Unlikely Heroes

With 13 games gone of the season, some very interesting stories have emerged already and it’s made for a very compelling start to a season of football. Today’s special mention goes out to Leicester, whose win against Newcastle at the weekend propelled them into the upper echelons of the English football ladder. Ignoring the fact they have had an easy’ish run of games to start, it has been their counter-attacking, kamakazi style of play that has won us all over. Thrilling and fearless, they have certainly earned the top slot on MOTD on more than one occasion. Whether they can sustain this momentum as the season progresses remains to be seen, but all I know is I want to quietly plant a kiss on Jamie Vardy’s forehead. Much has been made of Vardy’s meteoric rise from non-league football to record breaker and rightly so. Let’s not sweep my lucky exchange of Vydra for Vardy before the season started as it continues to bring joy to my life on a weekly basis. 10 weeks in a row in fact. He can write history further by breaking the record Ruud Van Nistelrooy set for Manchester United in his goal poaching days in the very arena he did it, which would further unravel a plot even more moving than Santiago Muñez’s rags to riches story in ‘Goal’.

Whether Leicester will eventually regress and capitulate like West Ham did last season after a good start seems almost inevitable, but their gung-ho approach to the game has been embraced and lauded by all sections of fans, and it has certainly kept us on the edge of our seats. With Mahrez and Vardy wreaking havoc and leaving certain man looking like Titus Bramble, they are showing no signs of taking their foot off the gas just yet. With a very tough run of games coming up over the next few weeks, one must wonder whether their basketball score line, counter-attacking, LETS BE 'AVIN YA approach is sustainable in the long run, but as neutrals we can only wish them luck. Can they do it against the big boys? Suggestions of a top 4 finish should be taken with a generous helping of salt, but the Premiership is so unpredictable and Leicester have encapsulated that so wonderfully just by sitting top of the league, so why not? I’m not going to bet against them just yet. Results breed confidence, and if confidence was an animal, Claudio Ranieri is giving birth to a litter of 12,000 pigs every weekend.

As for draft I was fortunate enough to experience a game week in Italy. Me and my friends have adopted an Italian Serie ‘D’ side called Grosseto who we now support with questionable avidity, and so arrived our annual visit. It was one of those weekends where your opponent poses no significant threat to you whatsoever, and after a couple Ross Barkley goals you’re home and dry. It’s nice to brush your opponent to one side like Jack painting one of his French girls. Jokes aside I was just grateful my fixture wasn’t dragged out until Sunday or even Monday because I would have risked being hospitalised the state I was in. The table is taking shape now and you have a pretty firm idea of who is likely to pose a threat, and also the kind of person who still has Loic Remy and Welbeck up front. Those who lack the consistency in their results risk being left behind by the pack, with only the distant hope of a January signing on waiver resembling any chance of turning things around. However what’s really important is how Draft brings a group of friends together, and it’s that fellowship and camaraderie that transcends far beyond league positions.

Shayan Shahdi, FC Hibak

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