Living football history

Welcome to Tuesday Team Talk. Every week, the H+K Sports team will give a unique perspective on the week’s football action and the stories making the headlines across the beautiful game.

The thing about historic moments is that when you’re in them you often don’t appreciate how great they are. We live in an age where every experience is fleeting. Never stopping to enjoy a particular moment, not lingering on its significance, but instantly moving on to the next thing. Football is no different. As soon as this Premier League season ends focus will shift almost instantly to the Euros, then to which players will move clubs, then we’ll be right back at the start of the next season. However, what Leicester City have done is so significant that it deserves proper attention. Just for once, let’s stop and appreciate history as it happens.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 5 months, you’ll know the details of the Leicester City story pretty well by now, but that doesn't make them any less extraordinary. The former non-league striker who has transformed from an internet joke to Premier League record-breaker. The £400k signing who became the PFA player of the year.  The tinkerman manager who returned to England and turned a club threatened with relegation last season into Premier League Champions. The Jamie Vardy movie is reportedly in pre-production, and with a story this good it’s easy to see why.

Theirs is the classic underdog story. The Premier League has been dominated by big clubs with big budgets for years. Leicester City have come from nowhere to top the table and give Premier League sides the most valuable gift of all - hope.  Next season, maybe we won’t go in just assuming only one of four clubs can win the thing. What’s to stop fans of any of the rest of the Premier League clubs believing next season could be their year? Leicester have re-defined what a Premier League season looks like, at least for one year. For that, the Premier League owes them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

The sheer improbability of this outcome is summed up in the fact that Leicester have won the title as 5000/1 underdogs, odds that have meant crippling pay-outs for bookies across the country. It’s a win that has pundits scrambling to try and find a meaningful comparison, with ESPN in the US completely failing to find anything that comes close - http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:15450550. It’s hard to put a shock like this into context, but it is without doubt one of the greatest single season upsets in the history of sport. A lofty claim, but if you look at how likely it looked at the start of the season, not an overstatement.

So sit back, soak it in. Even if you are a fan of a team that feels like this should have been their year (sorry Tottenham), watch the videos of long suffering Leicester fans celebrating and appreciate this moment for what it is, because it’s unlikely that we see a story this good for some time. This will undoubtedly go down as a historic moment in English Football, so enjoy it while you can. The Euro’s and whatever football’s next thing is, will just have to wait.  

Disagree with me? Tired of hearing about Leicester City? Tweet @hksports to let me know.

James Fenn

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search