The Fiver | History teaches us that Leicester always find a way to bounce back

FOFANA: FOX OFF

Back in the mists of time, Leicester City were famous for three things: bobbing up and down between the top two divisions; losing FA Cup finals; and those sand dunes Jock Wallace used to make his players sprint up and down until they were sick through their nose. But events of the last few years have proper jiggered all that. Now it’s all Premier League titles this, FA Cup success that, regular European qualification the other. Oh Claudio! Brendan! Jamie and Kasper! How could you? Whatever happened to the old certainties? Our unspoken agreement? The post-war consensus? The social contract? We had a deal!

Happily for those of us who wish with all our heart that it was 1982 again, it seems Leicester are in the process of reverting to the mean. Last year’s eighth place finish in the Premier League was three spots down on the two previous seasons, meaning no European tour this time, and now they’re propping up the entire division in a manner which would put Mark McGhee to shame. Admittedly they’re only four games into the season, and a similar cold start last year didn’t do Arsenal too much harm in the long run. But Leicester’s next game is against a revitalised Manchester United, and if the length of that queue forming by the out door is anything to go by, they’ll only be able to field a team of nine players, and that’s including Rodgers himself and the janny.

Youri Tielemans is at the head of the queue. Depending on who you read, the 25-year-old Belgian midfielder is the subject of a £19m bid from either Arsenal, Newcastle or a “mystery club”, which sounds intriguing, until you come to the conclusion that the mystery club trying to get things done discreetly is almost certainly either Arsenal or Newcastle. James Maddison is also on Newcastle’s radar, Caglar Soyuncu has been linked with a move to Wolves, and the only reason Tielemans heads the queue is because Wesley Fofana has finally done one, this afternoon signing a seven-year deal with Chelsea. Seven years! Wow, he really wanted out.

The possible signing of Reims defender Wout Faes before the transfer window closes on Thursday evening may take some of the edge off, though given the general direction the club is heading, we’ll be very surprised if Rodgers – himself linked with Aston Villa – is still in post come the end of the season. And who knows where Leicester may end up as a result. But even if the worst should happen, don’t worry, Foxes fans, history teaches us that Leicester always find a way to bounce back. Now then, where to find the Alan Smith and Gordon Milne de nos jours?

LIVE ON BIG WEBSITE

Join Scott Murray at 8pm BST for MBM updates on Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle while Barry Glendenning will bring you all the goals from the Premier League and beyond in his bumper football clockwatch from around 7.30pm.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“They had all seen the video of Georgia [Stanway, who has joined Bayern Munich] singing Sweet Caroline as her initiation. They made me do the same but didn’t video it. My toes were curling” – Lucy Bronze tells Suzanne Wrack about having to hit the high notes at Barcelona, getting to grips with Spanish and the fight against online hate speech.

Lucy Bronze gets her selfie on with fans.
Lucy Bronze gets her selfie on with fans. Photograph: Jose Breton/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Get your ears around the latest Football Weekly podcast, right here.

FIVER LETTERS

“Antonio Vives complains (Tuesday’s Fiver) that the ongoing Fiver Letters about the postponement of games has gotten ‘extremely boring. Stop it!’ Perhaps … but we all need to dwell for a moment on how these stories of matches that didn’t happen are often more interesting than many matches that did happen (see Steve Bruce in the Bits and Bobs below – Fiver Ed)” – Paul Sanderson.

“Antonio Vives should have won Tuesday’s letter of the day. And his prize should have been no more published postponement letters of the day for the rest of the football season” – Steve Mintz.

“Fans of football, nominative determinism and classical languages will have been delighted to see Luis Sinisterra scoring with his left foot for Leeds on Tuesday night. It’s not a densely populated region of the Venn diagram so we’ll take the small victories” – Chris Carter.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Chris Carter.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

After seeing Chelsea lose 2-1 at Southampton, Tommy T clearly wants his side to be more like him. “It’s too easy to push us off track,” he roared, presumably while instructing his inquisitor to look him in the eyes. “Just toughen up!”

Some transfer news for you: Everton want a midfield schemer, and Frank Lampard reckons Manchester United’s James Garner fits the bill. Meanwhile, Mykhaylo Mudryk could become Brentford’s record signing and Wolves have signed striker Sasa Kalajdzic, who may well be a vampire.

Beware Sasa Kalajdzic.
Beware Sasa Kalajdzic. Photograph: Jack Thomas/WWFC/Wolves/Getty Images

Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks played for the club’s under-21s against Brentford as he continues his recovery from cancer. Brooks, 25, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2021, revealed he was cancer-free in May.

Inflation is causing many problems in the UK. It transpires that to fill a Panini World Cup sticker book will cost a whopping £870. Ouch.

Steve Bruce continues to thrill at West Brom: “I’m glad I didn’t have to pay to watch it,” he parped after a 1-1 draw at Wigan that made Countryfile look racy.

And Neil Warnock revealed his admiration for Richarlison – and high-waisted shorts – in his latest video release.

STILL WANT MORE?

How are the USWNT shaping up a year out from the World Cup? Megan Swanick offers a progress report in The Fiver’s sister football email, Moving The Goalposts.

Which fans sing about an opponent favourably? The Knowledge has the answer.

There’s a lovely retro photo of Celtic on top of it, too.
There’s a lovely retro photo of Celtic on top of it, too. Photograph: SMG/PA Images

Barney Ronay on Scott Parker and the growing trend of “shock therapy” sackings.

Fill your boots with transfer tittle-tattle and check out the latest completed moves here with our men’s and women’s transfer interactives.

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The Guardian