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Powell loving his last hurrah at Leicester

Paul Fletcher | 10:09 UK time, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

At the risk of engaging in a touch of understatement, it has been a difficult few years for supporters of Leicester City.

When Martin O'Neill left for Celtic in June 2000 the Foxes were an established Premier League side, had recently played in European competition and won the League Cup twice in three years.

But success in football can be ephemeral and then elusive. Once the sun sets on a golden era it often turns dark very quickly and leaves fans hankering for past glories. It is gone before you realise and years are spent wondering why.

Chris Powell Current manager Nigel Pearson is the 12th (including caretaker bosses) at Leicester since O'Neill left the club. New owners have also come and gone, there has been a period in administration and, last season, the club's tenuous grip on the Championship ended in relegation to League One.

I wrote a blog about Peter Taylor the other week. Taylor succeeded O'Neill as manager. In his 15 months he spent big but was sacked with the club in a slump. Judging by the comments posted by numerous Foxes supporters they lay a large portion of the game at Taylor's door. That is their prerogative and they may well be right.

The collapse of ITV Digital and the cost of building the Walkers Stadium - a ground that was opened the season following relegation from the Premier League in 2002 - hardly helped the financial position at the club.

The list could doubtless go on and on. What went wrong at Leicester is probably better suited to a book than a blog.

But at some point you have to draw a line underneath the recent travails and look to the future. Man City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest have all made a recovery of some fashion or other after tasting life in League One. And after speaking to Leicester defender Chris Powell I get the feeling that a change of direction has taken place at the Walkers Stadium.

A typical quote from the veteran defender might read as follows:

"It is not about what has happened in the past. It is about what is happening now and where we should aim to be in the future."

Leicester are currently top of the League One table - two points clear of MK Dons and seven ahead of Millwall - and Powell is confident that in Nigel Pearson the club have a manager who is in for the long term.

Fans of the club might need some convincing - for one reason or another the club had four managers last season alone - and Powell can understand why supporters might have become cynical.

"To support Leicester over the last few years - you have really been through the mill," he told me.

But the 39-year-old is keen to make it clear that the current squad, a sensible blend of youth and experience, and the management team at the Walkers Stadium - are desperate to repair the damage.

Pearson was brought in during the summer after parting company with Southampton. Along with his management team of Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh, they have brought a steady hand to the club. Pearson is unlikely to become carried away by the current success and seems to be handling the pressure of expectation extremely well.

The Foxes drew 1-1 with Leeds on Boxing Day. It was the division's highest-profile fixture and the subject of extensive local coverage, especially given that it was to be former Foxes favourite Simon Grayson's first game in charge at Elland Road.

Pearson's pre-match assessment?

"Ultimately it is one fixture out of 46 in which we want to give ourselves the best chance of winning."

Powell has been impressed with the professional attitude at the club towards not only events on the pitch but also the fans and the community in general. On the day I spoke to Powell he was about to head out to a hospital to give some presents on behalf of the club (though he assured me he would not be dressing as Santa).

Players such as Powell, Steve Howard and Matt Oakley have been able to help the youngsters in the squad deal with the pressures that come from playing for one of the big fish in the division and the incumbent expectations. At the same time, Powell believes the vibrancy and energy the young pros have brought to the squad has in turn benefitted some of the older players.

There is an extremely pragmatic streak to Powell. I got the impression listening to him that if his attitude is typical of the squad then Leicester is in safe hands.

"Just because we are Leicester does not mean we are going to win games," he said. "The reality is that we are a League One club and we got our heads around that very quickly. We have to earn the right to get out of this league."

Powell joined the club in August on an initial six-month deal and is currently in talks about an extension until the end of the season.

The left-back, who was selected for England by Sven-Goran Eriksson at the ripe old age of 31, was without a club last summer and trained with League Two Bournemouth.

He felt he had one more season in him and you could say he landed on his feet by joining Leicester but the relationship seems to be mutual. His form has seen him push promising youngster Joe Mattock all the way for the left-back spot and he has been a regular over recent weeks.

Powell recently passed 750 games as a professional and since 2005 has been chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association. He is also taking his Uefa Pro Licence and will probably remain involved in the game past his retirement as a player.

But for the moment he cannot see beyond the current promotion campaign.

The ultimate goal is to see Leicester return to the Premier League. Powell is unlikely to be around to see that happen but I wouldn't bet against him being part of the team that takes them back to the Championship.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Leicester have done exceptionally well in League One under the circumstances. It's not an easy division to setlle into and a harder one to escape from. Ok we (Leeds) should have been promoted in our first season here but that was mainly because we were playing with fire in our belly from the points deduction.

    So to adapt quickly and be top despite other teams raising their game when they play them (I don't want to sound disrespectful to other clubs but it does happen) is testament to how well they have done so far.

    And Chris Powell is a legend, can't believe he's 39!

  • Comment number 2.

    Interesting read, but a couple of errors. We've only had one period of administration (not two), and the Steve Walsh at the club isn't the former Leicester Legend but former chief scout at Chelsea and Newcastle. Chris Powell is an absolute hero though.

  • Comment number 3.

    i am a manchester united supporter but i like to check up on the leicester city scores (becaus i live in leicester) some call me a golory supporter but i don't care cme on leicester get in to the prem the whem man.u play leicester at the walkers i will be watching leicester get hammered

  • Comment number 4.

    Alexikokopops - quite right, though I'm sure the Foxes will have a new hero by the name of Steve Walsh one day soon!

    Sorry about that.

  • Comment number 5.

    On May 4th at the Britannia Stadium, the final whistle went and Stoke fans started a pitch invasion. News quickly came around to our stand that Southampton had beaten Sheffield United 3-2 under the leadership of, yes, Nigel Pearson. Stoke were promoted to the Premiership, and we were relegated to the dark unknown territory of League One. I looked around me and saw despair on everyones faces. We were doomed. We spent the entire summer feeling sorry for ourselves.

