The Leicester City Fans' Season Preview: Playoffs Would Be Disappointing

Leicester City have been splashing the cash this summer, bringing in one quality player after another, so perhaps its no surprise that the Sventertainers begin as favourites for the title.
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Leicester City have been splashing the cash this summer, bringing in one quality player after another, so perhaps its no surprise that the Sventertainers begin as favourites for the title

Pre season: Good, bad or ugly?

Well, good. The owners have backed Sven-Göran Eriksson in the transfer market and the Swede has brought in eight new players including record signing Matt Mills from Reading.  Add to this some quality performances in pre-season friendlies, including a spirited 2-1 defeat at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid just a week before the season began, and you can understand why we’re the bookies’ favourite.

Hopes for the season:

Last season Eriksson created a brand of football which saw us have the best home attacking record and the fifth best overall (not bad given we’d won just one of nine before he’d arrived).  The defence however was, well, not so good but Eriksson’s made some key signings at the back so I’ll be hoping for glorious promotion after sweeping to the Championship title with a record points total.  Oh, and Forest and Derby get relegated.

Fears for the season:

Relegation seems unlikely (surely even I can’t have jinxed us…), so I’ll go for mid- table mediocrity which given the infrastructure of the club, the profile of the manager, the backing he’s had and the personnel at his disposal would leave a lot of fans wondering what exactly Plan B is.

Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept

Playoffs and even that would be a disappointment to be honest (although, we do like doing things the hard way – just ask Brian Little and Martin O’Neill)

Fixture you’re most looking forward to?

City fans are always going to check out when the Forest games are first and the Derby matches next. But Leeds United on the last day of the season at ‘friendly’ Elland Road? I’ve got a feeling that one could be tasty, especially if either team’s got something riding on it.

Got the right manager?

After the tabloids did their usual trick of turning an England manager (and a foreigner to boot) into a cartoon figure of fun, it’s easy to forget that not only is Eriksson’s record with England one of the best (three straight quarter-finals, looks pretty good now doesn’t it?) but he’s also one of the most successful European club managers at work today.

Among other trinkets, he’s won the UEFA Cup, the Cup Winners Cup, Lo Scudetto and Portugal’s Premeira Liga as well as losing the 1990 European Cup final to Arrigo Sacchi’s all-conquering Milan side. So, yeah, I reckon we have.

By Christmas you’ll be…

In the top three and going well, so the last thing we’ll need is for David Beckham to turn up on loan in the January transfer window for a six-week stint to boost the club’s profile in the Far East. I, er, mean to strengthen the squad. But that’s probably exactly what’ll happen.

Holland’s favourite son Schteve McLaren won’t be the best ex-England manager in the division.

Player you’d most like to sign?

While we had one of the strongest attacks in the division last season we had one of the weakest defences but Eriksson’s made some excellent signings at the back so hopefully we’ve dealt with that.  Ironically what we’re lacking is a proven 20-goal a season man – last term the goals were spread about with no less than 22 City players making their mark on the score sheet.  So I’d like a striker, please Santa.  For me we could do worse than try and tie up a permanent deal for Yakubu who scored 11 on loan for us last season. However, his £35,000 a week wage demands seem to be a stumbling block at the moment.

Which player should we look out for?

Yuki Abe was a consistent performer in midfield last season, but for some reason he didn’t win the plaudits he deserved, perhaps the new owners and manager over shadowed him. Now also armed with an English qualification the Japanese national star could make a real impression on the Championship.

Which player would you love to ditch?

Moreno – the move simply didn’t work out for the Portuguese. He was signed by compatriot Paulo Sousa but has only played three games since he joined the club. He clearly doesn’t fit in with Eriksson’s plans so a move away would clearly suit all parties.

Opposition hate figure?

Despite his fantastic service at Filbert Street during the Martin O’Neill years I’ve grown to hate Robbie Savage over the last few years, not least because of his constant self-righteous whining on the radio (how he won a Sony award God only knows). But now he’s retired, the division seems somewhat bereft of a pantomime hate figure although I’m sure I’ll find one (and I’ll still hate Savage whenever I hear his stupid high-pitched shriek).

Tell us something we don’t know about your club?

Thanks to the new owners’ canny business plan (which has seen the club sign sponsorship deals with companies like Singha Beer and AirAsia) we now have one of the biggest fan bases of any English club in Thailand.  Don’t believe me? Well, next time you’re in Bangkok International Airport check out the shops selling only Leicester City merchandise. Oh yes…

What won’t happen this season?

Holland’s favourite son Schteve McLaren won’t be the best ex-England manager in the division.

Favourite chant?

It might have been made famous by Louis Armstrong and also sung by Frank Sinatra among others but When You’re Smiling is Leicester fans’ song and we all know that now.

Where will you finish?

We’ve got a top quality manager with wealthy owners ready to back him, so there’s a lot to be hopeful about.  But in a sense, that only increases the pressure and I don’t want to add to that with my own personal jinx.  I’ll say third and dig out my lucky Nineties play-off pants…

Any other news?

Yeah. We hate Nottingham.

Let Us Sventertain You: A Leicester City Fans' Guide To The Transfer Window

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