Over 80 years ago, in the 1928-29 season, Leicester City had a chance to win what was the then First Division, now known as the English Premier League, having finished third the season before.
However, it wasn’t to be and Leicester lost out to Sheffield Wednesday in the battle for top spot. Despite a finish of eighth the following season, the Foxes were never to reach those dizzy heights again. Becoming a yo-yo club between the top two divisions and even spending a season in the third tier, it is only this term that we can look to be considered serious title contenders.
Even in the magical Martin O’Neill years, it was cup glory rather than title glory that came Leicester’s way in an era when the so called top clubs did not take the League Cup seriously.
But all that changed this season. Written off as relegation certainties by every man and his dog before a ball had even be kicked, in anger the pundits seemed likely to be proven right when the club parted ways with Nigel Pearson.
The appointment of Claudio Ranieri as Pearson’s replacement did little to lift the gloom that was predicted by the experts, even following last season’s Great Escape.
But what happened next was to surprise everyone. Do Leicester deserve to be where they are? Of course they do. The table as we are often told, does not lie.
That said though, the Gods seem to be smiling down upon us. You could call this our ‘Perfect Storm’ of a season. Whilst you can only play the teams that turn out to face you, it is unlikely that there will ever be a better season for a so called ‘non glamour’ club to win the Premier League title.
Who could have predicted the implosion that happened at Chelsea? Jose Mourinho not only lost the dressing room, he also lost his job despite the Blues only being crowned champions the previous May. They found themselves flirting with relegation which, as the saying goes, was “Unbelievable Jeff!”
Liverpool also soon discovered it was to be another season of under-achievement, maybe showing that their flirtation with a title challenge of a few season ago was just a slip (sorry Stevie G) in their mid-table mediocrity that was to see manager Brendan Rodgers lose his job.
Talking of mid-table mediocrity, Manchester United have proven to be no more successful under Louis van Gaal than they did under David Moyes despite a fortune being spent on new players, a situation that may yet see the Dutchman leave Old Trafford at the end of the season.
Manchester City, the league’s top spenders, flattered to deceive as their multi-million pound buys proved that purchasing top players does not buy a team. The announcement of Pep Guardiola’s arrival for next season in February did little to help their cause in the title challenge either.
So this was to be Arsenal’s season, surely? Well that was how the script seemed to be written, but despite doing the double over leaders Leicester, they constantly shot themselves in the foot, failing to take advantage of their opponents’ frailties.
But that’s what Leicester did. With only Spurs seeming to be able to put up a fight for the title, even this seems to be slipping away as Claudio Ranieri’s side have opened up a seven-point gap.
It’s ours to lose it seems. And if we do lose it we could forever regret it. Whilst there is no doubt Leicester as a club and team will move forward from this, an influx of money from the new Premier League TV deal and possible Champions League money, along with owners who have a bob or two to spend, should ensure that we can at last punch above our weight when we look at potential signings. And if we do finish top, the quality of player we could attract should also go up.
But if we miss out, will there ever be another season when the teams around us shoot themselves in the foot with such ease?