The difficult thing for me about writing this is that the printing press will have started rolling before the game at Stamford Bridge last night!
So here goes… CONGRATULATIONS LEICESTER…
What a brilliant season. Well deserved, a true fairytale come true.
Look, either way, it was gonna happen whether my |prediction “Chelsea will do Leicester a favour against Spurs” was correct or not.
Their players and fans looked disappointed after the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Saturday and that’s understandable to a certain extent.
But it just goes to show what a mental season this has been. Think about it, Leicester – a team almost relegated last season – disappointed that they only drew at Old Trafford!
The question being debated now is “have we just witnessed a once-off or can Leicester strengthen and give it a go again next season?”
As much as I’d love to believe the latter, I just can’t.
Foxes chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha has made a few hundred million pounds since his initial investment into the club so there’s no shortage of cash.
But with the inevitable loss of key players in the |off-season, it will mean having to reshape the squad.
But this isn’t just about the players and coach as |with Manchester United’s “class of 92” or Arsenal’s “Invincibles”.
The secret of this all-time great sporting story is a |delicate combination of |circumstance that, without all elements aligned, could not have produced the final result.
A key thing to look at is the pathetic campaigns waged by all the traditionally “big” clubs this time around.
Look at Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool.
Should we expect that none of them will find form next season? Especially with the likes of Pep Guadiola, Antonio Conte and possibly Jose |Mourinho in the fold?
And let’s not forget Spurs who have been steadily improving and are now |looking like a genuine top-four contending side.
Leicester have proved that they can handle pressure, but what if there’s two, three or four clubs all challenging at the top?
Of course there’s also a major strategic decision to be made.
Will Leicester allocate huge budget with the intention of competing in Europe?
Or will the club try and hold onto the incredible jigsaw combination they have, the one that doesn’t need star individuals to give an edge?
Which route will they take? And will the added Champions League fixtures, expectation of fans and media and “beat the champions” mentality of all opposing clubs next season take its toll?
Yep, I’m so happy that they’ve done it this year but unfortunately I believe it’s a once-off.
However, let me not take ANYTHING away. It’s a fantastic story for football, sport and humankind!
It’s all about “hope”, it’s what keeps people fighting through hardship, it’s the underlying emotion that creates the rock bed for revolution, it’s about |the corner shop beating the |corporate, it’s a story of biblical proportion.
Even Hollywood is gearing up a feature film.
Well done Mr Ranieri, the team, fans and everyone at the club, who together have made this happen! Oh, and sorry in advance for next season…