Date:Wednesday January 25 2006
While all the attention has been on the manager another question has largely been overlooked - can Leicester City's board be accused of neglecting their duty?.
We can all understand that they were reluctant to ditch the manager, the person with whom they had agreed a three year blueprint for an exciting new era at the club.
Fans could plainly see that things had been rapidly changed with the signing of promising young players and the shedding of expensive veterans considered no longer needed.
But the problems which arose as a result, the problems which have left us with an abyssmal record - one away win all season for pity's sake - have been apparent for ages.
And what does the board appear to have done about it? Next to nothing.
It is known they have talked to Levein and expressed their concerns, presumably with ever greater emphasis.
But action is what was and is needed.
It is well documented that Levein is stubborn and that has been evident from his team selections since he's arrived here.
If the board wished to keep faith with him they should surely have insisted too on a change of approach, a proper commitment to attack that has been plainly lacking.
Why did they allow the same mistakes to continue being made?
The transfer window opened and it was then that one imagined the work would be done to practically repair the gaping weaknesses in our team.
Players would go out, surely, to be replaced by people more suited to our needs. But no.
The only action has been the arrival of a young, provenly capable, but essentially lightweight young striker to add to all the other essentially lightweight strikers we have (apart from Mark DeVries who is not noted as a header of the ball).
Where is the big strong centre-back? Where is the left-back if Sheehan is to continue being sidelined for whatever reason while we shed endless goals from the left and create next to nothing?.
Where is the right winger? And where is the aerially capable centre-forward so desperately needed for umpteen reasons?.
These are not luxury purchases. These are the essentials required to keep Leicester in the Championship. And yet the window is now close to closing.
Instead of looking after Leicester City while the window has been open attention has been focused on the demonstrably underperforming Craig Levein. Has that served Leicester City?
The board may well make an announcement about the future of a manager who has taken the club down to depths previously unknown. They may well make it today.
But it will be too late for this season in my view. We need 23 points from 16 games to have a realistic hope of survival.
Levein has shown no signs that he will get that many and the players will already, surely, be doubting his strategy.
That suggests our only hope is with a new manager but almost anyone will need time that he/they do not have to make adjustments.
They will need to change the personnel and to gel the best team from a series of components who have failed to operate in a coordinated manner so far.
In footballing terms, if anyone can save us from relegation it will be extraordinary at this stage because the board have left their action too late (if it comes at all) and because they have not effected any changes of approach in the time that they have been considering Levein's future. Not that I have noticed.
They are not the only ones to blame. The media have been less than frank in their assessment of Levein.
Journalists and broadcasters have refused to ask the manager frank questions (other than very occasionally). All they've done is turn up the fans volume as time has gone on.
Even last night Colin Gibson was almost throttling himself trying not to criticise Levein. Footballers union. Protection of your own kind. Admirable.
But not what the fans want. They want honesty from broadcasters. A straightforward assessment of situations and what is going on.
From the moment the team was selected yesterday, what was going on, what was being unveiled, was another tactical disaster.
Does nobody care and does nobody who is in a position to affect things have the bottle to say something or do something?.
Even the fans have been consideration itself to the point of resignation. They've got fed up of being ignored or patronised.
I stood outside the main reception after the Cardiff match expecting some sort of protest and there was barely a whimper.
A petition presented for signature on major Leicester City websites had raised 120 votes when I looked this morning. That's right 120 votes from a hardcore support of 16,000 to 18,000 plus casuals.
Indifference? Or the ultimate contempt for a complete cock-up.
Will someone, anyone, please help.
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|12. West Ham||38||12||11||15||-3||47|
|14. Leicester City||38||11||8||19||-9||41|
|17. Aston Villa||38||10||8||20||-26||38|
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