Mattock’s Bad Tempered Defection

Posted by on Aug 12, 2009 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 50 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.


  1. Pigo
    August 12, 2009

    Watching his interviews upon signing was a beautiful example of how media schooling either doesn't extend as far as League 1 or is of absolutely no use if you've just incurred the everlasting wrath of your former manager and are determined to engage in some lip-smacking snidery at his expense. It read like a list of grudges: “This is just a bigger club, better players, better football, better prospects…” All delivered with a wide-eyed, rubery-lipped insouciance reminiscent of Joe Cole's “It was really really loud” interview following one of his early matches for West Ham at Old Trafford. He's going to be in for it.

  2. Frank Heaven
    August 16, 2009

    Silly boy. Doesn't help your career, doesn't improve your new team's chances when said grudge match comes round.

    But… I confess to a degree of schadenfreude. As Lanterne Rouge has noted, Leicester punched well above their weight in the 1990s (and were pretty punchy the way they played too), duly flew too close to the sun – and we all know what happened next…

    So when a club that practices good husbandry and does not rely on huge overdrafts or dubious financial practice can afford to pluck a promising player from a club that did – well I think there's a bit of justice in that.


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