3 MAY 2016
That’s it. It’s done. Monday night’s dramatic scenes at Stamford Bridge gave way to chaotic scenes in, of all places, Jamie Vardy’s kitchen, where Leicester City celebrated winning their first top-flight title ever.
Time to power through the shock and look at exactly how it was that this title came about…
9. Claudio Ranieri
When Nigel Pearson left in acrimonious circumstances over the summer and was replaced by Claudio Ranieri, some fans were – shall we say – less than impressed.
Less than a year later, there are no doubters left. The Italian’s calm, humble presence at the top of the club did so much to keep the players and fans grounded in a run where it would’ve been possible for things to get very silly, very fast.
All hail King Claudio.
8. Against the Odds
Look, we all know. But it has to be said, for the sake of completeness, over and over again. Leicester City were 5000-1 to win the Premier League at the start of the season.
7. With Consistency
A hallmark of the team managed by the so-called ‘Tinkerman’ has been their incredible consistency of selection throughout the season. Over the 36 games they’ve played so far, Ranieri has made just 27 changes to his lineup. The next lowest this season? Bournemouth, with 50.
6. With Inexperience
That’s not necessarily the inexperience of youth – there are some veteran players in this Leicester squad – but they had eight title medals between them going into the season. No team with fewer title winners has won the Premier League since Blackburn in 1995.
5. With (Relatively) Little Spending
Look, let’s not pretend that Leicester did this on a complete shoestring budget. Owner worth billions who wiped out £50m-odd of debt, and the rest of it. But compared to their rivals at the top – yeah, they essentially did this with an outlay of 67p and half a Mars Bar.
You want stats? We can do stats. Manchester United have spent more on transfers in the last two seasons than Leicester have in their history as a club.
4. By Playing the Big Games Well
Leicester have come up against a lot of big teams looking to tear them down this season – but Arsenal are the only team currently in the Premier League’s top seven to have beaten them in their title-winning campaign.
Compare that to a team like Manchester City, who looked like walking away with the title in September. They’ve won one game against the current top eight all season – that victory coming against Southampton in November.
3. Out of Nowhere
There really isn’t a precedent for this kind of success in the Premier League era. With two games left in the season, they have 35 more points than they picked up when they narrowly avoided relegation this time last year. No English top-flight team has ever improved that much since the move to three points for a win.
2. Without the Ball
For all of their victories and fearless play, Leicester have basically won the league without the ball this season. Their current possession percentage of 42.3% is the lowest for any Premier League winning side – and puts them 18th out of 20 in the league this season.
The numbers also look like they’ve been sloppy on the ball, sitting dead last in pass completion for the season. The numbers don’t necessarily damn the team though – a lot of those misplaced passes are from long balls over the top starting quick counters rather than five minutes of passing the ball between the back four.
1. With the King of the Backups
Mark Schwarzer might be the most undecorated decorated man in English football. Didn’t pick up an official medal when he won the Premier League last season with Chelsea, as he didn’t play a game, and looks set to do exactly the same this season. Back-to-back!
Courtesy of footmob