Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Story Behind Leicester City Meteoric Rise To Being EPL Champions

Tottenham Hotspur’s failure to defeat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge hands the title to the Foxes, completing what is surely sport’s most dramatic story in history

The music starts; those horns, the strings and that guitar riff.

The gun barrel sequence, thrilling cinema-goers since 1962, begins.

The assassin tracks 007 across the screen in the familiar manner but the secret agent turns as only he can; he fires his gun and fresh blood trickles down in front of the camera lens…

“The name’s Vardy. Jamie Vardy.”

Unlikely? You bet. But still, according to the bookmakers, it’s 10 times more likely that Vardy now moves to Hollywood to become the new James Bond than it was for Leicester City to win the Premier League title at the start of the season.

Vardy, freshly crowned the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, is currently available at odds of 500/1 to play the quintessential British action hero in the new franchise release.

Leicester at the start of the season were 5000/1 to win the Premier League – by far, the longest odds offered on any winning team or individual in the history of professional sports.

Earlier this season it was revealed that Adrian Butchart – the Hollywood screenwriter behind the Goal trilogy – wanted to make a movie about Vardy’s rapid rise from part-time football to the Premier League where he scored in 11 consecutive games, marking a new record.

Vardy’s journey might well deserve to be chronicled but the collective Leicester City story has overtaken their striker’s one and surely deserves the Hollywood treatment.

It’s Rocky, it’s Seabiscuit, it’s Cool Runnings if only the Jamaican bobsled team had actually won the gold medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Things like this, you don’t expect to happen in real life. And when they do, you laud them. You exhalt the participants who defied not only seemingly insurmountable odds but all sporting logic. You do something about it so people forever more will know about it.

Let’s say it again; 5000/1. Kim Kardashian is currently available at 2000/1 to become the next president of the United States.

League seasons don’t generally end with a bang and that sometimes serves to deaden the sensation of incoming title winners. It’s not a criticism to say that a league campaign lacks something of the buzzer-beating drama of play-offs or cup finals, merely an observation.

Sergio Aguero’s injury time goal against Queens Park Rangers in 2012 to win the title for Manchester City is as dramatic as it could possibly get.

There are 38 matches – that’s a long old slog – and as such there is usually plenty of time to become accustomed to one team or another being crowned the league champions.

Most people felt when Tottenham Hotspur failed to beat West Bromwich Albion last Monday night that the Fat Lady sang.

The 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane left Leicester seven points clear with only nine to play for. Throw in the fact that Spurs had to go to Chelsea and win – a result beyond their capabilities since 1990 – and Leicester’s title win felt as close to inevitable as could be.

They didn’t beat Manchester United at Old Trafford to clinch the title for themselves but they left the sodden Manchester turf with the air of champions nonetheless.

They were clapped off by the thousands of United fans who stuck around to the final whistle.

Their fans sang long and forcefully into the evening – “Now you’re gonna believe us, we’re gonna win the league.” And they have.

Down the final stretch, teams have come unstuck before. “The choke”. Most famously, Newcastle botched their title bid in 1996 when it appeared to all and sundry they would win it.

Leicester went top on matchday 23 and every week since they were expected to falter. But they haven’t looked back.

There was a wobble over Christmas and the New Year. Now they’ll go back to where they belong, it was reasoned.

The natural order would be restored. Well, it was, but to a contrary extent. They re-emerged from their slump to win aw

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