By Will Nicholson (Leicester City supporter)
Still no sign of Powell in the first team. We started with a seemingly odd two in midfield, with Dean Hammond having all the creativity of a plank of wood when it was clear to see we’d be on the front foot against weaker opposition for the first time this season. A game fit, according to many, for a Nick Powell type linking midfield to attack, finding space, making things happen. In short, we were shocking. Onto the next one.
Again, for what seems like the millionth time already this season we were robbed of a weekend by an international break. It did give Leicester City the chance to put on a development squad friendly, in which Powell played and scored, with his head. One goal, one assist, both headers for the ressies so far for Nick. But surely he made this move to play Premier League football, not making the switch from your U21’s to our U21’s?! A more positive report than previous development squad appearances left a few wondering if Powell would be in for our trip to Newcastle.
He wasn’t. We went with what many had been asking for since day one, a midfield three of James, Cambiasso and Drinkwater. Finally, we cheered. Until we looked a little further down the teamsheet and saw a massive, glaring error. Ulloa up front, by himself. ISOLATED. SUPPORT. NICK POWELL. Were just a few of the buzzwords in the matchday and post match threads on FoxesTalk. Throughout the game Ulloa looked like he’d never seen a teammate in his life. At times the only one breaking the forward line to offer any type of support was Matty James, who missed a glorious chance, but he’s known more for his defensive work in the middle than being the runner into the box, linking attack and defence. It was obviously wrong and we came away with nothing, which is a damn shame considering Newcastle were awful, too.
We go to Swansea next, and polite questions about the whereabouts of Powell (and Tom Lawrence) have turned into serious debates about getting both involved in the side somehow. The supposed lack of workrate is still a slight concern to myself. Nugent played the “in behind” role against United and was successful in just being a massive pain in Daley Blind’s backside, and with Swansea being somewhat renowned for passing and playing from the back, if we have a set of strikers or attacking midfielders who aren’t going to hassle and let them play this will only go one way. Unless we go out to attack. We’ll see. But questions of Powell getting some game time are becoming more and more frequent.
Woeful. No sign of Powell once more, and once more we were shocking. Nugent, who plays the role it seems Powell would step into, got an average rating of 3.13/10 from our fans who watched the game. And I’m a bit shocked it was that high. Ulloa has now gone 4 games without a shot such is his lack of quality support. Again Nick Powell is being suggested by some as the answer.
Well, he had a further youth game to prove it. Man City development squad at home. Powell started and played well according to those who paid the £3 admission to watch our U21’s demolish City 6-2. We were 5-0 up after about half an hour and ran riot going forward. It seemed Powell was playing a slightly deeper role, described as a deep lying midfielder who worked very hard and looked tidy in the middle. Reports are getting more and more positive from his development performances, with some saying he was the most impressive player on the pitch.
Highlights of the game (although just the goals, really) can be seen on youtube here;
However, we are now 2 months gone on the loan deal and Powell is still yet to make the bench. It still seems an odd move, like I said, to go from United reserves making the occasional cup appearance to Leicester reserves. I’m sure he’ll be knocking on Nigel’s door wondering when he’s going to get his chance, especially as we have been worryingly lacking any creativity and attacking skill in our last 4 games.
Will is a member of the Foxes Talk forum.
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