What’s gone wrong for Leicester City this season?

By Liam Harris

Leicester City fans watched on nervously as their side took on Italian footballing giants AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday night.

A tough test awaited Rodgers and his side who had to try and better footballing genius Jose Mourinho in the second leg.

Leicester’s King Power Stadium

Following a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium a week prior, it was always going to be a challenge.

Unfortunately, on what was the Foxes’ first ever European Semi-Final, they came up short when Tammy Abraham headed the Romans into the lead in the 11th minute.

Despite going 2-1 down on aggregate, City looked to fight back with a stronger second half performance but it wasn’t to be. Thus, missing out on the Conference League Final and all but confirming another year without European football for the blues following an underwhelming domestic campaign.

Any cup exit is disappointing, but when you pin all of your hopes onto the only remaining route into it for the next season, going out becomes all the more bitter.

Many Leicester fans can’t help but feel deflated at what they have seen this season with many calling it a ‘write off’. Questions have been asked for many reasons by Foxes fans. So what has gone wrong? Why has it been such a challenging season? Let’s break it down.

Injuries

Ah yes, injuries. Let’s just get this one out of the way. After all, we were all thinking it. One thing we can all agree on is that Leicester may have had one of the most abysmal seasons ever on the injury front.

There have simply been too many to count for City this season with seemingly every matchday squad being plagued with absentees. This crisis seemingly peaked around the turn of the year and has slowly improved since.

However, it has certainly left damaging effects on the side’s league position, sitting 14th at the time of writing this. Re-injuries have been a regular occurrence with players such as Castagne and Maddison falling victim.

Possibly more crucially though, a number of City’s key figures have missed out throughout the campaign with Vardy, Barnes, Fofana and Ndidi all repeatedly being unavailable, among others.

With this sort of constant burden forced upon Rodgers, it has to be said that he’s done the best he can with what he’s had at his disposal.

With the end of the season nearing, many will feel relieved at the chance for some much needed rest for the team.

We can only hope that when the 2022-23 Premier League season kicks off in August, a fully fit squad will be available for the first time in almost 3 years.

Tactics

A common opinion felt by Leicester fans this season has been that at times, perhaps too often, tactical decisions have not paid off.

In fact, many of Rodgers’ decisions have been rather puzzling to some, especially when they have backfired. Strange substitutions and tactical mishaps have happened all too often this season.

Sitting back on a one goal lead and bringing on defenders despite no pressure from the opposition has cost City many points.

One example that comes to mind is substituting on Vestergaard and Bertrand at Liverpool despite a 2 goal lead back in December. As many will remember, Liverpool went on to win on penalties despite a considerably weakened lineup.

That isn’t even the worst example as many will recall Leicester threw away a 2-1 lead against Spurs back in January to lose 3-2 in stoppage time. Something that should never happen when your side is ahead with 2 minutes to play.

Another common criticism from City fans has been the style of football that Rodgers has had his side playing. Many believe the tempo has been too slow and performances have been passive.

November’s 1-1 draw to Leeds, December’s 2-1 loss to Aston Villa and more recently the 2-1 defeat to Everton are just some of the games that many believe City had played with a lacklustre style.

Corners and Stoppage Time

Two of the biggest talking points from Leicester’s season has been their inability to defend set pieces, more so corners.

What began seemingly as bad luck began to be exposed as a bad tactical set up for Rodgers’ side.

Fans picked up that Brendan was assigning zonal marking to his side which left many puzzled. Why were players leaving the opposition’s best headers of the ball free?

Of course, this didn’t work and following Abraham’s winner on Thursday night, the marking came under more scrutiny, with Rodgers seemingly suggesting after the game that he ran out of taller players to mark Abraham and so assigned 5’9 Ricardo to do so.

With one of the worst goals conceded from corners rates in the league, this issue urgently has to be sorted out in pre-season season once and for all.

Finally, stoppage time. Leicester’s other biggest problem has come in the final stages of games, with stoppage time being a nightmare for the Foxes.

In recent weeks Leicester have thrown away points against Everton, Newcastle, Tottenham, Brighton and West Ham in the closing moments of games.

