5000/1 Leicester the perfect antidote to ‘greed is good’ mentality

Date published: Tuesday 9th February 2016 11:55

Leicester City: Five points clear at the top

Leicester City: Five points clear at the top

Leicester City are 13 games away from pulling off the biggest sports betting wager in history. Derek Bilton looks at how they’ve shaken the established order of football.

Another weekend, another win for Leicester City, who are morphing from a moderately successful football club to a collective morality tale for the ages.

We all know what happened when David took on Goliath, the giant, seemingly unbeatable Philistine warrior. It is after all the greatest underdog story ever told. Perhaps until now.

Paddy Power and Joe Coral weren’t around in those days of course but I’ll wager if they were they wouldn’t have installed David, the future king of Israel, as a 5000/1 chance to get the win. That is the price Leicester were in the betting at the start of the 2015/16 season. Just let that sink in for a moment. 5000/1.

They are now favourites with most bookies’ after Saturday’s brilliant 3-1 win at Manchester City and if they pull off the improbable, nay impossible, they will be the single biggest priced winners in the history of gambling. Ever. To put it into context, James ‘Buster’ Douglas was a mere 42/1 in the betting the night he rewrote boxing history by handing ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson his first professional defeat.

Most of the country are now willing the Foxes on of course and this has everything to do with our innate inclination to back the underdog in such circumstances. But there’s more to it than that.  If Leicester win the Premier League it will surely be the most seismic shock in sports history. A year ago this very week they were bottom of the league, four points from safety and favourites for a return to the Championship. Yet seven win from their last nine games meant they stayed up with a bit to spare in the end.

N'Golo Kante: Starring in the Leicester engine room

They are now top of the richest league in the world despite putting out a team that cost less than £22million. They are the antidote to the ‘greed is good’ mentality of the Premier League, and living proof that a shrewd recruitment policy and indomitable team spirit can trump teams with seemingly limitless resources. There is something refreshingly honest about this Leicester side.

They are certainly not lacking in skill (see Riyad Mahrez), pace (Jamie Vardy) or controlled aggression (diminutive midfield pillager N’Golo Kante) but when you watch this team it becomes glaringly obvious that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Their collective displays, such as at the Etihad on Saturday, have been remarkable. And with every goal scored and win bagged they are shaking the established order of football in this country to its very foundations.

Every week the Sky pundits are asked whether the Leicester bubble is about to burst, and every week almost to a man the likes of Paul Merson, Matt Le Tissier and others launch into some patronising diatribe about how well the Foxes are performing before concluding that Manchester City, Spurs or Arsenal will end up overhauling them.

But will they though? Curiously neither Man City, Spurs or Arsenal did any significant business in the January transfer window. So right now their superior financial muscle becomes nil and void. Manuel Pellegrini’s side look a shambles at the back without Vincent Kompany, Spurs may live to regret not signing a striker to ease the burden on Harry Kane while Arsenal have struggled for goals so far in 2016 and heavily over reliant on Olivier Giroud up top.

Then there’s the respective run ins of the top four. After this weekend when Leicester go to Arsenal they have a fairly straightforward set of fixtures and its difficult to see them not picking up positive results at home against the likes of Norwich, West Brom, Newcastle and Swansea.

Robert Huth and Wes Morgan: Celebrate Leicester City's draw against Manchester City

This season, hands down, has been the craziest in the history of the Premier League and it’s wonderful that we have such a thrilling title race to look forward to.  But for me the Foxes are big favourites now. They have been out-performing, out-hustling and out-playing teams all season and the fact they don’t have any other distractions and will be largely playing Saturday to Saturday until the end of the season means their squad, which is not the biggest, should be able to cope.

They are top of the league on merit and are oozing self belief. Journeymen like Robert Huth are suddenly playing like world beaters and it’s almost too much to take in.

This is truly once-in-a-lifetime territory for ‘plucky’ Leicester but it feels like the stars are aligning.

Young David showed all those years ago that there’s an art to battling Giants. Leicester now have the blueprint and Claudio Ranieri’s ‘slingers’ have the ability and more importantly the self belief to defy modern wisdom and write their names into immortality.

By Derek Bilton

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Home Forums 5000/1 Leicester the perfect antidote to ‘greed is good’ mentality

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    James Marshment

    Leicester are 13 games away from pulling off the biggest wager in history. Derek Bilton looks at how they’ve shaken the established order.

    [See the full post at: 5000/1 Leicester the perfect antidote to ‘greed is good’ mentality]



    Thanks, but very few people associated with City (fans, players or management) wants to think that, after Arsenal, we have a “have a fairly straightforward set of fixtures”. Apart from anything else, that is an insult to the teams we have to play over the next few months.

    Perhaps more importantly, we have experience of what being cocky can bring. Last season, City had a horrendous first few matches, ending up with Man United at the King Power, who we beat 5-3. After that, we had a “fairly straightforward set of fixtures” at the end of which we were anchored to the bottom of the Premier League.

    I am not saying that is going to happen this season, but for the moment, City needs to take one game at a time. It’s what we’ve been doing since we played Sunderland on the opening day of the season: hopefully that will continue.



    Really hope they stay the course, it would be refreshing to see a “minnow” to win thanks to good coaching and great team effort instead of the ordinary moneybags. Next season man £££y are going to spend another £100-150m, man.ure, cccp will follow suite … and the gap to the no-hopers will grow more and more and these surprises will be even more impossible.

    So good luck to You Foxes, keep running and hope the players stay fit and injury-free and You can definitely win it.


    sarky parky

    An earlier post said you were thirteen games away. Now you are eight games away and have burnt off Man City and Arsenal They are no longer in it. I’ve been a Baggie fan since the year dot and for the first time in my life I was gutted when we nicked a point off you. None of the big four are gonna win it – how great is that! Mind you probably forty million football fans will be crying in their beer if Spurs win it. But don’t let it happen!!



    Well done Foxes,go on and do it.

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