Tag Archives: Claude Puel

Leicester City wins first match with Claude Puel in charge

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Leicester City has secured a 2-0 win against managerless Everton after appointing Claude Puel as boss.

Puel appointed on Wednesday to replace the sacked Craig Shakespeare since his dismissal from Southampton during the summer.

The Foxes displayed an inspiring stride in their play, with Demarai Gray taking center stage as he evaded three challenges and fed Riyad Mahrez, whose cross was finished at the back post by Jamie Vardy.

Gray continued to inspire, and delivered the second through an inswinging cross that looked harmless but was enough to bait Jonjoe Kenny who wildly miskicked, sending the ball spinning backwards, beyond Jordan Pickford and into the far corner of the net.

“I saw a team in Leicester with a good attitude, a good structure and a lot of solidarity,” said the Frenchman, whose team climbed to 11th in the Premier League.

“I was impressed with my players. I hope it’s just the beginning of something. I was impressed because we played very well first half with good relationships between the players and it was a fantastic first goal.”

“It was a little more difficult in the second half because Everton are a very good team and they tried to come back into the game.”

Everton, who were playing under caretaker boss David Unsworth, were largely restricted to long-range efforts. Although they were dominating against the Foxes in the second half, they show a lack of incision of that of a team that has scored only seven league goals this season and are winless in seven games in all competitions.

Their defeat would pile further misery as the Merseyside club slipped to a ninth defeat in 13 matches, leaving them third from bottom and facing up to a relegation scenario that was unthinkable when £150m was spent in the summer.

Leicester appoints ‘perfect fit’ manager Claude Puel

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Leicester City have appointed the former Southampton head coach Claude Puel as their manager following their summary dismissal of Craig Shakespeare laster week.

Puel, 56, has signed a contract with the Foxes until June 2020 and was described by the club’s vice-chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, as “a perfect fit” for his team.

It was also reported that Leicester’s board of directors interviewed several candidates beforehand, with Puel being selected to lead the club now standing at 14th in the Premier League, one point above the relegation zone.

Michael Appleton, interim manager who oversaw two games for the club, will revert to his assistant’s role, as Puel will be introduced to the media on Friday and will take charge of Sunday’s home match against Everton, who are without a full-time manager after Ronald Koeman’s dismissal.

Puel himself was released by Southampton in June despite decent results such as leading the club to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League and the final of the Capital One Cup. The Saints flopped in the Europa League and decent domestic results were deemed not good enough to compensate for a style of play that many supporters decried as too defensive, with players unhappy about his rotation policy.

Without a club since, the Frenchman was said to have impressed Leicester during more than one set of talks.

“Upon meeting Claude, his attention to detail, knowledge of our squad, understanding of our potential and his vision to help us realise it were extremely impressive,” Srivaddhanaprabha said. “He quickly emerged as the outstanding candidate.”

Puel described it as “a great privilege” to take the Leicester job. “The opportunity to help the club build on its remarkable recent achievements is a truly exciting one, and I’m looking forward to working with the owners, players, staff and supporters to deliver further lasting success,” he said.

Prediction:

Leicester City 2 – 0 Everton

League Cup semi-final preview: Liverpool vs Southampton

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Southampton holds a slim 1-0 lead heading into their semi-final replay against Liverpool, but will be without key defender Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk limped out of the Saints’ 3-0 win over Leicester City last weekend with an ankle problem.Jack Stephens, an England Under-21 international could feature if Van Dijk is deemed unfit.

Club manager Claude Puel says he has no fears going into the second leg at Anfield even as Southampton aims for a first cup final since 2003.

“Of course, it is special to play at Liverpool but I think it will be an exciting game,” Puel said. “It is important for all of the players, the squad, to play this game with a positive attitude. It will be dangerous and not good to just defend and try to preserve this lead.”

On the other hand, while Liverpool has been stumbling slightly in the Premier League, the return of defender Joel Matip could make a crucial difference for the Reds.

Matip was included in the provisional Cameroon squad for the Africa Cup of Nations but was one of seven players to say they did not want to play. While FIFA could impose a ban on players on such grounds, Matip had since been cleared to play.

However, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp could also see that as the Merseyside club stumbles in the Premier League race, so does their enthusiasm for the other trophies declines too.

“You cannot just give up on a season when it still holds so many possibilities,” Klopp said. “We are in two cups and we must fight for a place in the Champions League. We are still close enough to fight for nearly everything. Is anyone really saying that if we cannot be champions we cannot enjoy the season?”

“We can improve on last season and that’s what we should all be aiming for. That is what I would regard as taking the next step. And if this is a long-term project, obviously that means we need to make a few steps. As long as we keep developing, that’s fine for me.”

Prediction:
Liverpool (2) – (0) Southampton