Whether it is down to tactical issues or simply a mental problem is something that can be up for debate but it is clear that hanging onto leads has been a major challenge for City this season.


So what next?

Fear not though Foxes, for the summer is almost upon us. This means a chance for the players to get that well needed rest after a long gruelling campaign. For Rodgers, it is a chance to sort his squad out and get it back to where he wants it to be. He certainly needs to address some issues such as the corners and defending as a whole. That alongside fixing his side’s mentality is a must in the coming months. He will have the summer transfer window to do what he feels he needs to in order to strengthen and one can only assume that Khun Top will allow him to do so following the last 12 months.

A fresh start is something that everyone connected with Leicester City will be keen on and it is certainly needed. A chance to put this campaign in the past and put full focus into the 2022-23 season. A fresh mentality with a fresh squad is to be desired. Rodgers will seemingly look to trim his squad down for the upcoming campaign with the absence of mid-week football for the first time in 2 years. Fresh faces are a must for City come July.

Despite everything though, there have been some positives. The emergence of Dewsbury-Hall in the midfield and Luke Thomas improving spring to mind. This alongside Maddison’s great return on goal contributions has given fans some optimism for the future. Every team goes through bad spells and Leicester are no different. One off season does not define a club. They will bounce back from this and there is no doubt about it. The summer will prove crucial for City, but one thing that won’t change is the belief from the stands. The club prides itself on doing the unimaginable and they will look to do it once more next season. Be optimistic City fans, things will get better. In the words of Jersey Budd, ‘When you’re smiling’.

Record votes counted in De Montfort University student elections

By Liam Harris

With the De Montfort University Elections coming to an end once more, it has been a record breaking year for student participation, according to De Monfort’s Student Voice Coordinator, Alex Scown.

Mr Scown said that engagement is in a ‘good spot’ compared to previous years, with 3,133 individual votes in and a total of over 23,465 votes, a record high.

DMU Student Voice: Alex Scown

“The elections are held every year around the second term,” he said. “Tomorrow (March 16th) between 6-8pm, the results will be announced live on Instagram and Twitter.”

He added: “The elections bring a lot of opportunities for students with their own goals and beliefs. It is for those that see problems and gives them the opportunity to address them.

“Every candidate has their own manifesto, ideas and objectives. They will put them forward and try to convince the voters that they are worth addressing and they are capable of doing so.”

Mr Scown also spoke on the voting process and how a DMU student can vote, as well as how one could run for a position.

“Every DMU student is automatically enrolled as a member of DSU,” he explained. “As long as you are a member of DSU, have a student ID and a student account, you can vote.

“You can vote at the polling stations or on the DSU website. Any interested candidate can put themselves forward on the website, then upload a photo and a manifesto. This year, nominations were open from January 17 to February 14, so just over two weeks.

“Anyone can run, even first years. We care more about passion and how involved you want to be, in comparison to experience. Any students (including PhD, and Postgraduates) can apply.”

He said there were five Executive Officer positions included in the elections, each representing a specific zone from Academic, Equality and Diversity, Welfare, Opportunity and Open zone.  

There were also seven Liberation Officer roles available. Each Liberation Officer represents an underrepresented group such as LGBTQ+, Women, BAME and Disabled groups. 

Following the recent elections, the winners were as follows: 

NUS Reps: Amir Iqbal, Chidera Echedom, Charu Somani, Hamida Arif, Aliya Amin Khan 

Opportunities and Engagement Exec: Aashni Sawjani 

Welfare Exec: Aliya Amin Khan 

Equality and Diversity Exec: Meera Dasani 

Academic Exec: Nyashadzashe Nguwo 

Union Dev Exec: Amir Iqbal 

Some notable upcoming dates include: 

Course Rep Elections: 28th March – 19th April (Nomination Period), 22nd April – 2nd May Voting Period. Results on 6th May. Zone Elections 11th May – 25th May 30th May – 13th June. Results on the 17th June.

Polish student publishes more than 16,000 articles in Wikipedia since 2006

By Maria Karatzia

A Journalism student at De Montfort University (DMU) has a sideline translating and writing Wikipedia posts in Polish and Silesian.

