Why Teamwork Always Beats The Odds
Leicester City did the unthinkable in 2016 when they won the FA Premier League but it all came from working together and concentrating on the moment
Teamwork will win most games no matter who the opposition is.
At least that was the case for Leicester City in 2016 when they won the FA Premier League.
Because they were not the richest team in the league and they weren’t even favored by any of the experts to win the league at the start of the season not to mention even compete in the top four positions.
They were 5,000/1 outsiders to win the competition yet they proved everyone wrong and did it for their first time.
And in a world where money talks it was unbelievable for football and all sports supporters everywhere.
How could a team made up of journeymen and nobody footballers beat the class of Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and all the rest in the league?
But the true answer is they did it with teamwork.
It sounds so simple but that’s what happened.
Yet how could all the bigger teams who a couple of years later grouped to try to form a European Super League be so naïve and not see the likes of Leicester City come from nowhere to claim the prize they all expected that season?
It seems incredible that not one of those top teams could pile the pressure on them and win.
But they couldn’t.
And here’s why.
Firstly although Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal all had big name managers in Manuel Luis Pellegrini Ripamonti, Jurgen Klopp, Louis van Gaal, Guus Hiddink, and Arsène Wenger none of them were able to outfox the likable Italian Claudio Ranieri.
Sure Pellegrini was a Premier League champion with City but he was unable to motivate his team to be the best in the land that season. And although they had money to spend it wasn’t good enough. And not long after that season, he got the sack from the board that had lost faith in his management style.
Jurgen Klopp had just inherited a Liverpool squad.
At best they had finished second to Manchester City in the league one season and were struggling to find that last piece in the jigsaw to win the coveted league title. Still, Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri has only inherited a side that was nowhere near the top spot in the league at the beginning of that very same season so Kloop’s first season had to be included as a great chance he missed to win the league too.
When you look at the season after Liverpool won the league in 2020 it showed that Kloop’s methods were not the only factor that built great team morale in Liverpool. So Leciester’s win was something deeper than what was shown on the surface that season.
Although Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal won the FA Cup that year his personality rubbed the players up the wrong way.
He was also unable to get the media on his side as his serious demeanor lacked the awareness of the expectancy to win all at Manchester United.
Guus Hiddink tried his best in Chelsea that season but they were nowhere near where he expected them to be. Okay, you could say they were in transition at the time but a manager that steps into a big job like that must be able to see that and have a plan for turning it around.
He failed miserably.
Then there was the most experienced manager in the league left.
A man who had won several Premier League titles and surely would have been able to stop Leicester in their tracks?
But Arsène Wenger was unable to do so.
Instead, he was being taunted by his fans despite the years of trophies he brought them.
Yet the little Italian Claudio Ranieri charmed his players and the English media into winning.
He spoke about rewarding them with pizzas and his admiration for his mother often and how his team was enjoying the journey at the top of the table. He remained humble throughout the process and took the pressure off his team. Although he had not won a league title up until that point his charisma worked a treat.
But his ability to guide a team that season was not only about him it was about the chairman of the club too.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was the chairman of the club at the time and although he died in a tragic helicopter accident a couple of years later this benefited all of the football league as it shone a light on the positive generosity the man had with all in the Leicester club and its community.
Because although he pumped millions of pounds into the club he also made sure that lots of money went into local hospitals and children’s care too. Even at Christmas time, he made sure that free mince pies and drinks were available. He had that bit of class that other chairmen did not have.
And it brought the club and its supporters together.
Then there were the players on the field.
With Schmeichel in goal, Leciester had a top custodian that was loyal and he learned from the best, his father Peter who had won everything with Manchester United. With Huth, Drinkwater, and Kanté there were hungry professionals who insisted on playing for the team rather than for themselves. And then there was a sprinkling of pure class with Mahrez and Vardy.
Both had top talent but had not yet achieved the heights their talent demanded until Leicester won that season.
This focused them to seize the opportunity to win that season.
And they did.
But it all came from old-fashioned hard graft and the will to help one another out in the form of a true team that worked for one another for the rewards of the bigger cause.
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