Friday, 10 August 2012

2012/13 Season Preview

This article first appeared on The Football League 72 on Friday, 3rd August 2012.

Nigel Pearson’s Leicester City are a very different beast to that of twelve months ago, largely thanks to a turbulent 2011/12 season that saw a huge player turnover and our eleventh manager change in a decade.

Thanks to Pearson’s grounded nature, however, this summer has been very different to last year’s, with Sven Goran Eriksson’s high-spending approach to management forgotten in favour of a more measured style. One gets the impression that Pearson is trying to build a team that plays as a unit, rather than a bunch of superstar individuals and the signings of young Manchester United duo Matty James and Richie de Laet support that view.

In these players, along with the recent acquisition of Zak Whitbread, Pearson has begun to build a solid base. Gone are the risky Sol Bamba and the unimpressive Matt Mills alongside a raft of released fringe players, with Whitbread providing cover at the back alongside Ireland’s Euro 2012 star defender Sean St Ledger and new skipper Wes Morgan.

Of most excitement, however, are the changes up front. Signing the impressive young target man Marko Futacs on a free from Portsmouth is a conservative move that could well pay-off. Meanwhile, Pearson has taken a risk in opting to break a non-league transfer record to bring Fleetwood Town’s Jamie Vardy to the King Power Stadium. If Vardy can transfer his goal scoring ability from the Conference to the Championship – and the signs from pre-season are that he is looking very sharp – City could have a real gem on their hands. Partnering David Nugent, who started his Leicester career solidly last term, Leicester City could really prove a threat in attack and, for once, live up to their pre-season hype.
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