Tag Archives: Leicester

Can Leicester go the distance?

There has already been talk of a film about Jamie Vardy’s life, but Leicester City’s season is also shaping up to be a story suitable for the silver screen.

The in-kind Foxes have gone from relegation favourites to title contenders in a matter of months, but can their fairytale commence to the 2015-16 campaign really have a Hollywood ending?

History suggests not – the last time a correct outsider went the distance in a title race was in the Premier League’s first season, 1992-93. Norwich City led for longer than anybody else and topped the table as late as April, but finished third.

So, can Claudio Ranieri’s side copy the Canaries, or even out-do them?

Chris Sutton, a teenage centre-half turned striker in that Norwich group, tells BBC Sport how it feels to be unlikely leaders, what Leicester need to have to do subsequent – and what could go incorrect.

Best in December – ‘We did not take it seriously’

Norwich manager Mike Walker and strike duo Chris Sutton and Mark Robins

Norwich manager Mike Walker played a fresh-faced Chris Sutton up front alongside Mark Robins, who scored 14 league ambitions in 1992-93 soon after joining from Manchester United

Leicester can go back to the best of the table if they beat defending champions Chelsea on Monday. No team top following 16 games has finished decrease than fourth in the Premier League. In 18 of the past 23 seasons, the team top at that stage completed second or greater, and on 13 occasions they ended up champions.

Sutton: “We had been eight points clear at the commence of December, but we have been absolutely not thinking about winning the title.

“There was talk of it outside the club but, amongst the players, we did not take it too seriously. Hunting back, that helped a lot.

“All the rhetoric coming out of Leicester in the last handful of weeks is the very same. Whether or not it is the manager or their players, when they are asked queries about the title, they just answer by talking about receiving sufficient points to stay up.

“We were the very same. We had finished 18th the previous season and stayed up by 3 points, so when we got to 30 points in November we just thought, ‘great, we are not going down’.”

Best of the Premier League on 11 December 1992

P W D L PTS

1. Norwich

18

12

three

3

39

2. Blackburn

18

8

7

3

31

three. Aston Villa

18

eight

7

three

31

No pressure – ‘It didn’t matter when we lost’

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy

Norwich had Robins scoring their goals – Leicester have Jamie Vardy, who has 14 league targets currently

Norwich lost 7-1 to Blackburn and four-1 to Liverpool in October 1992 but suffered only 1 other defeat in their very first 18 league matches. Leicester’s only league defeat so far is a five-two house defeat by Arsenal on three October. They responded by winning six of their subsequent eight games.

Sutton: “Like Leicester, we had been an attacking group with a purpose threat that was complete of self-confidence right after creating a tremendous start.

“One more similarity was that we did not give up – we came back from 2- down to beat Arsenal 4-two in our opening game and usually had that belief.

“We went from game to game without having worrying about anything, and it looks like they are doing the identical.

“Each and every group has a blip but even when we lost heavily or had a run of games more than Christmas where our final results dropped off, it did not really influence us simply because nobody expected us to be up there anyway.

“There was no stress – in the initial half of the season it was a single of these times exactly where we did not believe about our predicament really considerably.”

Nonetheless prime in April – ‘We started thinking ‘what if?”

Man Utd's Eric Cantona and Norwich's Chris Sutton challenge for the ball in April 1993

Sutton’s Norwich took on Manchester United in April 1993. “If we had won that game then we would have gone on to win the league,” Sutton says now

Norwich led the league for 129 days out of 270 in 1992-93, compared to Manchester United’s 69 days and Aston Villa’s 32. The Canaries have been last prime on 3 April – if they had beaten United on five April, they would have returned to the summit and gone five points clear of the eventual champions, and a point above Villa.

Sutton: “The longer you keep up there, and the closer you get to seeing it via, the tougher it gets.

“We got via March and we had been back on the leading of the table and it hit us. All of a sudden we started thinking about whether or not we could really do it.