    Nigel Pearson was then appointed. And lets be honest, the vast majority of Leicester fans were sceptical about him, and thats an understatement.

    August arrived and we beat MK Dons on the opening day and by the end of the month we had 3 wins and 1 draw and suddenly there was a little optimism back in the city. After all we may not spend 3 years or more down here like Forest did.

    So far so good, we are adapting to League One very nicely. Post #1 is right; teams often do come here and park their team bus (and supporters coaches) in front of their goal. It paid off for Millwall.

    In Nigel Pearson we have found a no-nonsense manager who insists on playing football the right way. No round pegs in square holes. And he has blended experienced pro’s like Steve Howard, Matt Oakley and Chris Powell (hero) with promising youths. Pearson is an intelligent man and speaks sense. He did not get carried away when we hammered our promotional rivals, Peterborough, 4-0. And he did not panic either when we blew a 2 goal lead and lost 3-2 away to Brighton. He didnt hype up the Leeds fixture like the media did, cos to him it was just another league game that we wanted to win.

    At the tender age of 39, the signing of Chris Powell was a bit of mystery to us but we soon found out why. Powell has been rock solid and has contributed massively to the position we are in now and credit to him. We love him here and are grateful that he is with us.

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree with ali, we should have had Warnock but not many of us could stomach him after his continual rantings about Leicester so the Chairman did the sensible thing and looked elsewhere.
    Peter Taylor ruined Leicester by spending on Championship players. I heard this said many months before we were relegated and being top of the Premiership didn't help. We don't need another false dawn and I think Pearson is the man to lead us.
    MON should have had shares in the Club and a Stadium built earlier so lets not make the same mistake again.

  • Comment number 7.

    Oh and Chris Powell in his short time has been incredible and already a legend

  • Comment number 8.

    Glad to hear Chris Powell is doing the business for you. He's a Charlton legend too, so where Chrissy goes we always keep an eye out.

    Hope to see you next season rather than trading places with you, good luck.

  • Comment number 9.

    I read once about Chris Powell taking time out away from his family on Christmas day to visit a dying child in hospital and I think that is what a footballer should be about. He is a model pro, and a fantastic human being too. There are many more prominent players out there now who could do with taking a leaf from his book.

  • Comment number 10.

    as a Hammer I cant speak highly enough of Chris Powell , he was supposedly on the slide when he joined us but I can never remember him putting a foot wrong or getting taken to the cleaners by anyone .
    He is a real gentleman and a credit to the game and any club he represented .
    Good luck to both him and Leicester city

  • Comment number 11.

    Chris Powell is the right man at the right time for the City, his experience in many games this season so far has been invaluable, steading the "ship" and keeping the youngsters calm.

    By the way Kish96 it figures that not being from Manchester you would be a United so called supporter, however I doubt if you even know were Salford is?

  • Comment number 12.

    It is great to read about the legend Chris Powell - as a Rams fan I can assure you that he is still regarded very highly at Derby and is good to see him continue to make such a positive impression - even if it is at Leicester !!

    Selling him was the biggest mistake Big Jim Smith made when our manager but I was so pleased to see him get the England recognition he did.

  • Comment number 13.

    Loved by everyone at the Valley, wholly under-rated by most but the clubs he played for. More name players like Konchesky and Herraiderson he saw off with far superior performances. But because he didn't have a youthful reputation many big clubs and big managers would want to sign Konchesky or HH, regardless of their massive reliability issues.

    Not only that but to watch Powell play was a master-class in intelligent football. His positioning, his support of his winger, the lovely incisive diagonal darts and passes he made were all something that most academies seem to have neglected in passing on. I'm glad Powell is passing it on to what hopefully is a good young Leicester squad. I'm glad Pearson is doing well; I thought Southampton were mad in passing him over. They were a doomed side that very few could have saved and his injection of pragmatism into that side by signing Chris Perry went a long way to saving them. Whereas attempting Dutch total football in a very young Southampton squad may very well have them joining us in relegation.

  • Comment number 14.

    kish96, the reason people call you a glory supporter is becasue you live in Leicester and support Man United, not because you look out for Leicester's results.
    But good on you for showing an interest in your local team. Its much more satisfying than supporting a club from a place you've no connection with.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm a Man United fan and shocked I can even be bothered to write about this nothing club, but I'm bored so why not....First of all not bothered about Leicester....(Only good thing about them is that Martin O'Neill got some training there, and he may turn out to be our next manager although whoever replaces Fergie it will be difficult).



    I am writing as the boring muppet made a gag about a person from outside Manchester supporting Man U.

    Now my comments may seem arrogant....not particuarly bothered since when I lived in Nottingham I had to deal with borers like this on a daily basis.

    Oh how you little tiny clubs enjoy your ever so tedious comment? I give you guys credit...putting up with miserable football in miserable divisions, and then occasionally baking in your glory of a once in a lifetime victory against a big club. You obviously all are such noble supporters.

    The fact is I have been coming to Manchester for 25 years. In that time I have always seen more United Fans in the City. I put this down to the fact that I tended to come on Match days.

    However, even when I am at Matches I only tend to hear Manc accents. Again I put this down to the fact that I would come to maybe 4 to 5 home matches a season.

    However I moved to Manchester over three years ago. I also became a season ticket holder. In that time I can say without hesitation Man U fans outnumber City fans 5 to 1 in Manchester. You hardly ever see City fans anywhere except near their local dump.

    In the ground most accents are Mancunian, even ignoring the fact that behind me sit three Londoners and to the right of me a Yorkshire men and a man from Sunderland. Everybody else has a Manc accent.

