How Do They Keep Winning?

It honestly makes no sense. Look through their roster, and you probably won’t recognize any names; most people probably could not tell you where Leicester City even plays. But here we are, two-thirds of the way through the season, and the Foxes find themselves atop the league by five points.

Since the Premier League took form in 1992, there have only been 4 different winners: Manchester United (13x), Chelsea (4x), Arsenal (3x) and Blackburn Rovers. Soccer is not the type of sport where teams go on magical runs that span an entire season; it is the type of sport where a team may finish in 4th or 5th when they were supposed to finish maybe below 10th, but that is where the ride stops. That’s what makes what Leicester City is doing all the more impressive. They aren’t just sneaking by the big clubs, hoping to scrape together enough draws and wins against lower teams to stay in contention. Just look at who they have beaten in the league this year: Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton, along with a draw against Manchester United. People keep counting them out, saying “the next few games are going to show Leicester they don’t belong.” And then they go out, and beat each of those teams. What makes it even more confusing is the Foxes never seem to have the ball. If they do win the title, they will be the first Premier League champion to have under 50% possession in games for the season, coming in at a lowly 40%. This basically means that while Leicester may not control the ball, they always make their opportunities count.

As a fan of British soccer, the rise of the Foxes does worry me, solely for the reason of next year’s Champion’s League games. It is one thing to run through the league without playing European competition. It is a whole different animal when you are playing top clubs from around the continent in off-weeks, or playing Manchester City on a Saturday and Bayern Munich on a Wednesday. It can be done, but it seems to me a Leicester City title this season means another extremely disappointing season in Europe for the British Premier League.

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