Prime of the Premier League table on three April 1993 – ahead of Norwich v Man Utd

P W D L PTS

1. Norwich

36

19

8

9

65

2. Aston Villa

35

18

ten

7

64

3. Man Utd

35

17

12

six

63

“Everywhere you went in Norwich, men and women would ask, ‘can we win it?’ We were considering, ‘how are we nevertheless in the race?’. We also started to wonder, ‘what if we do win it?’

“It was a sort of pressure that was new to all of us, the manager Mike Walker and the players, and we faltered at the massive moments.

“We had two crunch games prior to Easter against the two other teams difficult and, though we beat Aston Villa, we lost at house to Manchester United, who had just gone 4 games without having a win.

Best of the Premier League table on 5 April 1993 – following Norwich v Man Utd

P W D L PTS

1. Aston Villa

36

19

ten

7

67

2. Man Utd

36

18

12

six

66

3. Norwich

37

19

eight

10

65

“I look back and genuinely think that if we had won that game then we would have gone on to win the league since that would have fully knocked the stuffing out of United at a crucial time.

“Rather we have been the ones who have been left deflated, and we only won two of our final 5 games.”

1992-93 Premier League table – final standings

P W D L PTS

1. Man Utd

42

24

12

six

84

2. Aston Villa

42

21

11

10

74

three. Norwich

42

21

9

12

72

What were Norwich missing? ‘A title mentality’

Leicester duo Kasper Schmeichel and Robert Huth

Robert Huth won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2005 and 2006 but only started a total of 13 games

Former Chelsea defender Robert Huth is the only member of the Leicester squad to have won a leading-flight title in any of the massive 5 leagues in Europe (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain). Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri has also never ever won a prime-flight title in his 29-year managerial career, even though he has had best-four finishes with 4 distinct clubs in Italy and was a runner-up with Chelsea in 2004 and Monaco in 2014.

Sutton: “Norwich came up a small bit quick but at the time we never ever truly talked about it in terms of how we almost won the title, mostly because we could not think what had just occurred.

Norwich City's team 1992-93

Seven Englishmen, three Welshmen and a Scot – a standard Norwich group from the 1992-93 season

“When I won the title with Blackburn in 1995, there was a completely diverse mentality around the club all through the whole season.

“I had arrived in the summer time of 1994 at a group that had just finished runners-up and finishing initial was the target from day one – there was far far more expectation, and pressure.

“But there was also a lot more encounter of how to handle it, from the players who had completed second the season just before to the manager, Kenny Dalglish, who had won titles with Liverpool.

“We had some big characters in the dressing space like Alan Shearer and Tim Flowers, and the sort of steely resolve you want. Even then, we practically threw the title away.”

Can Leicester do it? ‘They will never ever get a much better chance’

Leicester v Chelsea: Focus Forum previews Monday’s game

In the 11 seasons ahead of the Premier League started in 1992, 13 different teams completed in the prime 3 of England’s best flight. In the very first 11 seasons of the Premier League, 10 clubs did. Given that 2003, only 5 teams have managed best-three finishes: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Sutton: “Norwich have been a selling club who have been never ever going to chuck massive funds at a mid-season signing to try to win the title.

“But Leicester could be diverse. With the funds there is in the Premier League at the moment, why not splash out in the January transfer window like Sir Alex Ferguson suggested  this week? It would be very interesting if they did.

“They have given themselves a wonderful platform and these possibilities don’t come about extremely typically.

“They never require seven or eight players, just 1 or two in case Jamie Vardy or Riyad Mahrez get injured. The wheels could nonetheless come off horribly, but why not have a go?

“It is early days and I still expect 1 of the big clubs to put a run together and come out of the pack to win the title, but even if Leicester do not win the league, a best-four finish now appears a realistic aim for them.

“That would nevertheless be an outstanding feat and making the Champions League could be the next chapter for them, the identical way qualifying for the Uefa Cup was for Norwich with our well-known win more than Bayern Munich the following season.”

Leicester cannot win league – Mahrez

Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez has dismissed his team’s chances of winning the Premier League, despite getting leading.

The Foxes narrowly avoided relegation last season but are two points clear at the summit soon after 15 games.

But Mahrez, who took his purpose tally to 11 with Saturday’s treble at Swansea, is more concerned at getting the eight more points needed to attain 40, a total generally sufficient for survival.

