The Leicester City fairytale should give Ipswich Town hope - says Ian Marshall
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Leicester City’s remarkable footballing fairytale should give hope to clubs up and down the land – including Ipswich Town.
So says former Blues and Foxes striker Ian Marshall after Claudio Ranieri’s team sealed the most unlikely of Premier League titles on Monday night.
The East Midlands club were in League One in 2009 and, just 12 months ago, narrowly avoided relegation. They started this season as 5,000-1 rank outsiders for the title, but have confounded all expectations to break a big-budget mini monopoly and become the first new name on the English top-flight trophy in 38 years.
“It’s the sort of story that gives hope to every football club and every player in the land,” said Marshall, who moved from Ipswich to Leicester in 1996, helping Martin O’Neill’s team win the League Cup in 2000.
“Non-league players will look at what Jamie Vardy has done and think ‘I could do that’. It’s a story which shows that it doesn’t have to be all about money – even in this day and age.
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“It’s just amazing, absolutely amazing. Words can’t describe what has happened. I don’t think anything on that scale will happen again, certainly not in my lifetime.
“It’s all down to their team ethic. The work rate they put in for each other is incredible.
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“(Jamie) Vardy and (Riyad) Mahrez have got a lot of the limelight, but it’s about more than individuals. Every single one of those players deserves credit.”
With Ipswich now preparing for a 15th successive season in the Championship, Marshall – who runs a football academy at Greshams Sports and Social Club – continued: “Ipswich fans sat there fed up about where their club is at and thinking it couldn’t get any worse should realise that only eight years ago Leicester were in League One.
“What they’ve done could happen to anybody.
“No-one is naive enough to think you can be successful without spending anything. Leicester have spent a bit and I do think Ipswich need to spend a bit more cash than they are currently under Marcus Evans.
“But Leicester have shown that, with good recruitment, you can upset the odds. If Ipswich can find a few hidden gems, and supplement that with some good academy players – like Andre Dozzell – then maybe they can compete with the bigger spenders and progress.”
Was Town’s top-flight title of 1962 a bigger underdog story? – Pages 54/55