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After a Championship-winning season that saw Leicester manager Nigel Pearson settle on his formation and starting 11, our first season back in the top flight has seen him change both his formation and starting line-up almost on a weekly basis.
From consistency to constantly inconsistent you might say.
With this in mind leicestertillidie asked it followers to choose their favorite formation and then select the players to fit it.
Unsurprisingly after last season’s success over two-thirds of them chose the 4-4-2 formation that served us so well last season. A case perhaps that if it ain’t broke why fix it?
The first choice of player proved somewhat controversial. A tight contest saw 56 per cent chose to give Ben Hamer a chance over Kasper Schmeichel. Hamer has played one game this season, keeping a clean sheet in 1-0 away win against Stoke whilst Kasper has not kept a clean sheet all season. That said most covered their backs by saying Kasper should be brought back if Hamer does no better. Football fans are nothing if not fickle!
Left-back surprised me with 76 per cent going for the pace of Jeff Schlupp over the experience of Paul Konchesky. Schlupp is not my favorite player but the aforementioned pace seemed to win him the left-back berth. Sixty-seven per cent of followers kept Ritchie De Laet in over Danny Simpson at right-back, whilst 42 per cent voted for a centre-back pairing of experienced captain Wes Morgan and England U21 capped local lad Liam Moore. The tank, Marcin Wasaleski just missed out.
Despite not being chosen for a few weeks, Riyad Mahrez did enough to secure the left-midfield role just beating Anthony Knockaert with 50 per cent of the votes whilst the latter went on to secure a place on the right with 57 per cent.
The central midfield pairing remained as last season, with Danny Drinkwater securing 39 per cent and Matty James 26 per cent, despite the later featuring only off the bench for most of this term. Summer signing Esteban Cambiasso surprisingly polled very few votes, with Welsh international and regular starting Andy King not doing much better. Dean Hammond who partnered King in a few staring line ups this season managed just the single vote.
The front two? Well you could have predicted this. Record summer signing Leo Ulloa polled 39 per cent of the overall votes with paceman Jamie Vardy completing the starting XI with 45 per cent of the vote. Despite his scoring exploits with New Zealand, my choice of Chris Wood polled badly and surprisingly last season’s top scorer David Nugent only got a single vote.
With 72 per cent of the formation looking the same as the team that started most games last season, and who got us back into the top flight it appears familiarity is what the fans are looking for.
So there you have it Nigel. The fans have spoken. Will we see this starting line up and formation against Sunderland? I doubt it, but if we did I for one would have to agree with the voters, except have Kasper in goal.
Last season’s success was built on familiarity and consistency of the team. Lets see more of this please Nigel, do not turn into the Premier League’s latest Tinkerman.