Date:Thursday January 26 2006
Let no-one be in any doubt. Football clubs ignore the fans at their peril when it comes to managerial appointments and team selections.
Nowhere was this better illustrated than at Leicester City this week when Chief Executive Tim Davies admitted that pressure from furious fans had hastened Craig Levein's departure as manager.
Mickey Adams was another who suffered because his tactics upset the fans.
Davies acknowedged the football is a results orientated business and that Levein's results were clearly not satisfactory.
But there is no doubt that being inundated with emails from fans had great influence.
What is extraordinary is that Craig Levein apparently did not realise how foolhardy it was to continually ignore the pleas of fans who screamed with increasing fervour for a change of approach.
Indeed considering Levein's appalling record (one away win all season, six successive defeats etc) and City's position being the worst in their history it is remarkable he didn't at least try to adjust his thinking.
Travelling to games and playing with dogged 4-5-1 formations (as at Wolves and elsewhere) or going to Crystal Palace and using three centre-backs smacked of giving the initiative away from the start.
There was the same sort of negativity at Reading and Crystal Palace, at Preston, Burnley and in the first half at Derby for instance.
Many fans could not understand this voluntarily negative approach and Levein paid the price in the end, if a reported £225.000 compensation package represents 'paying' anything for abject failure on the field.
Now the directors have to plot a new way ahead and one which, hopefully, will restore the thrill of going to the Walkers and watching Leicester City.
It is a difficult choice. But the Board would do well to listen to the fans feelings. Instead of cowering behind three centre-backs and 4-5-1 formations it is time Leicester City made themselves a team to be feared once more.
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|14. Leicester City||38||11||8||19||-9||41|
|17. Aston Villa||38||10||8||20||-26||38|
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