Date: 31 August 2019
Eddie has said this seasonís is the best squad heís ever worked with. Maybe he just said that to butter them up, because I saw no evidence of it today.
During the week it had been announced that Daniels is out for the season, so Iíd rather hoped to see Stacey at right back (evidently he played well midweek) and Smith on the left today. But no, it was Smith on the right and Akť on the left, which didnít look like the best use of Akť. Anyway we got going and, although there was no passion shown by our team during the early exchanges (they donít really seem to be Ďupí for a new season yet), we enjoyed most of the possession; and we were defending well enough, limiting Leicester to shots from distance as they couldnít get through any other way. Nonetheless, a lob from distance was all Vardy needed on eleven minutes when he caught Ramsdale off his line and beat him easily in a one-to-one situation. 1-0 to Leicester.
This score line only lasted three minutes, because a run from Callum Wilson led to him scoring thanks to a team effort in general and involving Mepham in particular. 1-1. The next piece of drama came when Ramsdale, at the other end, kicked the ball directly to Vardyís feet, but saved the day by pouncing on it before Vardy had had time to react. A lucky escape for Ramsdale.
Leicester restored their lead three minutes before the break. Our defenders had teamed up well with one another and with Ramsdale to defend Bournemouthís left, but a simple pass to the other side of the goal enabled Tielemans to score at the far post. Ramsdale was furious when he saw this go in. Half-time: 2-1.
Eddie changed things around early in the second half, bringing on Ibe as right wingback, turning Fraser into a left wingback, and putting Solanke into the Ďholeí behind Callum Wilson (right) and King. Smith and Harry Wilson were dropped. But this didnít work any better, and when a mix-up in the box led to our defenders giving the ball away, Vardy was quick to capitalise. 73 minutes on the clock, and now 3-1.
A final Cherriesí substitution on 79 minutes saw Surman come on to strengthen central midfield and give the wingbacks (in theory) opportunities to get forward more. King was sacrificed. But Leicester managed to run down the clock and retain their lead. Following the game most of the debate concerned claims that a Tielemans tackle on Callum had deserved a red card, but to be honest I donít think even reducing Leicester to ten men would have improved our chances much today. Meanwhile, by the time I got home Iíd been away for eleven hours, the matchday ticket alone had cost me £40, and I really didnít find myself looking forward to the rest of this season at all. Letís hope things look up pretty quickly.
The team lined up as follows at the start of the game (I've given the players marks out of ten):
Smith (5), Mepham (6), S Cook (7), Akť (5);
H Wilson (5), Lerma (5), Billing (6), Fraser (5);
C Wilson (5)
Mepham, S Cook, Akť;
Ibe, Surman, Lerma, Billing, Fraser;
Solanke, C Wilson