I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to get excited about something if everyone else is getting excited about it. Contrary bastard some may say. I am also one of those people who will cringe at the terms fairy-tale and miracle and then use every cell of grey matter in my bonce to discredit these exaggerations (other than the Miracle of Medinah, that really was a frickin' miracle).
So when Leicester City won the Premier League last night, I waited on Twitter for the overreaction of the sporting family I hear from more than my own. Once more, there was a deluge of ‘one of the greatest sporting stories of our time' 'the biggest upset in football’ and once again, my mind raced away – really is it such a big deal, I mean Leicester are owned by billionaires for goodness sake, there are other teams like Nottingham Forest who upset the odds, wasn't it just a dud year in the Premier League?
But this morning, even as I awoke from a dream where Harry Kane invited me to the Tottenham end of season awards night (thanks Hazza), it was Leicester City on my mind.
And I felt confused... I have been working in football for the last decade and this is the first time I have felt so strange. As I looked up at my ceiling I wondered if there were really limitations on anything, reality had shifted a little bit, and at that moment I felt compelled to get out of bed, because maybe I could win the Premier League too.
Talk about tearing up the form book, Leicester City have **** all over it. I have not heard from one journalist, or person, who thought they could win the league – and most people predicted they would be in the relegation dog fight. Although I am perplexed why people doubted Claudio Ranieri, if anything I think his pedigree might have been too good for Leicester, I can totally understand why so few people took a £1 bet which would have made them £5,000 richer. This was never meant to happen, it never has happened in the Premier League, it has never even remotely happened, the same teams have been going into the Champions League for as long as I can remember. (Yes, I know football existed before the Premier League, but I don't care)
Next year Ranieri and his band of brothers could be facing the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, however, it isn’t Leicester City in the Champions League that excites me, it is next year’s Premier League.
For one, Leicester will be reigning champions and if anything should get stronger rather than weaker, for another, one hopes that seeing the jubilant faces of the Leicester City players celebrating in Vardy's crib will encourage small teams to dream big. And 'big' clubs to think small - look more at keeping their players united and humble, rather than self-interested and flash. That we will welcome more personable and cultured managers like Ranieri, Pochettino and Klopp into the Premier League. Pep, you are a great start!