It has been well publicised that this is City’s worst start to a league campaign since 1994. Then as now, City faced a less than forgiving set of fixtures; Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle, the eventual Champions Blackburn Rovers, a Nottingham Forest side which would finish 3rd and a QPR side that ended the season in 8th.
Everyone hoped for a better start from Paulo Sousa’s side, but it’s interesting to compare his record with the man some dreamers hope might replace him.
Here are Martin O’Neill’s first seven league games in charge of Leicester.
Grimsby Town (a) – 2-2
Millwall (a) – 1-1
Stoke City (a) – 0-1
Sunderland (h) – 0-0
Luton Town (h) – 1-1
Portsmouth (a) – 1-2
Port Vale (h) – 1-1
Had these fixtures taken place at the start of the season City would have been joint bottom, spared 24th spot by virtue of scoring six goals.
Fans famously called for O’Neill’s head after fifteen league matches in which his side had accrued a total of three wins and two clean sheets. In the context of the four seasons that followed those protests look extremely foolish now.
This isn’t to say that Paulo Sousa is the next O’Neill, just that managers deserve time to impose their ideas on the side. Sousa’s attempt to create a more fluid City line-up is a worthy cause, even if ironically O’Neill spent his early days moving City away from Mark McGhee’s passing game towards a more direct approach.
In short, even the best take their time. Let’s worry about the table in October.