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Saturday, August 9, 2003
ESPNsoccernet: August 6, 5:56 PM UK
Leicester Season Guide

Dale Johnson

Leicester City
Nickname: The Foxes
Founded: 1884
Ground: Walkers Stadium, Filbert Way, Leicester, LE2 7FL
Capacity: 32,500
Ticket Office: 0870 040 6000, option one; or
Club Colours:
Home - Blue shirts with white trim, white shorts, blue socks
Away - Black shirts with skly blue flash, black shorts and socks

Top Links
Soccernet's Leicester City page | Full squad | Fixture list
Soccernet's Leicester City Correspondent
Official Leicester City Website
Norwegian Unofficial website - The Cunning Fox
Fan site - Blue Army
Unofficial website - For Fox Sake

Last Season - Promotion Position: 2nd in Division One

Picture: ShaunBotterill/Allsport Leicester would have been glad to simply survive the 2002/03 season, but instead they had promotion to celebrate as well as a secure future. Relegation from the Premiership, coupled with the costs of the new Walkers Stadium, left the Foxes in dire fanancial straits and on the brink of ruin. But former player Gary Lineker came to the rescue, heading a consortium bidding to gain control of the ailing club. On the pitch, boss Micky Adams worked wonders - with the club in administration he was unable to strengthen the side throughout the season. Leicester were always in the shake-up for promotion, and after Christmas it seemed pretty certain that they would grab one of the automatic spots. In the final weeks of the season they had every chance of taking the championship, but only one win from their final five games put paid to their chances. But few fans would argue with second spot and an immediate return to the top flight.

Transfers - In and Out
Coming In:
Steve Howey (Man City) - Undisc.
Ben Thatcher (Tottenham) - Undisc.
Paul Brooker (Brighton) - Free
Danny Coyne (Grimsby) - Free
John Curtis (Blackburn) - Free
Les Ferdinand (West Ham) - Free
Keith Gillespie (Blackburn) - Free
Craig Hignett (Blackburn) - Free
Lilian Nalis (Chievo) - Free
Nicolas Priet (Lyon) - Free
Riccardo Scimeca (Nottm Forest) - Free
Marcus Bent (Ipswich) - Loan

  • On The Move - All the transfers
  • Getting Out:
    Jon Ashton (Oxford) - Free
    Stefan Oakes (Walsall) - Free
    Michael Price (Darlington) - Free
    Rhys Powell (Bolton) - Free
    Martin Reeves (Northampton) - Free
    Simon Royce (Charlton) - Free
    Jon Stevenson (Swindon) - Free
    Nicky Summerbee (Bradford) - Free
    Trevor Benjamin (Gillingham) - Loan
    Tommy Wright (Brentford) - Loan
    Darren Eadie - Released
    Leon McSweeney - Released
    Tim Flowers - Retired

    First Choice XI

    1-Ian Walker; 3-Frank Sinclair, 24-Steve Howey, 18-Matt Elliott, 33-Ben Thatcher; 7-Keith Gillespie, 6-Muzzy Izzet, 21-Riccardo Scimeca, 5-Craig Hignett; 22-Paul Dickov, 9-Les Ferdinand.

    The Gaffer - Micky Adams

    Picture: ShaunBotterill/Allsport Leicester boss Micky Adams has forged a reputation as a young manager of great merit after highly successful spells with Fulham, Brighton & Hove Albion and now Leicester - proving to be a master of managing on a shoestring budget. He transformed Fulham from a side struggling to stay in the Football League to one capable of challenging for promotion - until new owner Mohamed Fayed opted to bring in his own man. After horror spells at Swansea and Brentford, he took the job as Dave Bassett's number two at Nottingham Forest before rejuvenating the fortunes of Brighton. Again he took a team in danger of losing their League status and turned them into a winning side. He nurtured the talents of striker Bobby Zamora, and the Seagulls stormed to the Third Division title in 2001. A few months later he again joined Bassett, this time at Leicester, but with the club doomed to relegation he took over at the helm in April 2002.