    So stop boring us with this drivel Man United Fans are not from here. Even if we are from other parts so what? Is that not the point of being the best supported club? Is this really as good as your abuse gets?



    Even where I work, there are 4/5 Man U fans for every City fan.

    It's a complete myth Man U fans do not come from Manchester.

  • Comment number 16.

    Wow. If all Manchester United supporters are as snobby and arrogant as you come across in that post then I'm quite glad I support a "nothing club".

    Also, another point (I'm in a pedantic mood, it's a slow day at work), we were relegated in 2002, not 2001. The article linked says the Walkers was opened in 2002 "a season after Leicester City was relegated", but the last game played at Filbert Street before moving was a 2-1 victory over Spurs at the end of the 2001/02 Premiership season. Once again though, excellent read.

  • Comment number 17.

    Scenicjoker Man Utd matters to no-one outside of London and China so why you felt the need to pass a stupid comment on a real football club God only knows. I too am glad I support a "nothing club" a club I've had a connection to all my life - my club which is passionately supported by my city's people rather than some souless commercial venture.

    As for the article I think it sums things up nicely despite a few understandable errors - we've been through so much recently even we get confused about what happened when sometimes! Leed's fall from grace has been documented more because it was more spectacular, but we've suffered just as badly in recent years and it's a shame to see us both down here - and that is not in any way meant to belittle the other clubs in the league or suggest that we don't deserve to be in the situation we're in - but we're real fans and we'll stick by our team whether we're playing in the premiership or the blue square premier.

    The vast majority of football fans support their local club because they have an affinity with it, but you Scenicjoker are one of the few who blotts the name of the many. You're name is apt - you're a complete joke.

  • Comment number 18.

    I have this little theory in my head which basically says if we had stayed up where would we be now? Fighting yet another relegation battle like Southampton? Bouncing between mid table mediocrity and relegation worries like Coventry?

    Nobody wants to re-live that horrible day at Stoke, but I am sure if we go up we will come back to the Championship a lot stronger and better than the current crop of mid table clubs.

    I would not call relegation a blessing in disguise, but we may look back at it in long run as a turning point which gave the club a massive kick up the backside that it badly needed.

  • Comment number 19.

    Yes Milan, matters to nobody..so why do you and your countless nothing club supporters bring into issue where supporters are from?

    You really are complete bores just like the football you watch.

    I've been to China by the way...they don't really take much interest in football there....

    As usual muppet fans know nothing.....

    I truly pity you all.

  • Comment number 20.

    Change a few of the names around and you could use this as article an article about Charlton in a couple of years!

    Cannot speak highly enough of Chris Powell and everything he has done for the game on and off the pitch.

  • Comment number 21.

    Is scenicjoker trying to come across as David Brent? It's a good effort if he is. The chap reads like a right fool. He might have been a Utd fan for 25years, yet I'd consider him a 'glory boy'.
    Utd fans outnumer City fans 5 to 1 - that a well researched stat is it? 25 years of research huh?!

    It comes across rather pathetic that someone who is affiliated with such a 'great club' feels the need to belittle the little clubs, and their supporters - the playground bully of blog comment!
    Being a Leicester supporter I wouldn't consider us a little club, we may be in a lower division but with as much success over the last decade as many of the current premiership crop. I suppose scenicjoker would consider the 'underlings' of the premiership 'nothing clubs' too?

    I'd like to point out that in the last 10 years Leicester have had more than a choppy time of it - rising from the Championship to the heady heights of League Cup glory and the UEFA cup and falling to their lowest ever league position. The highest and lowest points for the club in 10 years. That's far more an emotional, interesting and committing journey than sitting atop world football. I wonder if such a 'glory boy' would follow Man Utd had Mark Robbins not saved Ferguson's rear?

  • Comment number 22.

    Scenicjoker, you truly are a credit to your club and your comments can only enhance peoples views of Man United and their supporters.

    I often read these blogs and the comments made by genuine supporters, although this is the first time I have added a comment of my own.

    Your attitude and words can only have infuriated loyal supporters of "little clubs" all over the land.

    Give me a real club with real supporters any day over the "big 4". I am a Palace fan and have been through plenty of ups and downs (quite literally) over the years, but I am so thankful that I support a real club and not a corporate, money making, soulless club like yours.

    Good luck to Leicester for the rest of the season and hopefully see you next season (if Palace don't go up themselves!!)

  • Comment number 23.

    Scenic joker, are you for real, do you know what its like to be a real fan of a club that means everything to the fans, when you've supported a club that a bad season doesnt consist of not winning a trophy and it means relegation or nearly going out of business, how dare you patronise us just because you happen to have picked yourself a nice big club who win lots of trophies as your team, we are the real fans not narrow minded morons like you!!!

  • Comment number 24.

    Is anyone else enjoying the irony in Scenicjoker popping up to defend all things Man Utd, yet if anything his arrogant persona is just increasing people's disdaine for the red half of Manchester? I may be a simple man but it's tickling me nonetheless.

  • Comment number 25.

    Not even the richest club in manchester!?!?

  • Comment number 26.

    i'd love to hear Paul Fletchers feelings.

    It must be hard for you joker to not be top of the league.

    We are where we are, but were enjoying some much deserved success, not even you can take that away from us (loyal "nothing club" supports). Ive been to old trafford and i can say its nothing like an away day with 3,000 leicester fans, or a home day with 20,000. i know which i'd prefer, and im prob not alone on this matter.

  • Comment number 27.

    manchester united are the best team in england they are the best team in europe they r the best team in the world( o yh and i was the one who changed this article from leicester to united) so what more do you want from them come on then the ones who support the rubbishest team's reply!!!!!

  • Comment number 28.

    comment 26 - whatever your crazy name is, I think you are slightly confused. I mean, I could tell you my feelings, but I'm not the Man Utd fan who seems to have got you all worked up.

