Leicester FC proves it’s possible to defy the odds

Photo from Peter Woodentop, Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bodfeatures/26943755296/)
Photo from Peter Woodentop, Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bodfeatures/26943755296/)

The impossible seemed to become possible this year in the Barclay’s Premier League. With many clubs spending hundreds of millions for the so-called “best players” in the world, none of them could keep up with East Midlands team Leicester City Football Club. At the beginning of the year, Leicester City had 5000-1 to odds on winning the Premier League but literally against all odds made football history. Even with those odds they still pulled off an unbelievable season, and can inspire all those smaller, less funded teams that even if the odds are stacked against them, can always win.

In the 2014-15 season, Leicester barely escaped the relegation zone by winning six out of their last seven matches. Over the summer, they sacked their manager and signed the Italian Claudio Ranieri, and from then on they kept winning and winning. They don’t have high profile players, players who make millions of pounds a year, but their team comradery and their match tactics proved too hard to beat for much higher profile clubs.

This has been a season that might never be replicated again. Just the fact that it has happened once shows there is always a chance for anything to happen in sports, especially for the underdog. The underdog is often cheered on by people who don’t support the favorite but especially in football it is quite rare for the underdog to win a match let alone a whole season.

Leicester are the proof that all the so-called “lesser” teams always have a chance to win in general. No matter the situation, the class of the players or just how good the opposing team is, the underdog always has a chance. Leicester is a prime example.

Secondly, one of the reasons they were so hard to beat throughout the whole season was the energy they had in their play. When working hard they always were laughing and having a positive attitude. Joking with each other seemed to be the way to make all the hard stuff easy.

Not only is this important when you’re stretching your limits in order to gain fitness but in life and sports you always need to laugh through the difficult stuff. When playing you need to have a positive attitude and enjoy what you’re doing. If you’re in a tough situation but your close friends crack jokes, it immediately calms nerves and makes the situation better. This helps people improve their team morale and bond as a team, all which helped them succeed.

Leicester found the balance of laughing through tough situations and playing seriously in order to win. For teams who don’t necessarily have best players it is essential to be serious and play to the best of your ability when you can. When it’s game time, the jokes stop and the only thing in your mind is winning, and Leicester found the way to do that to its best.

They found their winning mentality by being serious but also they played a style of football that used their strengths to their advantage. There is a common saying it sports and it goes “you can’t lose if they don’t score.” Leicester’s defense was great. Rarely did they concede. Out of their 23 wins, 13 of the wins they didn’t concede a goal and seven were 1-0 wins. That is the simplest way to win but still gets the same amount of points as a 4-2 win. Many teams lose when they only score one goal but you only need one goal to win.

In tense situations like being 1-0 up while the match is going on, many people let nerves kick in and end up cracking. The manager always gave realistic objectives for the team to achieve. This immediately reduced the nerves for the team to win. Not having those nerves allowed them to perform above and beyond what everyone thought.

Leicester did many incredible things that allowed them to win the league. In this day and age, many underdogs simply don’t win, but Leicester proved that you don’t need to have the “best players” to succeed.

This story doesn’t really solely relate to football teams. It can relate to everything. Maybe you struggle in class or you feel nothing is going your way in learning to play an instrument. Just because you don’t think you can succeed or it might be harder, it is 100 percent possible.

Overall, you don’t need to have the odds in your favor to win. Every sports team that you compete with aren’t always the best, but still you can always win. If you have the odds against you, never give up, and Leicester are the reason why.

About Jonathan Novak ('20)

News Editor

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