Like many City fans my opening to the season has been interrupted by a well-earned holiday. Some might be able to switch off completely, but I gripped my smartphone tightly (although not too tightly) as free WiFi hotspots delivered precious snippets of Foxes news. It appears that I have missed an awful lot.
On the pitch City have slumped to their worst start for 16 years. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, tell your friends that this is Leicester’s worst start in the second tier since 1919/20.
I recorded the Reading game and watched an all too often lifeless performance, disguised by a late rally that made City look unfortunate losers. The Leicester City Football Forum immediately following the match made for an entertaining listen. I lost count of the number of fans calling for Sousa’s head. A notion which seems utterly ridiculous at this stage of the season.
The Foxes are through to 3rd Round of the League Cup and face the prospect of two trips to Fratton Park in four days. There has, as far as I can tell, not been much rejoicing.
Off the pitch things have been far more interesting. The club have managed another PR gaffe in their handling of the Fosse Boys. First it seemed the well-meaning supporters group were being denied entry to the stadium following complaints from fellow fans. Then the issue circled more around what was deemed to be “persistent standing”, an act banned it all sections of the ground but an acknowledged reality in the away end and the area immediately surrounding Lee Jobber.
Of course health and safety rules mean the club can’t be seen to condone standing, but nor can they look as if they are picking on a genuinely positive group of fans in the hope of choking off the Fosse Boys movement before it reaches a critical mass (and enforcing rules around “persistent standing” becomes impractical not to mention expensive). The two sides are now in dialogue. An improved atmosphere at the Walkers is in everyone’s interest and we can only hope the matter is handled in a more tactful manner than the ham-fisted approach we have witnessed so far.
There was some more positive news in the transfer market. City came close to fetching their £1.5m price tag for DJ Campbell, a very respectable achievement given they were dealing with a player eager to leave and who, thanks to his expensive and expiring contact, held all the aces. The return of Martyn Waghorn to the Walkers Stadium has raised spirits, and the addition of Yuki Abe looks a good one.
Despite the new signings, fairly basic questions still remain about the takeover. Questions like; How much did the consortium pay for the club? How big a shareholding does Milan Mandarić own in the new consortium? And who are the other members of the consortium? The existence of shadowy figures only leads to suspicion.
Meanwhile the fixtures come thick and fast – seven games in 22 days. City’s outlook on the season will be much better defined by the evening of the 2nd October. Sixteen years ago the Foxes started with one draw and five defeats before getting their first win of the season at home to Spurs. In 1919/20, City’s first win came in game five. All I know is that I much prefer statistics which involve Leicester City winning.