  • Comment number 29.

    I believe the Scenicjoker comments suggest deeper issues than the support of a particular football club. The language he uses, targeted at fans of LCFC and I assume 99% of the worlds teams, is abusive. It doesn't do any good sparring verbally with the abuser. Unfortunately the anonymity of the 'blog' world prevents us from offering professional help to this person. More importantly it prevents the protection of his or her love ones who probably have to deal with abuse daily.
    My prayers are with them. Peace and love to all.

    Nice article.

  • Comment number 30.

    Chrissy Powell, Chrissy Powell, Chrissy Powell complete ledge and hope he comes back to charlton one day.


    One Chrissy Powell, theres only one Chrissy Powell.

  • Comment number 31.

    First of all, good read.

    After the game with Southend, Everyone walked off the field, toward the tunnel clapping to the fans, as they do . . except one man. Chris Powell, ran up and down the touchline on both sides of the pitch waving to the fans, and quite astonishingly, even clapping the away end in appreciation. There was nothing special about this match, but thats just the guy he is. He appreciates how lucky he is to have had such a fantastic career.

    I also feel quite qualified to comment on the Man Utd debate that seems to have arisen, somehow. Now for one im not sure this person is being serious or just a wind up. I live in Mancester, and travel back to Leicester for their games, as im a season ticket holder.

    Man Utd fans do not outnumber Man City fans here 5/1. That is utter tripe. This is a great city for football and its banter, but alot of the Man Utd fans here are students whom have come from other cities. Its impossible to get an accurate ratio as it depends what you consider the territoty of Manchester to be, and whether you count students or people that do not hold a permanent address here. The 5/1 ratio though, rest assured, is rubbish.

    Im a proud Leicester fan and always will be. We're not a small club, far from it, if you analysed attendance figures, you'd realise that we are larger than a few Premiership clubs. Our attendance against hereford was just 600 less than Bolton vs Wigan, a Lancashire derby as described by some, i think that speaks volume for the size, and potential size of this club.

    When people ask me is the top four killing football i always say no, i love the competitive nature of those teams and ALWAYS support the english side in europe. I love football and i love Leicester, always will.

    Fans like you though make me think twice.

  • Comment number 32.

    Kish 96 - Do you fancy a swap? I live in Manchester but support Leicester! Now i can't say anything about not supporting my local team, but i could never be accused of glory supporting, perhaps even to gloat a little because my club brings success i haven't attained individually ( a case in point with our friend Scenicjoker). As for 5/1 Mancs for United, I can assure you that is certainly not true - Most of Citys support is from the city itself and the surrounding areas.

    Back to the article, Powell has been an absolute star - i was cynical at the start, i assumed he would be another to pick up his retirement fund (Martin Keown's horrendous attitude a case in point) but he has been solid, fitter than players 20 years his junior and is one of the most commited players at the club - he really does seem to care and put his heart and body on the line for the cause. Top bloke and i hope he stays after he retires to show our youngesters how a real man should act.

  • Comment number 33.

    manchester united r the best team in the world no start talking about them or are they to good for your mouths oo yh and lcfc r some oe comment about this then i will add what they r

  • Comment number 34.

    NickGreen i agree with your Manc stuff apart from the students - as one myself i for one could never, ever afford a ticket for a Man Utd game let alone a season ticket!!

  • Comment number 35.

    Kish96, have you had a drink?

  • Comment number 36.

    Im a devout city fan i go to all the games and i just love my club and i love chris powell GREAT PRO!

    But kish96 you say your not a glory supporter but i beg to ask where supporting Man U stemmed from?

  • Comment number 37.

    Paul Jewells Dented Ferrari, yeah, i probably should have said those Man Utd shirts you see wondering up and down Oxford Road belong to students, therefore creating the effect theres alot more Man Utd fans native to the city, if that makes sense. (I wasnt talking about the demographics of those fans within the stadium). They all just go in the footage, drink strongbow and shout at the big screen, which i have to say i enjoy doing too. Im also a student. Having said this the guy in the flat nextdoor has a Man Utd season ticket, although his dad does bankroll one of the most successful meat suppliers in the UK, so maybe it doesnt come out of his maintenance loan!

  • Comment number 38.

    No it doesn't sound that way! And yeh Oxford road does tend to have it's share of travelling United fans, and a few who no doubt bring tops from the megastore back home for christmas. As for your flatmate keep him close - it definitely helps having rich flatmates when they've had a few. "Beers on me!" fine by me pal . . .

  • Comment number 39.

    paul jewells dented ferrari, you say you are a leicester fan living in manchester..How on earth did that happen! LOL

  • Comment number 40.

    Joker, you are a complete JOKE!

    I wonder if you would have supported Man City if they were the bigger team winning trophies 25 years ago? I think the answer to that question is, yes.

    Leicester are a smaller club then Man Utd, but our fans show true passion. We don't mind travelling 200miles to watch our team put on a poor showing at Brighton in the rain midweek. I don't think many Utd fans would do that and accept it.

    We 'smaller clubs' are what football is about, passion, pride and love for the game. It must be boring watching your team win something every season, surely after a while the passion goes and you get bored? Whereas for us, if we win something it is once a decade, so we love it and it means the world to us.

    Last season, we got relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in our history, we were one of 7 clubs (i believe) that had never been in this division. We still managed to get higher average attendances than, Bolton, Wigan, Blackburn, Fulham and Boro (if i remember rightly) and we were bottom of the league.

    Would Utd fans still turn up in there numbers if they were playing appauling football and were bottom of the league.. I doubt that very much.

    WE ARE LEICESTER CITY AND PROUD!

    Why? Because it is in our blood that is why! It is where we are from. You chose to support United all those years ago, not because it was in your blood and NOT because it is where you are from. The reason is because they are and were a big team, so don't try to kid us all on here into believing that you would have chosen Utd over Leicester all those years ago if we were the bigger club.

