The Dark Days
Peter Taylor will once again face the boos of the Leicester faithful when he brings Crystal Palace to the Walkers Stadium on Saturday.
Although the atmosphere against Hull City last season was subdued, Taylor can still expect the majority of Leicester fans to hold a grudge against him. The City fans still blame Taylor for the position Leicester City are in today. He managed to take a top 10 Premiership team and turn them into relegation fodder, within 54 games.
At the time of Taylor joining Leicester, he had done wonders for the England under 21`s team and was seen as an up and coming manager who had great potential. Unfortunately, the step up to the Premiership seemed too much for Taylor and although his career at Leicester started well it was soon to go terribly wrong.
Leicester started the campaign in great form and were unbeaten in their first 8 games after winning 4 and drawing 4. This meant Leicester were top of the Premiership and a point above Manchester United.
Taylor was also put in charge of the England first team, in a friendly against Italy. In fact it was Taylor who was the first to give David Beckham the captains arm band and he fielded a team who were all under 30.
Everything seemed to be going so well for Leicester and then on the 10th March 2001 Leicester City`s world started to fall to pieces.
It was a FA Cup Quarter Final game that will forever stick in many Leicester City fans minds, for all the wrong reasons. All City fans will know what happened that day and there is no need to tread over old ground (its to painful). The only thing that matters is that Leicester lost 2-1 and after that game things seemed to go steadily down hill, Leicester went on to lose 9 out of the last 10 games and ended up finishing 13th in the Premiership.
The summer break was a chance for the fans to get over the poor end to the season and Taylor to sort out any problems Leicester had. However, come the start of the 2001/02 campaign, the type of season Leicester fans would face was spelt out in the very first game, with Leicester receiving a 5-0 thumping from the then newly promoted Bolton Wanderers. Taylor would only be in charge for another 7 league matches before he was shown the door by Leicester.
In his time at Leicester, Taylor was only in charge for 54 games and out of them games he managed to win 19 of them. However, the poor run results towards the end of the 2000/01 season and then a similarly poor run of results at the start of the 2001/02 season condemned Taylor.
Even though Taylor was only in charge of Leicester for 54 games the effect that he had on Leicester was phenomenal and one which Leicester are still probably suffering from today. He spent a lot of money on very average players and increased the wage bill so substantially that Leicester have only recently managed to get over the effects of it.
Although it has been 5 seasons since Taylor left the club and he was only technically in charge for 8 of the 38 games when Leicester were relegated from the Premiership. He will always be blamed by City fans for Leicester losing their Premiership status and can expect a chorus of boos come Saturday, and for many years to come.