Mattock's Bad Tempered Defection
I’m sure most British football fans would have been astounded to learn that Leicester City’s relegation in 2008 signalled the start of their first ever spell in the bottom two divisions. All through the club’s amazing O’Neill-inspired run of success in the nineties, the impression that Foxes’ fans were punching way above their weight in terms of happy experiences was tangible. Hence, the fall from grace involving a cast of villains — Holloway, Allen and Taylor — seemed just desserts in an acutely Faustian pact. Their swift return, engineered with a mighty points haul last May, will have upset rivals, not just for the perceived injustice of Leicester’s lack of experience of the bad times, but for the likelihood that it might be a significant about turn.
Momentum is a large enough phenomenon in football to have warranted a recent feature in Four Four Two and the Foxes now have it in spades. The first evidence was a gritty comeback against last season’s Championship dauphins, the elegant Swansea City. Dany N’Guessan and Martyn Waghorn launched the club with dream, goalscoring debuts and Leicester are early inhabitants of the play off zone.
So, Joe Mattock’s bad tempered defection from East to West Midlands will have gone down like an aspirin boat on Rutland Water. Comments on “big clubs” and playing style will be posted up on the dressing room wall when the England youngster returns to the Walkers Stadium on November 7 although it’s an auspicious signing for Albion for sure. Still, the galvanizing impact of this desertion should spur Foxes on. Expect old stagers like Richie Wellens and Matthew Oakley to shepherd a clutch of hungry youngsters to comfortable safety.