    Thanks for listening.

  • Comment number 41.

    All I can say in regards to Manchester United fans is, do you remember those comments your die hard captain once said? Something to do with Prawn-sandwiches i think?

    I could never never imagine past or present captains of Leicester City passing comments like that about their own fans, as they respect their supporters.

    It just sums up that Leicester are a real football club, who respect the things that matter, whereas as Manchester United is nothing more than a commercial equity, run by a bunch of faceless Americans!

    Great blog by the way!

  • Comment number 42.

    Leicester are no doubt on the way up again. we have a good bunch of players and a good manager. Back in the premiership in 4 years I would say

  • Comment number 43.

    These 'so called' Man Utd fans' can't really be true fans because they don't live in Surrey!?!

    A friend of mine was at the Trafford Park shopping centre a few years ago when West Ham beat United in the FA Cup (Di Canio goal). He told me that he was minding his own business when he saw a big crowd of people going wild outside a Curry's shop window. West Ham fans? Nope, Man City supporters all cheering and singing. These people had merely congregated whilst doing their shopping. Blue is the true colour of Manchester me thinks.

    As for Man Utd fans? The Irish would call them 'blow-ins'. The majority don't live or come from Manchester.

    These pontificating fair weather fans really do make me sick. Its not the clubs fault for being a brilliant team, more the shallow, bandwagon no marks who support them.

    C'mon you mighty foxes!!

  • Comment number 44.

    im a leicester city fan through and through but i know some city fans who support city but also support man united on the side.

    is this possible?!?!

  • Comment number 45.

    Nickgreen16 - the game against Southend WAS a significant one for Chrissy! He played nearly 250 times for us between 1990 and 1996, and will always be remembered as a Southend legend!

    I met him a few times as a young fan and was always struck by just how much time he would give to youngsters compared with the average footballer. True gent.

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm a Leicester fan from Leicester and firstly i think this is a great blog. Powell is the model professional, a fierce competitor who obviously loves the game more than most, and I'm glad to have him at the club, hopefully he will stay beyond his playing days as wel have a few promising youngsters, especially our left-back joe mattock.

    On the Man Utd debate, i would find it more rewarding to support your hometown team, because win or lose, it means more that just 3 points won or lost. Being a leicester fan is great at the minute, winning games, largely british squad and many promising youngsters coming into the first team from the academy. Proper Leicester players. What could beat that?

  • Comment number 47.

    Leicester City are a very good football team when they want to be. and i think they shall win League 1 quite comfortably this season. Then they shall spend a couple of years in the Championship, aiming for promotion, then get promoted to where they should be, to the Premier League. They just need to stop conceding last-minute goals that matter. It has a Premier League quality stadium, and i think they are better than a few teams in the Premier League at the moment, and the Championship. Matty Fryatt has been excellent for the Foxes, they'll push on.

    BTW, I'm a United (Manchester) fan.

  • Comment number 48.

    bluewheeldo, sorry didnt realise he had a Southend past. He does still do it though for the majority of games.

  • Comment number 49.

    It's a shame that this article has been highjacked by the big club debate because it was highlighting the career of someone who has given a lot to the game. In an age of pouting, selfish, money grabbing professionals Chris Powell is a refreshing change - a real football man.

    In a way he epitomises the real fan of a real football club. He continues to play for the love of the game whatever level he's playing at.

    Now to the big club debate. I actually committed the cardinal sin of switching allegiance. I started my interest in football by supporting Liverpool. Why? because as a young lad they were the best team, winning everything and on telly a lot. As soon as I was old enough to watch football live (as my Dad isn't a fan and never took me) I went to my local club, Leicester. Eventually Liverpool mattered less and less and Leicester meant everything.

    Do I regret switching from a big club? Never! I honestly don't think a Man Utd fan can understand the passion, pride, ups and downs and enthusiasm involved with supporting their local team. The sense of fulfilment that standing with your local community brings on an away day.

    Real fans of real clubs on here will understand in a way the Man Utd fan never will. So give me my poxy small club any day, because I don't care if we're big or small. That's the difference when you've got your local club in your heart with its colours running through your veins!

  • Comment number 50.

    Foxes Revolution - My dad and all his family are from Leicester and have supported them all their life, but i've been born and raised in Manchester - it doesn't mean my blood isn't any less dark blue! He's took me to games for as long as i can remember and i've never for once thought of switching to my more illustrious neighbours, though i bet i live closer than a hell of a lot of their fans! It is difficult getting to home games but every time there is a game in the North-West/North in general i'm there!

  • Comment number 51.

    I read Paul Fletcher's articles with interest and often get good value from them being accurate and informative. However blaming LCFC and Peter Taylor's fate on tv rights failure and the opening of the stadium (date are not right) are somewhat amusing. I think Paul has rightly bought these into the debate but he fails to condemn the many signings that Taylor mad to replace players like Lennon et al. As a so called new breed manager Taylor dramatically failed to bring in the standard of player that was required to fill these vacated positions. So much so that when Taylor won the premiership manager of the month and took LCFC to the top of the Premiership it was with mainly MON team. When he put his own players into the team look what happened. The rest is history. You cant blame Taylor for having six managers in the one year and for the La Magna disaster but Taylor stated this rot and his naivety in player selection became very apparent. He will live with that for the rest of his life and I am sure he didn't do it on purpose but he did it never the same. Its my view that he was possibly the worst manager ever to have filled the position at Leicester City.

  • Comment number 52.

    David Pleat wasnt great either, but yeah, i dont think people from other clubs, appreciate exactly what Taylor did. Hes a decent lower league manager though.

  • Comment number 53.

