Jamie Vardy first came to my attention in that 5 - 3 win at the Kings Power Stadium 2 seasons ago. He bullied 'you know who' in that remarkable turn around for Nigel Pearson’s remarkable win. That victory and the relegation avoiding match winning streak of that Leicester side is worthy of anything Claudio Ranieri’s team have achieved.
I didn’t really like him as a person. He ticked a few negative boxes for me (in your face, chavvy, appears ready to start a fight) he got done for racism, excluded his parents from his life etc.
Last season, I paid no attention to him until the period leading up to him breaking Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record against Manchester United.
The week before his team played Arsenal, when they beat Manchester City at the Etihad, I had them down as cheats and strongly believed the Premier League body & the PGMOL (referee’s body) had an agenda in ensuring the Leicester fairy tale turned into reality.
A week later at the Emirates, I was livid when Martin Atkinson gave a penalty kick award to Vardy. Not only did I conclude that Vardy was a cheat, I could bet money Mr. Atkinson was on the take.
And it happened. Leicester won the league, Vardy tried it a few more times, got away with some and it came back to bite him in the match versus West Ham. Jon Moss gave the decision that should have been rightfully given at the Emirates. 3 months later Referee Moss sent Vardy off at the King Power.
Vardy & Leicester won the league; I imagine it was well deserved. Vardy is now a full England international. He has won lots of accolade. Watch out for Jamie Vardy The Movie.
Then the news broke. Arsenal had met his release clause. It appears he was touted around and Arsenal initially declined, had a change of mind nearer the release clause expiration date and made a move.
When the news broke, it was a difficult one for me. I couldn't understand it as he didn’t fit the ‘good mummy’s boy’ profile; he wasn’t the ‘take 5 touches instead of 1’ type player; his next birthday is 30; he has had one decent season; and has thrived in a team playing in a particular type of way. I didn’t see the glove and hand fit.
I was somewhat apprehensive but not totally against the move. Quite unlike my emotions about the Luis Suarez move. I was 100% certain I didn’t want Suarez at Arsenal even at the expense of winning something. His later day relatively good boy behaviour at Barcelona suggests that maybe I and people who had the same views on that move were wrong. Although his good behaviour might be down to the fact that he is actually winning things at the Camp Nou.
As it became apparent that the Vardy deal was likely to happen, I was willing to forgive Jamie all his foibles & rationalise the move by focusing on the positive. His fire in the belly is good for the club; gets in the face of people (hopefully both in the dressing room and on the field of play); perhaps he can help stick 2 fingers at Piers Morgan; show some passion; hope that his ‘purple patch’ continues for one more season; destabilise Leicester etc.
As expected Leicester have fought back. They have countered the Arsenal offer, which is good for Vardy, as it appears his main aim is to secure his future. This is a commendable aim and without the Arsenal offer, he wouldn’t have received the new deal from Leicester. God how I need an Arsenal in my life. Hopefully my employer wont think its good riddance :(
I wonder though if Leicester will be able to stem the flow of offers for others like Kante and Mahrez as bigger vultures with deeper pockets than Arsenal are out there. I can imagine PSG giving Kante the key to the vault of Bank National de Paris and asking him to ‘PRENEZ TOUT CE QUE TU VEUX’ (take everything you want). At that stage, even all of the Thai Baht in the World can’t compete with the Euros in BNP's vaults.
Also when Florentino Perez threatens to kill Ranieri’s pet cat if they don’t sell Mahrez to Real Madrid, the bosses at Leicester will have to do a deal on compassionate grounds to let him go.
So it is looking like Vardy will stay at Leicester. Fair play to him. More money. You are already a King at the King Power. Have a wonderful Euros 2016 and try to replicate your 2015/16 form otherwise Judas’ fate on the streets of Lagos Nigeria awaits.
Will Arsene lose sleep on Vardy curving Arsenal? I doubt. Does he lose sleep about missed transfers? I don’t think so. By bidding for Vardy, I believe the man has set the Lions after the foxes (:
I suspect the destabilisation aim has been achieved It is open season on Leicester’s wily foxes. Their accountants must be cursing Ranieri for winning the league and not delivering the money trophy. The club has had to cough up league winning bonuses that they never expected to pay out. They had agreed 'lowish' release clauses in the belief that their players will never be in this type of demand and now they are faced with jacking up pay to unanticipated levels and offering unplanned long term contracts. Uneasy lies the head eh.
What could the bosses at Leicester have done better? Shove contracts / or pre contracts in the face of their stars right after the league win for starters. The emotional attachment was stronger and the euphoria was higher. Its like when a woman asks a man for something just after ………….. (You know the drill). The answer is always YES. YES . YES. (:
Personally if I was a Leicester player or Ranieri, I would have resigned after the league win. I doubt that victory will ever be topped. Win the league again? Win the Champions league? 'Havin a laff'.
In the event that lightning was mindful of striking twice, please place a decent size bet on Leicester, they are 33 to 1 to win the EPL & 50 to 1 for a UCL win. That means they are more likely to win the next EPL or UCL than they were to win the EPL last season. Dive in fellas.
So wither Arsenal? I’m 100% certain talks are on for the next one. Mr. Wenger is not having a party in France. Even if we don’t sign another striker, who says Olivier Giroud can not have his Vardy moment in 2016/17. Arsenal players should pretend he his Vardy and punt the ball forward to him in double quick time. Watch Olivier win us the League. Na na na na *music*