Patience has proven key for Premier League chasing Leicester City.
When Leicester were dumped out of the play-offs last season in a freak few seconds that will no doubt burn in the minds of the Leicester fans and owners, there was a lot of talk of Nigel Pearson being sacked.
It would have been incredibly cruel to drop the man that had come within a penalty miss of seeing the Foxes through to the play-off final and possibly the Premier league. That was the unfortunate rumour circulating the club at the time and the rumour didn’t die down for a couple months. There were strong talk of replacements; you could forgive the fans for almost forgetting that they had a man in charge.
Twelve games into the current season and the patience of Leicester owners and fans seem to have paid off.
In the summer after the drama had settled down and the realisation of another Championship season, the club had to re-evaluate their strategy. Known as a club that had been spending ridiculous sums of money in a desperate attempt for Premier League football, Leicester needed to change to avoid FFP scrutiny. They allowed a number of high earners to walk out the door and stuck largely by the side that had failed previously in the play-offs.
A quarter of the season has now passed and they find themselves 3rd in the division a point within automatic promotion places.
It’s hard to gauge where a team will finish, or how well they will do so early on in the season but the signs look good. Already one of the strongest defensive sides in the league, they have found another defensive gem in Liam Moore. The England Under-21 international has been in fine form early on this season, winning accolades for his impressive form in the early part of the season, keeping out experienced proven championship players like Zak Whitbread, who is now on loan at rivals Derby. They’ve also not had any problem in finding the net, scoring 5 more goals than QPR who is 2nd and one point above them.
Two relative slips in concentration against Charlton and Doncaster are their only black marks on a very impressive start to the season. Nigel Pearson will drill profusely how important concentration is in this division, last season’s play-off semi-final against Watford as a prime example.
They look incredibly strong for a promotion push this season, one of the best squads in the league and now showing the grit and determination of a team that is finally ready to make the next step up. They have some strong competition to hold on to a play-off place, never mind finish in the automatics but I think for most people they will be one of the nailed on certainties.
How do you Leicester fans feel about your start to the season? Reasons to be optimistic or even pessimistic? Let us know.
image: © lefty1007