    Player to Watch - Muzzy Izzet

    Picture: CliveBrunskill/Allsport If Leicester are to have any chance of remaining in the Premiership for a second season, much will depend on the form of Muzzy Izzet. The Turkish international was much sought after as the Foxes dropped out of the top flight two years ago, but he rejected a move to Middlesbrough in favour of seeing out the season at Filbert Street. That sort of loyalty wins you no end of fans in the stands, but a good first half of the season could well have the vultures circling once again. Phenomenally hard-working and blessed with plenty of skill, his driving style and eye for the simple and effective pass make him an indispensable ingredient in the engine room. His midfield promptings keep the side moving, and his attacking contribution is immense, whether it is in setting up or scoring goals. He was part of Turkey's squad for both Euro 2000 and last year's World Cup, but has now dropped out of the picture on the international stage.

    Young Gun - Tom Petrescu

    Leicester don't have the best record with young players over recent years, but in young defender Tom Petrescu they could finally have a player to make it in the first team. No relation to former Sheffield Wednesday and Chelsea defender Dan, Petrescu is a Finland Under-17 international who joined the club two years ago on schoolboy terms. He was only 16-years-old when handed his debut by Leicester on the final day of last season, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and is expected to be in the first team picture over the coming campaign. Petrescu is essentially a right-sided midfielder, but can also play in attack if needed and grabbed 13 goals for the club's Academy last term.

    From the terraces

    We have a good manager in Micky Adams and I hope for survival - a good start is what counts. Ten new signings are also on board including Les Ferdinand, Ben Thatcher and Keith Gillespie who are experienced players at this level.

    Lilian Nalis from Chievo is also a very exciting signing with loads of experience from French and Italian top flight football. None of the youngsters in the squad are certain to be in the team, but Tommy Wright, Matt Heath and Jordan Stewart have all been involved either at England Under-20 or Under-21 level this summer or last season.

    We are waiting for a youngster to make a real breakthrough since Emile Heskey's days, but so far no one has managed to establish themselves in the first team.

    By Ivar Tisthammer, from The Cunning Fox.

    As with most teams that get promoted to the Premiership each season, Leicester haven't really got the financial backing to keep up with any of the top Premiership teams.

    Micky Adams has bought well during the Summer, and he has added Premiership experience to the squad, with Keith Gillespie already proving to be a fans' favourite before the kick-off. Youth wise, City have a crop of Academy players, with Jordan Stewart proving his worth last season.

    However, Tomi Petrescu, a young Finnish player who made his debut against Wolves on the last day of last season, has shown everyone what he is made of in the reserves.

    By Robert Green, from Blue Army.

    Perhaps I am tempting fate a little, but I must admit I am really confident that the Foxes will stay clear of relegation this season.

    Micky Adams has been working around the clock this summer and has made some really astute signings - Keith Gillespie, Steve Howey, Les Ferdinand, Craig Hignett and Ben Thatcher are proven quality Premiership players.

    There is also much excitement at the prospect of Tom Petrescu making a splash in the first team this year.

    The versatile Fin made his debut as a 16-year-old on the last day of last season, and whilst this season may perhaps be a little too soon for him to establish himself in the first team squad, he should be at least given a few run-outs. Prediction - a season of little worry and dare I say it, a top twelve finish.

    By Chris Burroughs, from Fans FC.

  • Have your say on the Leicester City Message Board

    Best - Just safe Worst - Relegation

    It's hard to see anything other than a season of struggle for the Foxes this season. They have drafted in a whole team of new players, and Micky Adams is going to have to mould them with the old guard to create an effective unit. A fit Les Ferdinand will make the world of difference - his career may almost be at an end but he showed at West Ham last season that he still has bags of quality. Survival is going to have to be based on hard work and the team ethic, because this Leicester side is lacking in the necessary quality in all areas of the field. If they do survive the drop, then Adams should be in line for Manager of the Year.

  • Any thoughts? Email Dale Johnson.

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