From an exterior façade, it is really quite hilarious. Former England manager Sven Goran Erikson tries to buy back the 2006 England national team in 2011, as manager of Championship side Leicester City. Darius Vassell on the books, two ill-fated bids for David Beckham - yes David Beckham - last summer, strong rumours around Emile Heskey’s glorious return earlier in the window, and now Sven is rumoured to be among the front runners to guide Owen Hargreaves back into football.
The 2010/2011 season as a fan of City - indoctrinated through my dad’s heritage in the midland city - was, after the false dawn of 2009/2010 when the foxes oh so nearly secured back to back promotions, a damp squid.
It promised much after the arrival of ex-Swansea boss Paulo Sousa to fill the breach, after Nigel Pearson’s incongruous departure to debt embattled Hull City.
Yet Sousa, for one reason or another, failed to live up to they hype at the Walkers stadium, departing in late October with his team entrenched at the foot of the Championship table, and avoiding relegation, not promotion, atop the agenda.
Cometh the hour cometh the man, however, and enter the man with more managerial jobs than a sane man should attempt to count: Ex-England boss Eriksson.
The improvement from then on was tangible, as Leicester’s new Thai owners, the King Power group, backed their boss in his forays into what was predominantly the loan market. The defining moment of came with the major loan coup of Everton’s Nigerian international striker Yakubu.
Yet the woeful start the Foxes had undergone put the kibosh on the promotion dreams. While flirting with the prospect of the playoffs for much of the tail end of the year, the gap ultimately proved too much for Sven’s men and they had to settle for an underwhelming tenth place finish.
Despite the ludicrous array of unattainable targets that have, to non-believers defined Sven’s City reign thus far, this summer has been different. The completed signings to date read:
-Neil Danns from Crystal Palace on a free after Danns rejected both of the Old Firm clubs in favour of a move to the Midlands.
-Ex-England international striker Dave Nugent (alright he only has one cap, but I'm claiming it)
-Sean st Ledger, Irish international centre-back from Preston for an identical fee to that of Schmeichel.
-Right back Lee Peltier from Huddersfield, an ex-Liverpool academy member for £750,000
And the noises coming out of the newly re-branded King Power stadium is that Sven’s spree is far from over, as he lines up further swoop’s in the coming weeks.
Wayne Routledge, the Newcastle winger, is alleged to be set to spurn the advances of Premiership club’s including QPR, so enamoured he is with City’s ambition. Don’t dismiss the Owen Hargreaves rumour either, as earlier in the week bookmakers had Leicester as the 2:1 favourites for his signature.
With a strong fan base and a Premiership standard ground Sven Goran Eriksson and the King Power Group are setting out their stall for a return to the promised land.
It will have been eight years since City were last in the top flight come the end of this season. The signs are that it wont reach nine.
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