A few months ago, if someone had told you, or me for that matter that Leicester would be top of the table in the last week of January, we’d be laughing him off and his prediction. Leicester, on January 31, 2015, were rock bottom of the table with 23 games played. No one expected them to come off the relegation zones, let alone transform drastically and compete for the title by January 31st 2016. But the unthinkable is now true, the dream is now reality. Leicester have shown the Premier League that money is not what’s neededto turn around a team’s fortune and Ranieri has shown that he isn’t the “Tinkerman” anymore, he means business.
[nextpage title=”1st page” ]
Sure the season isn’t over, Arsenal and Man City have all the capability and depth to catch up to them but Leicester’s season will go down into the history books, one of the many fairy tale stories football has carried throughout history. In the very least, Leicester will probably finish within the champions league spots, rounding up a season everyone will remember as the one where the minnows made the giants make a run for their results.
Many credit Leicester’s rise to Man City and Arsenal continuously blowing up their chance to be on top of the table along with Man utd playing lacklustre football, and Chelsea? that’s a whole different story. But it is much more than that, the Premier League top teams’ quality might have waned off but it isn’t the reason why Leicester are in charge of the Premier League
[nextpage title=”2nd page” ]
Most of their success should be credited to Claudio Ranieri. Dubbed the “Tinkerman” the Leicester board had done a good job to bring him to Leicester after the departure of Nigel Pearson, who had done well to keep Leicester out of relegation (Thanks to an indomitable unbeaten streak hampered by just one loss to the eventual champions Chelsea). Claudio Ranieri has brought the best out of the players. On the contrary to his name, he has let the players play the game they like the way they like it. The result:- They’re a happy bunch playing world class football and ruling the top spot of the most competitive league in Europe. The transformations of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Huth, Drinkwater and most important of all, Kante has been mesmerising, the players have been growing and playing from strength to strength every game and they aren’t showing any signs of stopping right now.
Riyad Mahrez is undoubtedly the flashy player of them all, playing brilliant balls in to create chances, assisting goals and notching a few up himself, while Jamie Vardy’s story has been awe inspiring, from playing non league football in the 8th tier 7 years ago, he’s now one of the premier league’s top scorers and the hottest properties around. Which leaves us the contributions of Kante and Drinkwater, unsung heroes of Leicester football club this season. While Drinkwater has been brilliant in counter attacks, notching up the crucial cross or two, Kante has been a rock in midfield, with timely interceptions and tackles, providing defensive solidarity to the team.
All said and told, the fact of the matter is, Leicester now are on top of the table, having 15 games left to play, while their nearest rivals Man City and Arsenal have 25+ games to play. They sure have the depth to catch up with Leicester but can they? their constant slip ups have been taken advantage of by Leicester, and how. Leicester’s squad depth is sure to be tested in these last 15 games, which calls for quick intelligent transfers in the window, with numerous rumours circling around of the arrival of Remy, surely a man who can play in the absence of Vardy. As Leicester’s fans pray for their team to hold on to these last 15 games, Arsenal and Man city will be furiously stepping up their title charge, as neither of them have done well to keep consistency, given their pool of talented players.
As the Premier League heads for another nail-biting finish come May, Leicester’s fans and neutrals alike will be praying for the impossible to happen. They might win the league, or they might end up 3rd, or they might end up out of the champions league spots itself, the possibilities are baffling in this league. Win or not, this season will go down into the footballing record books and King Power stadium will stand as a monument to the premier league’s so called “minnows”. It might be tactics, it might be magic but the fact remains; Leicester have shown the footballing the world that the Impossible CAN be accomplished.