    SuperStrikerShivam "It has a Premier League quality stadium, and i think they are better than a few teams in the Premier League at the moment, and the Championship."

    cheers mate! not sure i'd agree but thanks all the same!

  • Comment number 54.

    coakes "whos chris powell?" what the???? shouldnt comment if you dont even know who the bloke is.

  • Comment number 55.

    To the bloke who thinks that your a glory supporter because you don't come from the place of the team that you support.

    I'm Scottish and i support Stoke City and have done since we got relegated to the old 2nd Division and i've never looked back. There has been some dull moments, i won't dispute that but there has been some greater moments and that's what supporting a football club is all about.

    Good luck to Leicester City in their quest to get back to the Championship and hopefully we don't play you next year ;). I live near Leicester and a few of my mates support the Foxes so when we got you relegated they weren't too happy with me, what can i say.

  • Comment number 56.

    I'm a Leicester fan from Leicester living in Los Angeles now. Agree with everything about Chris Powell, but what effect will his place in the team have on young Joe Mattock. Been out the loop a little lately but think they both play left back.
    Also agree with earlier comment on Peter Taylor. Bought many sub standard players playing in lower leagues for high prices that killed us. I used to know a couple of ex city players back in Taylors day who told me he was a great coach but crap manager. Any comments on Mattock though?

  • Comment number 57.

    My first ever post.

    As a DCFC supporter for over 40 years and now living in Thailand I am not able to follow English football as closely as I once did. I do, though, wholeheartedly agree with the (at least one) Derby poster. Chris Powell is a top, top bloke. He was probably Derby's best left back since David Nish and selling him was one of The Bald Eagle's biggest mistakes, especially considering his German replacement!! If you ever read any of these posts, Chris, all I can say is "all the best for the future, you are and absolute credit to your profession"

  • Comment number 58.

    Got to love ManUre fans. 99% of these fans are unbelievably arrogant and condescending, I'd like to see them go through what the majority of us do - heartbreak and small mercies. Unfortunately they ruin the name of those ManUre fans who have probably supported the club their entire lives through the ups and downs and deserve the fruit the club is currently bearing.

    Don't agree with the local team debate though. I'm from Northants myself but I've supported Leeds my entire life because we're a Leeds family stemming back from god knows when. I'd say that I'm a loyal fan despite not being local to Leeds. As long as you support your club for the right reasons and love them whatever comes, you should be classed the same as a supported born and bred in the region of the club.

    Incidentally, I moved to Doncaster a few years ago expecting allegiances to be either Rovers, Leeds or one of the Sheffield clubs. Needless to say most of the colours here are... ManUre.

  • Comment number 59.

    Great blog!

  • Comment number 60.

    Really refreshing to read about a an absolute pro and gentleman rather than sordid stories about the Premier League's top players moaning, fighting, drink driving, roasting, etc, etc.

    Chrissy Powell an absolute superstar!!

  • Comment number 61.

    why are Man Yanited fans on here? This article has nothing to do with you, any of you, Chris Powell is a Leicester City player and has played for several clubs, so it really should only interest fans of those clubs.

    Most Leicester supporters, myself included, couldn't care less about "Yanited", we aren't playing you this season, you aren't a rival club. We'll concentrate on supporting our "nothing" club.

    Anyway, Chris Powell has been a revelation this season. Even at 39, he still plays with passion and quite a bit of quality. He's a genuinely decent bloke too.

    Long may his, and our club's, success continue.

    Up The Foxes!!

  • Comment number 62.

    Peter Taylor ruined our club, thats for sure. But as Powell says, thats all in the past. We are in league one and we are making the best of it. Hopefully we can rebuild Leicester to the premiership fixture we once were!

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm from Leicester and support both Leicester City and Man Utd, although some may argue that's not possible. Scenicjoker is one arrogant Man Utd fan, I'm ashamed that he's a fellow Man Utd supporter. In my defence, I started supporting United since I was six years old initially because of David Beckham but as I grew older I understood football better and I started supporting my local club, I am a massive football fan but unfortunately I haven't been able to afford to go to any football match apart from a Leicester v Arsenal Reserves match, one of the reasons why I haven't been to a match is because I have no one to go with as my dad's a die hard Leeds United fan.

    Regarding this blog, I certainly agree Powell has been rock solid for City this season. Matty Fryatt and Andy King also deserve great recognition infact the whole team does including the boss and the backroom staff! I really do hope Leicester City get back into the Premier league as soon as possible, as they deserve it but most of all the City fans deserve it for being so loyal to their club!

    Good On you City fans! And all the best to City!!

  • Comment number 64.

    Nigel Pearson has done a fantastic job to guide us to the top of the league so quickly. It is a hard task to mould a team into shape and to the way you want to play and the success we have had already is testament to his abilities. It's encouraging to see that he is keeping his feet on the ground and not raising expectations too soon. I don't know the full story behind how he came to leave Southampton but I bet they're wishing they still had him now!

    For teams in the lower leagues concentrating on a mix of experience and young talent is essential which we seem to have done very well. The reason Peter Taylor destroyed the club was he spent millions on the likes of Ade Akinbye and Trevor Benjamin, which was just money down the drain. We've attained top players like Matty Fryatt, Andy King and Lloyd Dyer for practically nothing in comparison, not to mention snapping up Chris Powell, who is as much about the club as on the pitch. That's the way to build a successful team.

    I truly hope that we can not only get promotion this season but keep Pearson in place for the long haul. If we can do that then a return to the Premiership might just be on the cards in a few season's time, and I would never have imagined me saying that at the end of last season!

  • Comment number 65.

    Leicester fans and readers, just look back at 2000 when O'Neill left, they had two Carling Cups, and where in Europe. It's a bit like where Leeds and Newcastle are, and Hull have done the oppisite. Leicester is probably more known for the Tigers, which is down the road from the Walkers, past Odeon. Milan needs to give Leicester more money if they are ever going to do what they did back 8-10 years ago in the Premiership, THAT'S A FACT.