“I never think we can win the league,” the 24-year-old told BBC Planet Service.

“We just require to get the 40 points and then soon after that we will see.”

Current top six

The Algeria international’s form, along with that of 14-aim group-mate Jamie Vardy, has been instrumental in Leicester’s rise.

“I am not surprised because I knew I could do the items that I have done,” Mahrez added.

“Football is just self-assurance. When you start off scoring and you carry on it offers you a lot more self-assurance so perhaps that has helped me.”

Don’t take me for a ‘sucker’

Marseille president Vincent Labrune reportedly dismissed the idea  of the French club signing Mahrez when the player was recommended to him as a potential target in December 2014.

“Do you genuinely believe that Leicester players now have a place at Olympique Marseille?” Labrune is quoted as saying. “I never place up with men and women taking me for a sucker.”

“He thinks what he thinks. I know what I am, I know what I’m carrying out in the football, I know what I can do,” Mahrez mentioned.

“The individuals who do not know football – I do not want to speak about them.

“Everyone’s not going to really like you. Often some people adore you, some individuals hate you, some men and women do not like your football. That’s life so I do not care, I do not mind.”

Where does the group leading after 15 games finish?

Season Team Final position Season Group Final position

1993

Norwich

3rd

2005

Chelsea

1st

1994

Man Utd

1st

2006

Chelsea

1st

1995

Man Utd

2nd

2007

Man Utd

1st

1996

Newcastle

2nd

2008

Arsenal

3rd

1997

Arsenal

3rd

2009

Liverpool

2nd

1998

Man Utd

2nd

2010

Chelsea

1st

1999

Aston Villa

6th

2011

Man Utd

1st

2000

Man Utd

1st

2012

Man City

1st

2001

Man Utd

1st

2013

Man Utd

1st

2002

Liverpool

2nd

2014

Arsenal

3rd

2003

Arsenal

2nd

2015

Chelsea

1st

2004

Chelsea

2nd

2016

Leicester

?

Swansea City -3 Leicester City

Complete time

Full Time Match ends, Swansea City , Leicester City three.

90:00 +3:10 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Swansea City , Leicester City three.

90:00 +2:44

Try blocked. Andy King (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jeffrey Schlupp.

90:00 +1:09

Try missed. André Ayew (Swansea City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is higher and wide to the left. Assisted by Bafétimbi Gomis.

90:00 +:42 Booking

Booking Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a poor foul.

90:00 +:35

Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) wins a cost-free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +:35

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

89:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Leicester City. Jeffrey Schlupp replaces Riyad Mahrez.

88:54

Try missed. Christian Fuchs (Leicester City) proper footed shot from outdoors the box is also higher following a corner.

88:26

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

88:25

Attempt blocked. Robert Huth (Leicester City) proper footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.

88:02

Foul by Neil Taylor (Swansea City).

88:02

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a cost-free kick on the proper wing.

87:26

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ashley Williams.

87:25

Attempt blocked. Danny Simpson (Leicester City) appropriate footed shot from outdoors the box is blocked. Assisted by Andy King with a cross.

86:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Leicester City. Andy King replaces Leonardo Ulloa.

86:09

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ashley Williams.

86:02

Attempt blocked. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) proper footed shot from outdoors the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Drinkwater.

85:23

Attempt blocked. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) correct footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Drinkwater.

84:43

Try saved. André Ayew (Swansea City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom proper corner. Assisted by Modou Barrow.

84:16

Modou Barrow (Swansea City) wins a cost-free kick in the defensive half.

84:16

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

82:12

Try missed. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) proper footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the correct. Assisted by Jefferson Montero.

81:14

Attempt missed. Ashley Williams (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box misses to the correct. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross following a corner.

80:52

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Robert Huth.

79:48

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) hits the appropriate post with a right footed shot from outdoors the box. Assisted by André Ayew.

77:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Swansea City. Jack Cork replaces Ki Sung-yueng.

75:34

Try saved. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) correct footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the aim.

74:55

André Ayew (Swansea City) wins a free of charge kick in the defensive half.

