Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City: should he stay or should he go?

Brendan Rodgers. Creative Commons image from http://www.soccer.ru

The sack race is in full swing in English football, and with only four wins in 12 Premier League games, Brendan Rodgers’ tenure at the King Power Stadium is starting to look a little shaky – just as he is being touted as a potential new manager at Manchester United. Despite guiding Leicester City to the first FA Cup triumph in the club’s history, a succession of listless, almost lifeless performances by a team with one of the leakiest defences in the league have left the fans divided. Season ticket holder Alice Wright weighs up the pros and cons of a managerial shake-up on Filbert Way.

It’s not the best time to be a Leicester City fan.

The last time Brendan Rodgers’ men won in the league game was a narrow victory over Brentford towards the end of October. But it’s the manner of the performances that has really vexed the fans. The team has been sucking the life out of us. A game starts and we’re all excited, hoping this time it will be different … and then we leave feeling drained after another passionless shift.

With their Europa League form not being much better, it’s fair to say many fans aren’t holding up much hope for the home game against Legia Warsaw tomorrow evening. So it is it time for a change?

Yes: Brendan out

Rodgers has often mentioned his preferred system of a defensive back four but for some reason decided to play three against Chelsea, which quite obviously did not pay off. That devastating 3-0 defeat could easily have been much worse. His tactics for the game were all wrong, not just for this game but for many of the previous ones too. I sit next to my dad at every home game and I told him he’d be better off pitchside at the minute.

Just to put it into perspective of how badly the game went, Chelsea had more goals disallowed than Leicester had shots on target. Embarrassing.

Leicester’s set-piece problems grew worse on Saturday after Antonio Rüdiger headed one in from a corner, taking their tally up to eight conceded from dead balls, the worst in the league. It makes you wonder what they focus on in training, as there has been no improvement.

Rodgers didn’t do himself any favours with his post-match comments after the Chelsea game when he said City were a team that had “totally overachieved” in the last couple of years.

This remark has caused a lot of controversy among the City fans, and I can see why. I’m sure it wasn’t long ago that Rodgers came out and said Leicester were challenging for the top four, so to hear that now we’re overachieving, well, it simply seems he is just creating excuses.

No: Brendan in

Well, I think the most obvious reason to keep him must be he won us the FA Cup and Community Shield. Not to mention the two consecutive top-five finishes. I might not have been at the FA Cup game but watching it with my dad on TV as Youri Tieleman’s absolute screamer went in at the 63rd minute and we jumped around the living room hugging is a moment I’ll never forget. It was certainly added to some of my favourite memories, and for that I can’t thank Brendan enough.

I think sometimes managers are scapegoats and it’s not always their fault, it’s easy to just blame the manager because they will just come and go and there will be a time where Rodgers moves on, but it doesn’t mean it has to be now.

I think the mentality of missing out on Champions League football for two years in a row has affected the players and that could be why they aren’t playing so well – or maybe they are doing it on purpose to get the manager out.

It also can’t have been easy for the players’ mentality with the speculation of Rodgers to United leaving a question mark above his head. Hopefully, now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked and Mauricio Pochettino is favourite for the job the players will no longer have this uncertainty in their heads, and I guess time will tell if this is the reason for their poor performances.

All in all, time will tell, and maybe soon: tomorrow’s home game against Legia Warsaw – who are currently in their worst slump in living memory – is followed by the potentially the make-or-break game on Sunday against Claudio Ranieri’s Watford.

So: should he stay, or should he go? We’ll see.

DMU Lions win season opener

By Rian Fearnehough

Thanks to a particularly strong performance the De Montfort University Lions American football team started the campaign with a win as they took down the opposition of Staffordshire Stallions 50-6.

The display was impressive after all the problems created by COVID, injuries before the game and the numerous new faces in the team. Despite this the team put out a strong performance proving they are going to challenge any team this season.

Coach Stuart Franklin said:”there were positive steps taken by the whole team today”

Despite the strong team performance the defence stood out as they completely dominated the Stallions not allowing their offence to put their stamp on the game.

MVP for the game Jordan Raheem had a particularly dominant performance as he stopped the offensive line of the Stallions having an impact on the game helping the Lions control the game.

Josh Seybert showing his passion for the game in celebration

International scholarship student Josh Seybert was a constant leader for the Lions during the game. Josh played a huge role in the success the Lions had in all three stages of play, offence defence and special teams, this helped the team perform at the level it did and helped make the game that much easier. 

Coach Franklin said: “it’s a great result but the team still has areas to improve and can become even stronger as the season progresses.”

