Date:Wednesday January 25 2006
Fan pressure and Leicester City's precarious position in the Championship finally forced the departure of City manager Craig Levein, and now comes the vital task of choosing his successor.
There is no doubting Levein left a legacy of achievement that contrasts with his abyssmal points record as a manager.
He brought some good players through in Richard Stearman, Paddy McCarthy and Stephen Hughes. He brought others to the fringe of first team status and he reduced the wage bill and average age of the club's players.
But he also stewarded Leicester to a League position from where they are odds on to fall out of the top two divisions for the first time in their history.
Two points into the relegation places, one win in 15, one away win all season the list of statistics hardly bears expanding on.
But what probably cost him his job was what caused those defeats, his predictability as a tactician and stubborn refusal to change his philosophies.
He even refused to adapt in the face of compelling evidence.
His approach bordered on the bizarre. He continually picked people who the fans thought were awful while leaving others out they believed would strengthen the side.
There was even a poll on behalf of Alan Sheehan which attracted considerable support but Levein appeared to ignore it even though the team continued to leak goals down the left-hand side.
Goals were a major problem during Levein's tenure. The transfer of David Connolly to Wigan at the start of the season, immediately after he'd scored a hat-trick against Stoke, did not help.
The money was good £3m (eventually) but there were no immediate replacements and City never managed much more than a goal a game which has proved insufficient.
Especially since we conceded goals in every one of our last 15 matches.
Indeed City scored only four goals in the last eight games.
That is partly because of Levein's preoccupation with defence. He had a tendency to overweight the side defensively throughout his term with the consequence that City's attacks rarely had sufficient backing.
Levein talked of the many shots we had but often they were long range efforts or half-chances. And, our set plays were awful.
All these things will need to be avoided when the new management team arrives and the other question arises, will the commitment to youth development continue or will it be abandoned for the desperate fight to save our club from relegation?.
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|12. Leicester City||6||2||2||2||-1||8|
|13. West Ham||6||2||1||3||0||7|
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