Is it just me or does last season feel like a distant memory? Leicester’s climb to the summit resembled that of a fairy tale with Vardy starring as a 21st century Prince Charming. I’m not sure Disney would keep hold of their U rating with a Jamie Vardy party but nonetheless you see the analogy.
Claudio Ranieri, previously seen as the ugly duckling, finally got to the second act and became the beautiful swan of the Premier League even receiving a guard of honour from Chelsea the team that jettisoned him unceremoniously early on in the Chelski era. Dilly-ding dilly-dong indeed.
Even the ugly sisters of Huth and Morgan defied the laws of nature, reality and physics to grind out 1-0 wins at the pivotal stages of the season like two gallant knights on white steeds.
And yet 2016/17 is going the way most sequels do and soiling the memory of its fore father. Champions League football aside there has been little reason for good cheer at the King Power this season with the team going from a Robin Hood Disney type fox to one of those mangy ones you see foraging through bins on a night home when you are several sheets to the wind.
After witnessing their turgid display against Middlesboro yesterday I can’t see how they can even partially emulate the success of last year. Boro were the more threatening of the two teams and should have won it late on when Ramirez conspired to send it wide. If Traore got his telescopic legs in tune this could have been quite the mauling.
A multitude of reasons could be behind this. Players being offered new vastly improved contracts rarely leads to a reinvigorated colossal effort . A settled starting eleven has been infiltrated by new arrivals that have failed to blend in much the same way as Chris Evans and Top Gear. But, most of all, a N’golo Kante sized hole has appeared like a sinkhole in the Leicester landscape. That lovable looking man-child whose smile has melted many an ardent football fans heart has gone. Worse still it has acted as the catalyst for a reversal of fortunes for Claudio’s previous employers who find themselves on the precipice of equalling the Premier League record for successive wins.
As Gary Lineker tweeted shortly after the 30 million move “Conte goes for Kante which is pretty *unty”
Come May, Gary might not feel like a rhyming ditty and more like dropping C bombs like there’s no tomorrow!