Busy: Maciej Wojcik at work in one of DMU’s journalism labs.

Maciej Wójcik, a mature student from Poland, has been a volunteer admin for Wikipedia since May 2006 and has published more than 11,000 articles on Polish Wikipedia, more than 5,000 on Silesian Wikipedia, and also a couple of articles on English and Russian Wikipedia.

“As a child, I was often upsetting my parents by ‘updating’ printed encyclopaedia, and I got upset when margins were too narrow,” said Maciej. “I learnt a lot from Wikipedia, much useful knowledge as well as many curiosities.”

Maciej was born in Poland in Katowice city, which is the regional capital of Upper Silesia, and Polish and Silesian are native languages for him.

He applied for the volunteer role 16 years ago because it was initially just for his convenience, as he needed some incorrect pages to be deleted, to protect and maintain Wikipedia’s integrity.

Half of his articles are about Polish villages and hamlets. The rest are on a wide range of topics –
some about islands, British politicians, some about culture, religion, and many are biographies of
interesting people.

“My goal was for Wikipedia to have all of them described, and now it is finally done,” he said.

The first article which he had published was about Coche, an island off Venezuela. He said he was initially stressed not knowing if it would stay, or if it would be deleted. Eventually, it stayed.

“It is more than a hobby,” he said.

Maciej is most proud about the “Wilk w kulturze” (“Wolf in culture”) article. He started it
and about 65 per cent of its content is his, but it also has many other contributors.

“It was a hard piece of work because it describes many different cultures, including exotic
ones, like Korean or Japanese,” he said.

One of the benefits that Wikipedia offered was that he got a job as journalist, without formal
qualifications, just because the media company was impressed by his portfolio from
Wikipedia.

Sadly, the job only lasted for less than two years because of the economic crisis at the time. However, he said it was the best time of his life.

He has since moved to England with his family and is now studying journalism at DMU in the hopes of returning to that career.

Water might be an answer to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according to a DMU professor  

By Madi G Bowman

Biomedical science expert Dr Parvez Haris believes there may be a way to avoid developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s by simply drinking more water.

The professor at De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester said that when the brain becomes dehydrated, the water cycle in the body can lead to diseases as molecules in the brain will start to behave in unusual ways.

He believes people who regularly exercise tend to be healthier because of the increased intake of water due to people sweating and drinking water within the workout.

This is because there is an increased cycle of movement which removes the toxic substances and waste in the body. 

Dr Haris said: “With age, people can slowly begin to lose their thirst, meaning they don’t drink enough water and there isn’t enough water movement to clean the damaging toxins from their brains.”

When his mother was in hospital, he described how her condition was worsening and she felt weak and tired and this was due to a lack of water meaning she was very dehydrated.

Dr Haris said: “As she began to drink water she soon began to feel better.” 

He first began to look deeper into this water theory after looking into abnormal proteins called amyloids which can build up in someone’s body as a plaque that can have a damaging effect to the brain and are linked to various diseases.

Dr Haris highlighted that increasing the amount people drink can really save lives and take pressure off the NHS. 

On Tuesday, March 22, Dr Haris hosted an online discussion on the Teams platform about the link between water and Alzheimer’s disease with students who were interested in his theory.

Kibworth car wash raises hundreds for Ukraine

By Charlie Hawes

A Kibworth villager who organised a charity car wash in the Harborough district has raised more than £650 for the people of Ukraine.

Claire Stanbridge, of Kibworth, Leicestershire, decided to organise the car wash to raise money for both the Disasters Emergency Committee and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, splitting all donations equally. 

“I decided to do it to simply help Ukraine,” she said.

“I felt helpless up to now so I thought a few hours of my time might make a difference to the poor citizens in the midst of the war with Russia.” 

The car wash took place on Sunday, March 20, on the forecourt of Crouch’s Recovery, Harborough Road, which is located on the busy A6 going through the village – a great location to attract plenty of vehicles.

“We know the man who owns the forecourt and I just thought it was a great location to get passers-by,” added Claire.