74:55

Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).

74:17

Try missed. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) appropriate footed shot from a hard angle on the appropriate is close, but misses to the correct. Assisted by N’Golo Kanté.

73:26 Booking

Booking Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card for a undesirable foul.

73:ten

Try missed. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) proper footed shot from the centre of the box is higher and wide to the left. Assisted by Daniel Drinkwater.

69:13 Booking

Booking Danny Simpson (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a poor foul.

69:06

Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) wins a totally free kick in the defensive half.

69:06

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

66:45 Goal scored

Aim! Aim! Swansea City , Leicester City 3. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.

65:34

Offside, Leicester City. Riyad Mahrez tries a via ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

65:08

Kyle Bartley (Swansea City) wins a free of charge kick in the defensive half.

65:08

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

63:37

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

63:01

Modou Barrow (Swansea City) wins a cost-free kick on the proper wing.

63:01

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

62:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Swansea City. Modou Barrow replaces Leon Britton.

61:47

Offside, Leicester City. Danny Simpson tries a by way of ball, but Riyad Mahrez is caught offside.

60:29

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

59:22

Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:22

Foul by Robert Huth (Leicester City).

58:39

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

58:37

Try blocked. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) appropriate footed shot from the proper side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leonardo Ulloa.

57:19

Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

57:19

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

53:56

Offside, Swansea City. Neil Taylor tries a via ball, but Gylfi Sigurdsson is caught offside.

51:44

Attempt missed. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is as well high. Assisted by Jefferson Montero.

50:38

Try missed. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is higher and wide to the left. Assisted by Jamie Vardy with a headed pass following a rapidly break.

50:26

Attempt missed. Kyle Naughton (Swansea City) appropriate footed shot from outdoors the box misses to the left.

49:38

Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) wins a totally free kick on the appropriate wing.

49:38

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

48:24

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) wins a cost-free kick on the appropriate wing.

48:24

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

46:53 Booking

Booking Leon Britton (Swansea City) is shown the yellow card.

46:16

Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross following a set piece predicament.

45:38

Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) wins a cost-free kick on the appropriate wing.

45:38

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

45:00

Second Half starts Swansea City , Leicester City 2.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Swansea City. Jefferson Montero replaces Wayne Routledge.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time 1st Half ends, Swansea City , Leicester City 2.

45:00 +1:17

Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) wins a free of charge kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +1:17

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

45:00 +:40

Try missed. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) appropriate footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Wayne Routledge with a cross.

38:40

Try missed. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the correct. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

35:48

Foul by Neil Taylor (Swansea City).

35:48

Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) wins a free of charge kick in the attacking half.

31:29

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ashley Williams.

29:46

Ashley Williams (Swansea City) wins a free of charge kick in the defensive half.

29:46

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

29:02

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

24:25

Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the objective. Assisted by Leonardo Ulloa.

23:00 Booking

Booking N’Golo Kanté (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

22:56

Wayne Routledge (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:56

Foul by N’Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

21:50 Goal scored

Purpose! Purpose! Swansea City , Leicester City 2. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by N’Golo Kanté with a by means of ball.

20:44

Wayne Routledge (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:44

Foul by N’Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

18:04

Kyle Bartley (Swansea City) wins a totally free kick in the defensive half.

18:04

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

14:32

Try saved. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) proper footed shot from outside the box is saved in the prime centre of the aim.

13:38

Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City) wins a free of charge kick in the defensive half.

13:38

Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).

12:20

Offside, Swansea City. Ashley Williams tries a by means of ball, but Wayne Routledge is caught offside.

9:43

Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

8:08

Foul by André Ayew (Swansea City).

8:08

Danny Simpson (Leicester City) wins a free of charge kick on the correct wing.

five:44

Kyle Naughton (Swansea City) wins a free of charge kick on the appropriate wing.

5:44

Foul by N’Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

4:40 Goal scored

Purpose! Objective! Swansea City , Leicester City 1. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) with an try from extremely close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross following a corner.

four:14

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

3:11

Neil Taylor (Swansea City) wins a free of charge kick in the defensive half.

3:11

Foul by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

:00

First Half starts.

:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.