By Steven Downes
Leicester City. My hometown club. One that has played home to some great players over the years, including: Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton, Gary Lineker, Emile Heskey and even Roberto Mancini! Despite this they have never been a big club, in comparison to other Premier League sides. Leicester City’s wonder years came in the years when Martin O’Neill was at the helm. In his five year tenure he guided the club to 3 League Cup finals, winning 2 of those, steady finishes in the Premier League (9th, 10th and 8th) and even taking the club into the heady heights of the UEFA cup.
Recently however, Leicester City have not been able to replicate these achievements, even dropping down to League One for the 2008-2009 season for the first time outside of the top 2 tiers in the club’s history. (Even though they returned to the Championship as League One Champions that season) Leicester City fans are yearning for the successful years again. With 10 managers being appointed in the 10 years since Martin O’Neill left the club, stability surely has to be the key. With the recent, somewhat shock appointment of Sven-Göran Eriksson, could it possibly be the time for such stability?
Sven brings an impressive club record to the table, having managed some of the biggest clubs in the world, and of course who could forget his reign as England boss? Leicester have managed to bag one of the most high profile managers to ever grace the Championship. So can Eriksson turn it around for the Foxes?
It has been a dismal start to the season for Leicester, managing only 8 points out of the first 10 games played. This included a 6-1 drubbing by fellow relegation battlers Portsmouth. Eriksson has inherited a side who know they should definitely be doing better, having achieved a playoff position last season. It’s going to be a tough job for the Swede to restore the fans’ faith. Eriksson’s first task was to take the team onto a tour of Thailand during the international break where they would face the national side in a friendly match. This was where Eriksson recorded his first win, as the game finished 2-0 in favour of Leicester City, an important first win for the new boss.
Eriksson’s appointment has come with mixed reviews. Some fans are a little bit sceptical after his instalment at Notts County as Director of Football. In July 2009 Notts County, the oldest professional league team in the world, were in talks of a takeover by Munto Finance, a Middle Eastern consortium. Eriksson was drafted in, with his aim to try to guide the club back to the top flight. His stay was short lived, and he left in February 2010. Fans are worried that they may see another episode similar to this. Most supporters however are welcoming him with open arms. They see this as an opportunity to bring in some quality players to the club, with Eriksson’s stature and the reported £10million transfer kitty from new Thai owners. This could be just what the club needs for a turn around.
So can Eriksson work his magic and reproduce the glory years of Martin O’Neill and co? I must admit, I’m a fan on the side of welcoming Sven. I believe he is just the man the club needs to kick start their climb back up the table, and with the money readily available, I will most definitely be glued to all available news sources come January to see who will be on their way to the Walkers Stadium!
What everybody needs to remember is: Foxes never quit!