This gives the Lions a good foundation and helps the coaches understand what can be improved before the next game against the Huddersfield Hawks have had a troubled start to the season with a loss and were unable to field a team for the second game. You can join the pride once again at Beaumont park on Sunday 5th of December.

The DMU Lions would like to thank everyone who came out to be part of the pride as this really helped spur the team on to victory, If this was your first taste of the sport we hope you enjoyed it and we hope to see you more throughout the rest of the season.

Art borne out of lockdown goes on display

By Alfie Linville-Sibley

An exhibition showcasing multiple artists’ works over the national lockdown has opened its doors to the Leicester public today.

The Creative Lockdown exhibition at The Chapel Gallery in Town Hall Square is showing curated works of local artists that were created over the national lockdowns.

Luke Sibley, maker of OFF THE PRECIPICE AND RUN AWAY, a vast sculptural project consisting of one figure per 1,000 UK deaths due to COVID-19, said: “My intention was to mark the passing of our fellow British people, with faceless figures to hit at the randomness of the disease.”

Luke with OFF THE PRECIPICE AND RUN AWAY

Using galvanized steel wire and upcycled bike components to create the figures, which are unknown and blank, he said the onlooker can project what they want onto them.

With each figure taking three to five hours to complete, Mr Sibley worked in the evenings, projecting his current state of mind onto each figure, as he navigated the lockdown, some depicting major personal or world events.

Figure with his dog

Consisting of a large centrepiece and many individual figures, some seem to be vignettes, people distributing the vaccine, fighting the behemoth representing the virus, a man with his dog looking on in shock.

Sibley Art
OFF THE PRECIPICE AND RUN AWAY

He added: “It grew due to the number of men, organically becoming what we see today, 128 figures.”

Elaborating on this natural growth, Luke said his art was “spinning out of control as our normal life was put on hold … it incorporates my feelings and significant events along that journey.”

Held inside a 19th century Methodist church, the works of art surround the pews and are displayed disparately, with artists’ pieces displayed separately from each other, held together by their creation during the lockdowns.

Creative Lockdown, hosted at the Chapel Street Gallery, is open to the public from today until November 22, from 10am – 4pm weekdays.

The Virus

‘It was busier under Covid lockdown’ says Leicester Market trader

By Holly Dobson

A Leicester Market stall-holder has said that trade was a lot busier when stricter Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

Stephen Powley, a 57-year-old fruit and vegetable market trader, said: “Since it all went back to normal, we’re not so busy no more.”

Stephen Powley, 57, at his stall in the Leicester Market (Pic: Holly Dobson)

“When the covid was on, we were a lot busier. There were less stalls and rent was cheaper. Now it’s just gone dead,” he said

However, Mr Powley added that as Leicester city centre prepares itself for the winter months as the holiday period approaches: “I think it will perk up a little more.”

Another Leicester market trader has also spoken of how the pandemic affected his business.

Jason Lepreux, a fruit and vegetable stall-holder, said that the pandemic: “Massively affected business, at best 50 per cent or around 50 per cent of what we were. It’s a combination of everything.”

He added: “Everyone shops online these days.”

Jason Lepreux, 48, at his stall in the Leicester Market. (Pic: Holly Dobson)

In a report by Waitrose, 77 per cent of people now do some of their grocery shopping online, compared to 61 per cent before the pandemic hit. Two thirds of the respondents said they have used online shopping services because they preferred to not go to a supermarket.

Leicester’s Christmas ice rink returns next month

By Em Brooks

Leicester’s Christmas ice rink is set to return to the city centre next month.

The ice rink has been a big part of Leicester’s festive events in recent years with more than 25,000 tickets being sold for it in 2019 alone.

Last year, due to Covid the rink did not appear. However, due to restrictions being lessened this year, it is returning.

Appearing alongside the ice rink will be a Ferris wheel with various other holiday themed items appearing in the city.

Reacting to the news, a Leicester mother said about taking her daughter to go ice skating: ‘’It’ll be a great experience.’’

Another older couple added that they’re both: ‘‘Glad to see it return,’’ despite not planning on skating themselves due to previous injuries.

Holly Dobson, a student at De Montford University said: ‘’I cannot wait to get back on the ice.’’  

As with previous years the ice rink will be hosted by Icescape.

The rink opens from Thursday, December 2, to January 3, in Jubilee Square. It will be open to all ages, both night and day, sessions last 45 minutes on the rink with hired ice-skates and skate-aids available. There are also quieter sessions available as well as reduced prices for off-peak sessions.