MADDY THE DADDY NOW
Puel rates James in Hoddle’s class
HOPE you all enjoyed it on telly last night. It’s worth watching again and again because James Maddison scored the goal of this season. Maybe of any season.
Gazza’s up-over-and-volley for England against Scotland 22 years ago is a contender for one of the best of all time, but how many votes would Maddison get for this?
Paul Gascoigne took a Darren Anderton pass and lifted the ball over Colin Hendry and smashed in his shot. Sensational.
But wait a minute. Maddison started this one himself, playing a ball to Jamie Vardy, then it went out wide right to Marc Albrighton and back to Maddison. That’s where genius took over. Leicester boss Claude Puel (above) went for Glenn Hoddle as the only player he has known score goals better than the one Maddison came up with.
Puel played with Hoddle at Monaco and said: “With Glenn Hoddle it was fantastic goals all the time. He had great ability to create and to score.
“What I would like to say about Maddy’s goal is that he has the talent, but before the talent comes the hard work. He works hard for our team.
“He is a young player and if he continues to listen and to improve he will have a fantastic future.
“There is a comparison between Hoddle and Maddison, but Maddy has only been playing at this level since the beginning of this season. He can improve to score more.”
Albrighton has always been able to pinpoint a cross but it wasn’t so much his accuracy this time, it’s what Maddison did with it in the 23rd minute.
There were three Watford players around him. Maddison, who cost the Foxes £20million from Norwich in the summer, took the ball on the outside of his right foot, off his chest, off his knee and then volleyed the ball in.
At no point did the ball touch the ground.
Last week Maddison, who has only just turned 22, was apologising for diving to get himself a penalty at Brighton.
It was his second yellow card and he was sent off. If this goal was an extension of that apology then all is forgiven. Vardy had put Leicester ahead 11 minutes earlier with a penalty. By coming out the way he did and sliding into Vardy, Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster helped referee Graham Scott make his decision.
Vardy duly despatched a right-foot shot that blasted past the keeper. Demarai
Gray could have got a third for the hosts but hit the post.
Watford regained confidence after Maddison’s wonder goal and were on the verge of getting back into the game when substitute Andre Gray missed a chance. Etienne Capoue was sent off for his lunging tackle on Kelechi Iheanacho in the final minutes.
Watford boss Javi Gracia (left) is appealing the red card, claiming Iheanacho said Capoue didn’t touch him, and the Hornets boss also disputed the penalty.
“I won’t talk about the penalty because it will sound like an excuse,” said Gracia. “What we must do is score from the possession and chances we have. We are not efficient.”
WONDER GOAL James Maddison lets fly for the strike which brought the King Power fans to their feet