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm a leicester fan so I thought i'd better just post a quick comment to echo the points made by my fellow leicester supporters.

    I have to say that the team has been awesome this year, they are a credit to themselves and to the manager who, as monkeymagic points out, has done an incredible job of intergrating all the new players (including chris powell) into a coherent, winning team in such a short time.

    Leicester has been crying out for te continuity that pearson has brought. The supporters have had to endure literally years of a revolving door policy for players and managers and its great to see a finally see a settled, talented team with a manager who knows what he is doing.

    A special mention has to go to matty fryatt, not because he is top goal scorer in league 1 but for the fact that he is now finally playing to his potential and also for signing a new contract when his head could have been turned by offers from other teams.

    Blue army!

  • Comment number 67.

    Chris Powell really is an exceptional pro. We could do with him at the unhappy Valley at the moment. His legendary status alone would give the club a lift. An example of the man is that when he came off at half time during his England debut he went and spoke to the disabled fans and spent time with them during the second half.

  • Comment number 68.

    RE: Man Ure...if it wasn't for Chelsea, you would be the most indebted club in Europe, if not the world

  • Comment number 69.

    As a Leicester fan, I particularly enjoyed this article - and am loving finally feeling some sort of optimism towards the future.

    I am the first to put my hand up and say Pearson was not my first choice as manager, although the saving grace was that he isn't Neil Warnock. Nevertheless, I was more than prepared to give him a chance and so far I have been incredibly impressed.

    It's not just the fact that we are top and have lost very few matches this season, it's also been - as earlier comments have suggested - the way he has conducted himself and has made some shrewd, if unexpected, signings. Chris Powell seems to have only brought positives to the club, and it is an honour to be associated with someone like him. Hopefully his influence, both on and off the pitch, will rub off on our youngsters.

    So, going into 2009 - we are in a fabulous position, and should get promoted. The last few years have been far from easy, and I've been a Leicester fan long enough so think that we will manage to make the next few months hard for ourselves too - as the Hereford match suggested! However, I know we'll all get behind the team, even if we do have a 'blip'.

    Bring on Palace on Saturday - no pressure, a nice distraction from the league - let's knock Warnock out!!!! ;)

  • Comment number 70.

    Good to see so many positive comments on Chris Powell.

    He's brought nothing but credit to the club since he arrived. I hope his contract is extended to the end of the season. He deserves nothing less.

    He's played a full part in what all City fans hope will be a title-winning season and has clearly influenced many of the younger members of the squad in a positive way.

    Like Tunchev, Dyer, Morrison and Berner, he's been an excellent signing by Nigel Pearson.

    As for the immature comments by a number of Manyoo fans on this blog, they reflect the insecurities of glory seekers who know that now Manyoo are champions of not only England and Europe, but also the world, the only way they can go is downwards.

    One day their path, and that of Leicester, will cross again.

    Let's hope we don't have to wait too long for that day to come.

  • Comment number 71.

    As a child at primary school in Lincolnshire, I first became interested in football at the time of the 1963 FA Cup Final. Leicester were playing Manchester United and there was a big split in the playground over which one you wanted to win. I chose Leicester because I preferred blue to red and because I knew it was closer. (Believe it or not, Leicester were the favourites that day, so maybe I was being a glory-hunter?)
    Leicester lost and have never won the FA Cup, but I have carried on supporting them for the next 45 years. They are MY club through thick or thin (no less so because I don't actually come from Leicester and now live in London).
    In recent years, the game has been taken over by money and it has been possible to buy success - and fans. But for true fans, it doesn't matter whether your team is in the Premier League or the Blue Square Premier, you just want them to succeed, celebrate their successes and suffer their failures. There has been a lot of suffering at the Walkers in recent years, but now things are, hopefully, beginning to turn around.
    Good luck to the Foxes for 2009 and the future.

  • Comment number 72.

    Another United fan here that lives in Leicester - I'd just like to apologise for the ridiculous comments made by some other Man United "supporters" on this blog. I chose to support United at the age of 12 after watching them beat forest in the 1992 Rumbelows cup final and have supported them ever since, I get up there to watch matches as often as possible but it isn't that easy. I guess that does class as glory supporting of some sort but not the traditional sense of the saying.

    Anyway to my main point, having lived in Leicester all my life I know the history of the club very well and always look out for the results. They have been through some extremely turbulent times over recents years yet home crowds are still regularly 20,000 - this added to the clubs history demonstrate that Leicester ARE a big club.

    Well done Nigel Pearson, so far a great job. Please keep it up.

    Good luck Foxes.

  • Comment number 73.

    Chris Powell is a true gentleman, a model professional, a lovely human being & adored by all true fans of the clubs he served with distinction. I am delighted he is with us.

    I was at the City game against Southend when Chris was presented with his recognition for 750 professional appearances. The reception around the stadium for him said it all.

    I hope that Chris extends his time at City, not only to the end of this season, but to stay beyond the end of his playing days in a coaching (and I don't just mean football coaching) capacity. He has masses to offer our younger lads.

    Finally, many other tabloid headline grabbing professionals need to take a leaf out of Chris's book and GIVE BACK some of what they take out of the game.

    Chris...if you're reading this...God bless you!

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    Excellent read, thanks Paul!

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm Leicester - born and bred on New Parks, but now live in Felixstowe. I'm a Tigers fan but always look for the City result. Last time I went to see City was in the early sixties (unless you count the three games I saw at St James' Park whilst I was at Newcastle Poly.

    What I came on to talk about was that stupid rant from a Man U fan dissing City for be a 'nothing' club.

