Shearer Says: “If you’d have said from the start that Leicester would be top, you’d never be allowed to work in football again!”
Leicester can finish top of eight at the end of the season
If you had said at the start of the season that Leicester would be top of the table at this stage of the campaign, you’d have been laughed out of court. You’d never be allowed to work in football again! But they are there and they deserve to be there. They’ve been the best team and probably the most entertaining team going forward as they’ve scored in every game they’ve played in this season.
When you look back to the end of the last season, Leicester were unbeaten in nine games under Nigel Pearson so they have carried on that form. Ranieri has obviously come in and he has just kept everything flowing. He’s asked the players how they felt things were going and he has listened to them.
The longer the run goes on, they will actually start thinking they have a chance of a really high finish. I think they can finish in the top eight at the end of the season though, which nobody in the right mind could have predicted in the summer.
It won’t be easy for Vardy to break the record against United
Vardy goes into the game looking to break the record he currently shares with Ruud Van Nistelrooy and it won’t be easy given United’s defensive record. He won’t get as many chances as he has been getting in other games this season.
I’ve never scored 10 on the spin but I know what it is like to go into games where you just feel like you are going to score. It’s confidence and the life of being a striker. It’s a great feeling going into a game with confidence like that.
Man United in are in for a very tough game. If you remember last year they got battered there under Van Gaal. A lot of teams have probably underestimated Leicester. Everybody is sat waiting for the bubble to burst. I don’t expect it to last the season and I don’t see them finishing in the top four as their time will come with injuries but at the minute they are brilliant.
United have the best defensive record in the league. They are not particularly entertaining to watch but having said all that, they are sat a point behind Leicester and if they can start playing some attractive football, it could spell trouble for the rest of the league.
The standard of the Premier League this season is nowhere near what it has been. That is probably not a concern to United, Arsenal or Manchester City. United are just a point off top so they are doing something right.
Harry Kane is on a run goalscorers love
Spurs were fantastic last weekend when they beat West Ham 4-1. The best I have seen them for a while. Good on the eye. Harry Kane was superb. He’s on a run goalscorers love. I thought their balance of the team was better. Lamela was out so they brought in Son who had a very good game. He was creating spaces for other players who took advantage of that.
The Mourinho bust up would not be a concern for me
For Chelsea, I think this is a great game for them. If they win on Sunday then they really are back. They are up against a team who are in form and they will be tested and pushed. Their last two wins suggest they are back to some sort of form. I’ve seen reports this week suggesting there has been a bust up between Mourinho and Costa but that happens in every dressing room, every weekend so it would not be a concern for me.
Young British players aren’t being given a chance to shine
There are plenty of young British players shining in the Premier League at the moment, however, I do not think enough are being given a chance to shine. I can give you a perfect example of this. When you look at Harry Kane, he had to sit around for months on end because Spurs had splashed out £28 million on Roberto Soldado. Spurs had to play Soldado because of the fee they paid for him. You can’t tell me Kane wasn’t ready earlier than he was. He was ready! The reason he did not feature was because they had to justify the money they had spent on a centre forward.
I feel for a lot of the young British players at Premier League clubs today. Their managers go out spending money on foreign imports and then need to justify playing them because of their transfer fee. It is great though to see the likes of Stones, Barkley and Kane doing so well and hopefully there will be many more over the next few years. Southampton have been able to produce a whole host players through their system. Youngsters at Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool though don’t seem to get the same opportunities as they would say at Southampton.
Eric Dier at Spurs did it a different way. He went abroad,learnt his trade and has come back to blossom in the Premier League. We certainly don’t want young players doing that as we want them to be able to be given a chance here in England. He is one of a few players who can play in a number of positions which is a great appeal for a manager.
You get one chance at this game and you have to give it your all
Another young English player who has made all the wrong headlines this week is Jack Grealish. Many years ago you could have gotten away with that. Nobody had social media or cameras on their telephones so it did not make the headlines. You can’t get away with it these days. You certainly can’t be seen out partying with your mates and doing whatever else he was doing after your side has been beaten 4-0. It’s ridiculous!
Grealish was so unprofessional and shows a total lack of respect
You get one chance at this game and you have to give it your all. If this was his first time, you could say OK, everybody makes a mistake, but this isn’t the first time. It happened in the summer so you’d have hoped the penny might’ve dropped. Hopefully this new manager will be able to calm him down. He has ability but it would be a shame if it was wasted. It is so unprofessional and shows a total lack of respect for your manager and football club.
He’s been left out of the squad for the weekend which is a big call. It’s a catch 22 because when you have a player of his ability and you can’t use him when you are struggling in the table, it is a shame. It is the right move though and hopefully he will learn from it.
Augusta Kate gave me a great Thrill on Sunday at Navan
I had a great thrill on Sunday when a horse I have a share in called Augusta Kate won very well at Navan. Her trainer Willie Mullins says he is going to give her some time off now and then make a decision over where and when to run her. There are some potential races at Aintree and Punchestown but he’ll make that decision. He is the boss and he will advise on where is best to go next.
We are all very excited as she has shown so much promise in her two runs so far. I have never had a horse at the Cheltenham Festival but I did once have a horse who won at 50-1 at the track. I was actually playing for Newcastle at the time and I remember walking off the pitch at half-time and I looked up to the directors’ box and I could see all my mates dancing around so I knew it had won.
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