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Fulham at Leicester City - Capital One Cup - Three Questions With Arlo White

This is a very special three questions. Finding people to ask for smaller clubs can be hard. SB Nation has a good set of blogs, but even some of the smaller Premier League clubs aren't covered. When you get to a club in the Championship, it can be hard to find a willing writer. Fortunately, I knew of someone who was a Leicester City fan. He also just happens to be the voice of the Premier League on NBC, Mr. Arlo White.


The less said about Saturday's match the better, so let's focus on something happier. The Capital One Cup, where Fulham still have a chance for a trophy.

I can't really put into words how giddy doing this Q&A was. Arlo is one of the reasons I'm as much of a soccer fan as I am today. Before I had Fox Soccer available, the only games I could watch were the US Men's National Team games, and starting in 2009 the Seattle Sounders (on local broadcast). Unfortunately, the voice of the Sounders that year was not very good. When Arlo was hired in 2010, I started to enjoy watching the Sounders. Having those extra games on TV to watch made it easy to transition to watching more Premier League when it became available. I was quite happy when it was announced that he was going to be the voice for the US broadcasts on NBC. Hearing him call a Fulham game was a special treat.

I knew from various interviews and podcast appearances that he did while living in Seattle that he was a Leicester City Supporter. I reached out to him on twitter to see if he'd be interested in doing the three questions, and he graciously agreed. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed doing this.

CC: Leicester City FC has been one of the favorites to be promoted the last two years, but haven't made it. They're off to a fairly good start again this year. What do you think of their chances to finally secure promotion?

Arlo White: The Championship is an exceptionally hard league to get promoted out of. It's an unforgiving and relentless 46 game slog. Any team that wins automatic promotion certainly deserves it. Leicester have made a very promising start, but the tale of last season is preventing any Foxes fans from getting carried away. Leicester were sitting pretty in the top 2 last February when they suddenly and spectacularly collapsed. They went on a horror run of 1 win in 13 games and went from being favourites for automatic promotion to being outside of the top 6 heading into the final game. A famous win at rivals Nottingham Forest was followed by play-off heartbreak against Watford, and the dreams were dashed for another season.

Because of Financial Fair Play, Nigel Pearson barely had any money to spend during the summer, so again, expectations were tempered. But the squad that did so well at the start of last season is young and talented, and they've emerged stronger for the experience. Look out for young Frenchman Anthony Knockheart if he starts, he's a very skilful attacking midfielder. Danny Drinkwater, Matty James and Andy King are young talented midfielders and David Nugent is a talented hard working forward. Leicester are capable of playing some very good stuff.

CC: Historically LCFC have done quite well in the cup competitions (much better than Fulham have for sure). Do they take the league cup particularly seriously? Would fans prefer a cup run to securing promotion?

AW: Leicester had a great record in the League Cup under Martin O'Neill in the late 90s and early 2000s. We won it twice and reached another final. I remember a tremendous comeback against Fulham in the quarter-finals in 1999/2000. Fulham were 2-0 up with 5 minutes to go, but Leicester eventually won on penalties after a 3-3 draw. That team had a magnificent spirit with players like Steve Walsh, Robbie Savage, Neil Lennon and Emile Heskey, who brought major success to the club. But those days are long gone and Leicester haven't really hit their stride in cup competitions recently.

A cup run would be very nice. Beating rivals Derby County in the last round with a virtual reserve team was very satisfying, but for Leicester fans, it's all about reaching the Premier League.

CC: Often times when Premier League clubs have to visit lower league sides the pitch conditions are not ideal, however King Power Stadium is a fairly new ground. How is the quality of the pitch and how should Fulham fans expect it to play?

AW: I don't get asked about the state of a pitch very often these days! The KP Stadium is a terrific venue but very similar to many other new builds around the country. It won't be full of course, and the atmosphere rarely reaches what we used to experience on big nights at Filbert Street, but I think that's down to a relative lack of success in recent years. The pitch plays just fine, and hopefully Fulham will have their hands full!