to get the balance right. We need to defend properly and be a threat the other way.”

“Only time will tell to see whether the point is enough for us. We are looking to get maximum points from every game now.”

“The players are a little bit flat and we have got a big game at the weekend but we are not in the situation where we are downhearted.’

Southampton’s next Premier League match is on 28 April when they host Bournemouth in one of their four remaining games of the season.

Claude Puel: Riyad Mahrez not available against Manchester City

Claude Puel has said Riyad Mahrez will maintain his self-imposed exile not play for Leicester at Manchester City on Saturday.

Mahrez, 26, has not trained or played since a move to the Etihad Stadium fell through on deadline day of the January transfer window.

The Algerian international, who scored 35 goals and contributed 24 assists in 127 top-flight appearances, has handed in a transfer request but the Foxes had refused to hear any interest in the player before the transfer deadline.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Puel said that he believes that Mahrez, who he describes as “magnificent” will remain unavailable.

“I think Riyad is not available for Saturday’s game. I hope Riyad can get his head right and come back with us and work hard. The best way is for him to come back and enjoy his football.”

“He is a magnificent player and he enjoys his football. He loves his team-mates, and that’s important. He loves to touch the football but he needs to come back right. I hope he can come back with a good attitude and prepared to work, but he will need time and time to be match-fit.”

“It’s important this remains inside the club and private, not in the public,” Puel added. “The most important thing for me is to keep Riyad and the club and the fans united and in a good way about this. It is important to keep a good feeling together through these difficulties.”

On the other hand, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has suggested that Manchester City would keep tabs on the forward despite Leicester having being ununderstood to have been demanding as much £95m as a bare minimum.

Prediction:

Manchester City 3 – 1 Leicester City