The Road Ahead...
Is it too much to ask for a little bit of mediocrity? Well, given that it's Leicester City we're talking about here, probably.
Well, almost nothing. I don`t think it would be neither arrogant nor unfair to say that we cruised to the League One title last season. It was certainly a refreshing season in stark contrast to its predecessor, where nothing but incompetence seemed to prevail.
Whilst the swine flu pandemic sweeps the nation, there`s another thing that`s infecting us all right now: that dreaded hope. A certain Nigel Pearson has instilled some of this new-found anticipation that maybe; just maybe, things might turn out differently this time. Back in the Championship at the first time of asking, can we finally break our disappointment? Well yes, we can.
Apologies for entering Barack Obama mode there, but a stake at some kind of Championship competition is indeed possible. Just ask Burnley. In Pearson, we finally appear to have a manager who knows what he`s doing; a level-headed stalwart, not one to get carried away with, well, anything.
Together with his astute backroom staff, Pearson recruited a number of fine talents last year, who safely propelled us to league glory. Not only this, but he managed to get the best out of those who had otherwise endured questionable careers with the Foxes so far.
Step forward Matty Fryatt. His 32 goals last season lambasted those who doubted (yes, me) his credentials as a consistent goal-scorer. His value to the side was unquestionable. Championship seasons gone by have raised serious questions about the striker`s prowess in front of goal, and now the question lies, can he make the step up this time? The striking situation is delicate at the moment, and the weight on the 23-year-old`s shoulders is unhealthily great.
Our strengths most certainly lie with the back four. The permanent capture of Jack Hobbs from Liverpool could prove to be one of the signings of the summer in the Championship, let alone for us alone. Hobbs was a colossal force at the heart of the defence last year, and is sure to be an integral part once again. And of course, nobody should forget Aleksander Tunchev, the man we love to love. Think of all those Chuck Norris one-liners that make the rounds and then apply them to this man. You get the idea. Simon Cox? Michael Chopra? Afonso Alves? Be afraid.
Returning to English football`s second tier at the first time of asking is simply the first stage of an exciting Pearson revolution. With relegation unthinkable this time around, the only way is up. Hull, Stoke and Burnley have all done it, so why not us? Over to you Nige.