Transfers, stars, management and owners, the key decissions at
Leicester City FC
DATE: 25.10.2017 - THE CUNNING FOX - NEWSDESK
Looking back in the
history of Leicester City FC you can find a pattern that is really
scary and tells a story of a club that often is tempted to "sell a
star" and seldom finds the ideal replacement
During the 60's former manager Matt Gillies
almost never set a foot wrong. City finished almost every season in
a good position, they reached the FA Cup final twice and won the
League Cup and plade another final.
City had one real big star back then the England number one, Gordon
Banks. He won the World Cup in 1966 and was always Mr. Reliable for
Leicester. Few understood anything when Matt Gillies decided to sell
him to Stoke City for £ 67 000.
At the time a new world record fee for a goalkeeper. The replacement
chosen was a player not yet 18 years old. Peter Shilton was a young
and promising man, but the decline started with the departure of
Gillies left the club a few months into the next season after 11
years in charge, and he never got the chance to reastiblish the club,
who then appointed Frank O'Farrell and later Jimmy Bloomfield.
Bloomfield also had to sell stars but he manage in a unique way to
manage to avoid relegation. David Nish, Peter Shilton and Bob Lee
left the club for high figure fees. The team struggled, and just
after Shilton left, City were close to relegation.
Bloomfield struggled with his decission making using three different
goalkeepers in Carl Jayes, John Farmer and Mark Wallington, before
giving the gloves permanent to Wallington who became a rock steady
goalkeeper for City during the next 12 seasons.
Bloomfield left the club in the summer of 1977, and a certain Frank
McLintock came in. The club looked ok and the squad, despite being a
bit old on avarage, had the quality needed to get a good season.
McLintock made a fafal mistake when he decided to let Frank
Worthington leave. Bolton came in and Worthington stepped down a
division and just a few months after City were relegated after 6
seasons in the top flight.
McLintock made massive and fatal mistakes in the transfer market and
instead of finding the one player needed to replace Worthington he
decided to buy seven or eight new faces, why who knows, mad
City managed to build a new and good side, based on the formula of
past. Good young players coming up from their own ranks, gold found
in the shadows of football and a few old and experienced moves from
But as players rise to the top they get attractive and City had a
new star man in their team. Gary Lineker was sold to Everton and the
replacement Mark Bright never became a hit at Leicester. A new
relegation happened a couple of seasons after and the manager left.
The next big rise in performance was the days of Martin O'Neill in
the late 90's. Emile Heskey was the young up and coming player. Gary
Lineker, Peter Shilton and now Emile Heskey, all three great players
born in Leicester, going all the way to become England players.
Heskey wanted, as Lineker and Shilton, a move away from Leicester.
Liverpool came in and signed Heskey for a new club record fee.
O'Neill himself thought he had done what he could, and left the club
a few months after.
Peter Taylor was appointed as manager and with no previous
experience from the top flight, he used the money from the Heskey
sale on a new group of players, upset balance and the signings were
not good enough.
He also decided to sell the other key player in Neil Lennon, who
desperately wanted to leave, despite being a team on top of the
Premier League table when that decission was made. The replacements,
Matthew Jones and Junior Lewis were jokes compared to Neil Lennon.
The players that was present and most important during that 2015-16
season, Vardy, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Morgan and Kantè was more or less
unknown when signing for City, and rised through a group that
Ranieri had to let Kantè leave and also struggled to convince Vardy
and Mahrez to stay, and he was also trying to fix the gap after
Kantè with a lot of new signings and he was punished hard just
months after, not being able to keep the momentum and producing the
Craig Shakespeare inherited a squad unbalanced and also started to
add quantity instead of great quality, with new stars bought for
large amounts of money and none really better than the once playing
in the first 11, placing most of his new signings on the bench.
Leicester City owners can't manage to get contracts settled in a way
that makes it possible for management to work long term, and players
are looking for other options, so why add quantity.
Getting money and being able to sign players makes former City
managers "stupid", they are soon after getting the money, getting
the sack, so why not just look for that one player to replace the
star instead of buying 10 not good enough.
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