It is certainly weird to have a team who one could technically describe as new to the league sitting atop the English Premier League after 17 matches.
One and a half season back in the premier league after a decade of absence, Leicester are top of the league at Christmas.
It is quite weird.
It is also interesting how there are no indications that the Foxes have plans to falter on their impressive run.
The last team outside the established new order to win the title was Blackburn Rovers in 1994-95, although you could argue that Chelsea’s first Abramovich-era win broke a long-running trend.
There are chances that there won’t be the anticipated happy ending by Leicester fans, but the chances that at the end of the season nothing about their year would be regarded as fleeting are even more.
In the last 11 years, the lowest the Christmas leaders have ever finished was third, with the only occasion that happened when Arsenal dropped off the pace in 2007/08.
Wouldn’t it be good to see Leicester City emerge as Premier League champions in 2016?
There’s a long way to go, and everyone is waiting for Claudio Ranieri’s side to “blow up”.
This December was supposed to be the month where it might all go wrong, but impressively they have navigated through the fixtures since that home game against Manchester United in the last fixture November fixture.
With the latest win coming against Everton in a comprehensive victory over the weekend, it would be unfair not to laud Leicester work ethic.
Most impressive thing about Leicester all season long is how they have made themselves immune to varying approach of decent and even below par opponents they have faced using the most predictable, though effective, set-up and still remain almost unbeatable.
Teams are very familiar with how they set up, their approach – the ”unfashionable” 4-4-2 formation is one where personnel abilities and duties aren’t so difficult to figure out. One with two hardworking strikers, never hesitant in putting in a defensive shift – one where just one full back primarily joins in attack, where the basic aim is to outnumber the opposition in the box in attack with both wingers providing crosses received with glee by fellow attackers. Everything to expect from a team that set out in a 4-4-2 formation every week, yet teams can’t stop them – More appropriately, don’t know how to stop.
All constituted with the zeal and attitude which spells into consistency no other team in the league have been able to muster or put together at any point during the season.
So, deservedly, they are at the position they have worked hard for – They don’t believe it themselves, humbly they will say their target is the much coveted – 40 points for new and struggling teams which ensures they can’t be relegated but Leicester have certainly pulled weights above that level.
Ranieri, typically, is playing it all down, claiming that “survival” in the Premier is the objective. After the games against Liverpool and Manchester City on Boxing day and two days after – They certainly in 2015 would be tagged ”the massive upgrade ” – a team that had to string 7 successive wins to attain safety to the team who are mid-season champions – that should provide the evidence people need as to Leicester’s staying power
So the question, can they do it beckons?
They can by all normal indications, but they will need to keep their squad intact, Jamie Vardy is already in the sights of bigger clubs and Riyad Mahrez is also becoming a target.
It will be astonishing if they do, but equally, a Champions League spot will be a huge achievement. The Premier League has longed for a tale of the unexpected, and Leicester City are the best bet to re-write a history as such.