Muzzy Izzet Tottenham £7.5m
Ian Marshall Tottenham £1.2m
Robbie Savage Juventus P/ex
Gerry Taggart Wolves £500,000
Edgar Davids Juventus £15m + P/ex
Christian Panucci Inter £8m
Edwin van der Sar Juventus £2m
So we were out of the hunt again and it forced a slight change of system. I had documented previously that we had played a combination of 5-3-2/3-5-2/2-3-5 at times but we were becoming more rigid. Edgar Davids came in, part exchange for Robbie Savage who complained of poor game time. Davids would relieve Recoba in the starting eleven and allowed for a more natural three-piece attacking midfield of Gerrard, Totti and Nedved whilst Davids would put out fires behind them. Carlos and new signing Christian Panucci would act more as midfielders.
Davids would have a large defensive responsibility down the left, Carlos allowed to bomb down the wing whilst Panucci was more rigid to his midfield and defensive responsibilities. We replaced Van Der Sar with Paul Robinson in net, our defensive record wasn’t the best.
Last season there was some doubts over Alessandro Nesta as a marauding box-to-box sweeper, Rio Ferdinand has come on in leaps and bounds – possible successor in the Beckenbauer role.
PL Leicester 0-0 Aston Villa
PL Leeds 2-2 Leicester Henry, Totti
CL Rijeka 0-0 Leicester
PL Leicester 1-0 Bradford Henry
PL Man Utd 0-3 Leicester Ferdinand, Nesta, Henry
PL Leicester 1-1 Chelsea Henry
CL Leicester 1-0 Rijeka Recoba
PL West Ham 2-3 Leicester Henry 3
7th 3pts behind leaders Liverpool
There were teething problems to the new system. The more offensive midfielders were occupying each other’s spaces and the only one that got his own room, Francesco Totti was wasteful against Aston Villa. He found the net at Elland Road but Alessandro Nesta went wandering too much, owing to Leeds’ two goals. We scraped through the Champions League qualifier in Croatia without much damage for the second leg and some Thierry Henry inspiration helped us at home to Bradford.
Changes were made for the journey to Old Trafford. Rio moved into the Beckenbauer role with Nesta alongside Cannavaro as more of a stopper. We blew them out of the water. We’d tweaked the midfield and defence and rolled the dice and it worked. But, as always, it takes time for a tactic’s fluidity. Come September we will be on fire.
PL Derby 0-2 Leicester Totti, Gerrard
CL Leicester 3-1 Kavala Henry 2, Davids
PL Leicester 3-2 Tottenham Henry, Gerrard, Nesta
CL Bayern 0-0 Leicester
PL Middlesbrough 2-2 Leicester Henry 2
CL Dinamo Kiev 3-4 Leicester Henry 2, Totti 2
3rd 4pts behind leaders Arsenal
Leicester 7, Bayern 7, Dinamo Kiev 3, Kavala 0
One tireless man wearing goggles helped us achieve something great and at £15 million, Edgar Davids has been a bargain buy for my liking. We’ve lapsed back into a ‘score one more than you’ mentality, that was seen especially at home to Tottenham in the league and in Ukraine in a 7-goal thriller. I have to say that Davids’ stamina is something to be praised. A heat map that would cover the entire pitch, and four man of the match awards out of six matches speaks for itself.
PL Leicester 1-0 Sheff Wed Henry
LC Leicester 0-1 Liverpool
PL Nottingham Forest 1-2 Leicester Henry 2
CL Kavala 0-1 Leicester Gerrard
PL Leicester 2-1 Newcastle Henry 2
CL Leicester 0-0 Bayern
PL Sunderland 1-2 Leicester Henry, Nedved
2nd Arsenal 32, Leicester 31, Man Utd 28, Chelsea 27, Everton 24, West Ham 23
Leicester 11, Bayern 9, Dinamo Kiev 7, Kavala 0
The only shame about our clean sheets and defensive tightness is that we haven’t been as fluid attacking as I’d like. For the neutrals, they’d obviously prefer our results from September but October for me was more productive. We qualified for the next stage in Europe and jumped up to second in the Premiership. Our midfield would swamp opposition’s, given there were usually always six blue shirts in there, we would struggle to be as effective up top. Thierry dragged us through a lot of sticky situations, improving us by ten points with goals alone.
CL Leicester 0-1 Dinamo Kiev
PL Leicester 0-0 Liverpool
PL Birmingham 1-2 Leicester Henry, Carlos
CL Leicester 0-1 Bayern
PL Leicester 0-0 Charlton
2nd Arsenal 39, Leicester 36, West Ham 32, Man Utd 32, Chelsea 31, Liverpool 30
Bayern 3, Man Utd 3, Leicester 0, Valladolid
We remain undefeated in the Premier League but lost both games in Europe as we followed Bayern into another group stage with them. We scored in just one game in November and have yet to score in three outings against Bayern, two 0-0 draws and a late winner from Elber at Filbert Street this month. We become too withdrawn, as we were this month yet lack a cutting edge. We are a potent attacking threat coming from the bench away from destroying this league.
PL Everton 0-0 Leicester
CL Leicester 1-1 Valladolid Henry
PL Leicester 4-0 Wimbledon Henry, Panucci, Totti, Carlos
PL Arsenal 0-0 Leicester
PL Aston Villa 0-0 Leicester
3rd Arsenal 44, Man Utd 44, Leicester 42, Chelsea 40, Liverpool 39, West Ham 38
We were toothless in Europe, again and the potency didn’t return to our game until a thundering 4-goal win at home to Wimbledon. That reckless abandon was there, there was no withdrawing into our own half, into our shell. The goalless draw at Goodison Park had put us top, it wasn’t a great performance but we were now top. It gave us confidence. As did another goalless draw at Highbury so by Boxing Day we were still unbeaten having played every team there was to play. One half of the season down, one to go. But by New Year’s Day we were back into third place. One draw too many, like 2000-01.