Leicester City FC, 2015-16

Discussion in 'Prem talk, Those Other Leagues, and International' started by jumpkutz, May 1, 2016.

  1. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    They deserve their own thread here, given what they're about to accomplish. Much has been said and written about this team, but, for me, the bottom line is this. They're about to prove what we love so much about sports.
    That the underdog ALWAYS has a chance, and that, sometimes, that chance blossoms into the improbable. Something Heather wrote in the Brentford match thread got me to thinking. She asked, "what were people expecting...a completely new, functional team?" When Leicester sacked Nigel Pearson and hired Claudio Ranieri, everybody, including him, expected a struggle to avoid relegation. Now they're about to make history.
    I'll be cheering when they do it. And I'll be hoping that Fulham is next.
     
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  2. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    I don't know about Fulham, but I do agree that something special is happening in Leicester. I have a pet theory that a major part of Ranieri's success is that his first team squad is relatively shallow. Because there's such a huge dropoff from his core 16 to the other 10-12 guys in the squad, his game-day lineup almost picks itself. If he had even five more top quality players on the payroll, he'd have to shuffle his lineup more and lose the amazing coherence he enjoys from his guys now.

    You may remember that when he was Chelsea's manager, he was one of the first to introduce squad rotation into England. He shuffled the lineup so often he was known as The Tinkerman. He did so then because of all the money Roman put into the club to fill the squad with quality players that needed pitch time. This is much simpler for him, and the guys he has have bonded so well ... .
     
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  3. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    I still can't quite wrap my head around the fact that Ranieri was sacked as Greece manager after 4 matches for losing to the Faroe Islands. You have to wonder what went into the decision by the Thai owners, Susan Whelan and Jon Rudkin to hire him. Needless to say, it barely made a blip on the radar when it happened. Now every front office in the world is dissecting the way they went about it, even though there was probably a healthy dose of dumb luck involved. It's just one piece of the puzzle, but it's a pretty darn big piece. You have to wonder if Pearson could've done the same had he survived. Pretty doubtful.
    You're theory is plausible, Don. Makes a lot of sense. Not much else does in this remarkable story. Whatever happens to Spurs Monday, wouldn't it be fun to be at the King Power Stadium next Saturday?
     
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  4. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    The atmosphere would be absolutely amazing, Jump.
     
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  5. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

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    A lot of credit has gone to Ranieri, and I'm not disputing that. However, retaining Craig Shakespeare & Steve Walsh had a lot to do with it as well. They were Pearson's 2 primary assistants who helped guide Leicester to the Prem. The Foxes got off to a pretty good start that year before the wheels came off. However, they rebounded to go 7-1-1 to close the season & finish 14th. Keeping that continuity had to help.

    You may recall when Pearson was rumored to be talking to Fulham, there was mention that he wanted his assistants bought out of Leicester and whether we could afford that or if they'd even want to leave. That told me he thought they were a vital part of his success. Now Ranieri is lobbying for Leicester to give the pair new deals.

    I'm rooting for the Foxes like everyone else, but I hope Spurs win today so we can have an even bigger spectacle next weekend.
     
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  6. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Didn't get your wish, Ag. Tottenham imploded -- NINE yellow cards on the way to coughing up a two-goal lead.

    There IS no American equivalent to what The Foxes did this season. I doubt even the youngest of us will see anything like it again in professional sports.
     
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  7. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    DVRed the Spurs-Scum match and it was a melee in which a futbol match broke out. From the cheap shots, to the hand stamp on Fabregas (totally on purpose and bush league by Lamela), to Dembele's eye gouging of Diego Costa (in his case you know he probably deserved it), to Hazard adding salt to the wounds and doing the goal slide right in front of the Spurs fans, it was insane. In a perfect world Leicester would've of won it this weekend, but just glad it's over with all the same, especially with the Spurs ridiculous behavior yesterday. They deserved to feel like they lost it.

    Ranieri was not so surprisingly the epitome of class and humility shifting all the credit to the fans, ownership, staff, and especially his players. The Not So Special One Mourinho who repeatedly over the years called Ranieri a 'loser at Chelsea', 'too old to ever change his ways', amongst other insults was his usual self 'I lost my title to Claudio Ranieri, and it is with incredible emotion I share this magic moment in his career'.....What a self absorbed D-Bag! Can't help but smile at the thought of him realizing that whatever he does the rest of his career it will never top what Ranieri accomplished.
     
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    Last edited: May 3, 2016
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  8. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Here's a question...what % of LC fans before the season if given the chance would've taken a guaranteed 17th place?
     
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  9. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

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    What a story - incredible achievement. Movie worthy.
     
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  10. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

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    I doubt very many. They ended last season very strong & had some good results against the top clubs early as well. I thought they were closer to top ten than relegation. Surely their own fans did as well.

    Winning the Prem is a massive underdog story, but I question the odds the bookies choose to set. Far less likely than the Sixers winning the NBA? I don't agree.
     
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    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  11. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    I don't know, Ag. I can remember that even after our Europa League Final, the following season most Fulham fans [on other sites] thought domestic cup competitions were in danger of keeping us from being focused on finishing 17th.

    Besides, how many of us thought that City would be able to replicate their closing dash last season for even 10 matches, never mind the entire season.
     
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  12. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

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    They wouldn't have had to replicate it to finish better than 17th. I touted them to you when they won promotion & again at Chester's right after they'd beaten one of the big boys early in the season. I freely admit, I never imagined them challenging for the League this year, that would have been nuts. But I told you they were the next Swansea/Southampton type & would be in the Prem for a while.

    I also suggested Pearson as a candidate to replace Jol on this site back when they were in the Championship & that staff was still poachable. So if I saw all that from San Antonio, yeah, I bet alot of their fans did too. Not all football fans think their club is cursed.
     
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  13. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Matt, they finished 14th on only 41 points last season, and it's a yearly occurrence where a team or two saves themselves with a great run in only to be back in the relegation scrap again. Add in a new coach seemingly past his best days and most importantly the huge bump in TV revenue starting next season I'd say that a 1/3 of their fans would take 17th.

    Hard to fathom a team going from 41 points to likely 80+ (they're on 77 w/2 left).
     
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  14. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

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    I thought they underachieved at 41 pts. They weren't your average Championship club coming up. They'd put together a squad that crushed the league (31-9-6, 102 pts, +40 gd) and were able to keep that squad together moving into the Prem. I get your point about the manager, but he was the only change. The coaching & backroom staffs remained the same and the only changes to the squad were thought to be upgrades.

    I don't know why you bring up 80 pts. You're question was would most of them have taken 17th going into this season and I think they were expecting better. It's cool, we can disagree. Just pretend it's the college football thread.:)
     
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  15. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

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  16. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Haha, oh how I've missed the CF thread Matt. Looking forward to going to the BYU v UofA game in Phoenix to open the season.

    I brought up 80+ for the simple reason that it's ridiculous to even imagine going from 41 to this. It had nothing to do with my original question, which we agree to disagree and will never know the answer to anyways.
     
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  17. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Andrea Bocelli singing pregame in a LC shirt at center of the pitch w/Ranieri by his side, every hair on my arms stood straight up. Everton class act with guard of honor. Watching one of the Big Boys buy 'er win the trophy and dance about is usually very hollow, this is the exact opposite.
     
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  18. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Very well said, Joe. And the magical run continues with another Vardy goal just 5 minutes in. 2-0 now & the only thing that's not gone perfectly is the weather.
     
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  19. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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