    You know what? After Tigers' back-to-back European successes and lord knows how many other cups and titles, I was happy (yes, happy) for the Tigers to lose their momentum simply because I did not want them to become another Man U with their hangers-on and cherry-picking fans.

    Be proud you foxes! At least you get to feel both the heartache and pride of being what you are - a PROPER football club

  • Comment number 77.

    its well good that the foxes are doing well
    there a big club and they will be back
    was at southampton vs sheffield utd last game of season when you lot went down but at showing now this season i think southampton will go when the foxes will be back good luck to you and to all your man u glory hunters ive seen my team west ham play at old trafford like 5 times and only some of you seen them play 3 or 4 if that lol am i allowed to call myself a man utd fan then mind you i was in the away end lol
    ha ha

  • Comment number 78.

    Chris Powell what a legend = Charlton 4Eva and Sheffield utd hu r u also i like to fellow my local team dagenham currently sitting 4th in league 2 well done to the lads

  • Comment number 79.

    Leicester's problems began before O'Neill left and I think the board had a very big part to play in it.

    Martin O'Neill was / is a legend. He's up there with then likes of Brian Clough and Alex Ferguson (at Aberdeen) in taking a small club and getting the best out of it's limited resources. He bought from lower divisions too, but look at who he bought!

    Neil Lennon and Robbie Savage are the two immediate names that spring to mind. Yes, he didnt win a European trophy like Clough and Ferguson with a small club, but considering how much football had changed since those days he still did incredibly well.

    The problem at Leicester began before he left. the board actually didnt recognise that O'Neill was special and believed that the club was bigger than it was. When he left, they were brought back down to earth with big bang!

    The fact that they were still doing well under Taylor was due to the fact O'Neills team spirit and style was still present. As Taylor made the team his own, the results changed. My regret was that O'Neill left one season too early.

    The £10million Leicester received for Emile Heskey was not spent by him, but by Taylor. O'Neill would have spent it far more wisely.

  • Comment number 80.

    Being over 30 now its been difficult supporting the Foxes. When the likes of Lineker, Lynex, Mcallister and Ian Andrews in Goal they were a very good team at Filbert Street. However, as soon as the team did poorly or were relegated, the fans would begin to support other teams. Namely Liverpool or Man Utd. You'll see this by going to any pub in Leicester when Liverpool or Utd play. (Probably like every other Town/City I guess).
    Admittedly, I'm one of these but support the Gooners for my own reasons. However, I always want City to do well. I really hope they have a change in luck and push for the Premiership (although a little early) they deserve to be up there just with thier history.
    If City are winning, the whole city is behind them as they have such as fantastic following. The thing I've noticed in this campaign though is that there's not too much media coverage and hence the pressure on Leicester and this is working well for them as they are quietly going on about thier business away from the Championship and the Premier league. In this sense, this is the ideal opportunity for City to build on something for the future.

  • Comment number 81.

    The root of Leicester's decline can be traced to Taylor's reign in charge. Time saps the memory and you could write a book about his mistakes but here are some:

    - Steve Guppy, a true MON player, took him everywhere, never tackled but the best left foot you'd see and vital to how we played. played most (if not all) games under MON and rarely (if ever) subsituted. Taylor's first game in charge? drops Guppy who does not even make the bench - if ever there was a case for "I'm the new man, this is my way", this is it.

    - Formation. MON always played 5-3-2 with three big centre halfs. Our best was under Elliott, Tags, Walsh - show as you like but it didn't matter the way we played. Taylor transferred immediately to 4-4-2 and disrupted us.

    - Team spirit - MON was big on this and we had it. Walsh and Cottee leading the way. Walsh loved more than any other player in our history. Within 6 weeks of Taylor joining, both had been sold - is it coincidence that they applied to be joint managers - did Taylor feel threatened? Whatever, our heart and soul were ripped out.

    - Collymore - was looking the business till he did his ankle then MON left. Taylor never trusted him - granted, Collymore made mistakes but we could and should have got more from him.

    Transfers - Akinbiyi, Benjamin, Jones - £10m the lot of them plus wages to match. Never up to standard. For some strange reason, the Leicester board gave Taylor more money in a year than MON had in 4. Why? The over spending on dross left us exposed when he got us relegated.

    Junior Lewis - need I say more. Inadequate at the level we were playing but a huge Taylor favourite.

    Taylor's experience - he got lucky at all his previous jobs. The teams were on the up or already reasonably established. Gillingham had almost got promotion the year before Taylor took charge (Man City play offs). Under 21's had great players coming through. As has been shown since, Taylor can't manage at a good level. He is a charlatan.

    Well, that's all I have time for in my lunch but Taylor was an unmitigated disaster and ruined us for years. And we are still paying the price.

  • Comment number 82.

    Peter Taylor is without doubt the reason behind our status in League One. All of our failings can be traced back to him. He clearly considered his own abilities to be far better than they were. He feared the experienced players and wasn't good enough to develop and encourage his lower league signings. The price that we've paid is being in league 1 for the first time in our history. We'll still need a bit of luck to get promoted and if we're successful life in the championship will be as tough as ever. We're still 'a work in progress' and many years and lots of cash away from returning to the MON glory days.

  • Comment number 83.

    Chris Powell trained with Bournemouth last summer. Why did he not sign? Was it Kevin Bond or did Leicester come along in time?

  • Comment number 84.

    Only signed up for today and enjoy reading this stuff. Chris Powell should be saluted, he is a model pro.
    Nigel Pearson is doing a major rebuilding job and so far so good but like any LCFC fan knows, never get carried away.
    kish96 is just typical of glory hunters everywhere and I've had to put up with my fair share of them.
    You should follow your local team and I have nothing but respect for genuine fans of all clubs.
    As for scenicjoker, well I subscribe to the wind up theory but do take objection to the term "nothing club". If it wasn't for us "muppets" following our nothing clubs the game would not exist.


 

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