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From Manchester City last Saturday to Leicester City this Saturday, title favourite to former champions, the journey for us at Brighton continues with a visit to the home of what has been called the “greatest story ever told”.
It is just 15 months since Leicester lifted the Premier League trophy, completing a fairytale in modern sport that may not ever be repeated. Yet the culture of football’s appetite for new stories and heroes seems to have already consigned their amazing achievement to history.
Not for me. I wrote last week about the importance of having belief, self-confidence and that this wonderful sport we love is not played on the financial balance sheet but on the field between teams of 11 players; Leicester are the ultimate example of what can happen.
The legacy of Claudio Ranieri and his players’ title triumph is that they are and will always be an inspiration for teams like us at Brighton and other so-called smaller clubs.
Their example is the very reason we go out and train and play as well as we possibly Authentic Danny Duffy Womens Jersey can because Leicester proved that miracles can happen. Seven of the players who started in that Leicester first team that won the league in 2016 made the journey with their club from the Championship to the Premier League.
While we were focusing on promotion from the Championship that season, there was a real buzz in our dressing room about the incredible results Leicester were securing game by game and week after week. We’d come in for training or even sat in the dressing room after our game and the conversation would turn to the same things: “Surely they can’t keep winning? Spurs will definitely catch them in the end … They’ve been amazing but what about when the pressure is really on?”
I am sure those same questions were being asked in every dressing room up and down the country and all over the world. They reinvigorated the story of the underdog and gave their peers, fans and people from all walks of life the belief that the impossible can be overcome. Surely that is one of the most important roles that football, and sport in general, is capable of fulfilling?
What was so impressive was that you could see the confidence flowing through their veins, the togetherness of the whole squad, the substitutes celebrating goals like they were on the field themselves and the sheer determination to prove that they were worthy winners in a fantasy football season.
We should not forget this was a team with one year’s experience together in the Premier League. Sean Taylor Youth Jersey It is a side that should be forever remembered by us at Brighton and Huddersfield, teams that have already been written off this year due to the fact we have not got the superstar talent of many, well-established Premier League clubs.
But neither did Leicester and we all know who Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kanté are now.
We should also give credit to that team and their club for the way they shook up the hierarchy in English football. If it was not for their remarkable season based on organisation, skill, team spirit and togetherness, would the Manchester clubs have recruited José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola or Chelsea Antonio Conte?
Leicester’s title forced their bigger rivals to look at themselves and ask tough questions. No one can deny that in the time since the quality has improved drastically and the clubs I cited now have managers who have given their teams contrasting identities and different playing styles – all of which have added to the drama and quality of the Premier League. I doubt that would have happened without Leicester waking the giants up with a huge slap.


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