5 footballing stories that went under-reported because of Leicester's success


The rise of Leicester City has been such an incredible story that some of football's other interesting tales have been rather bulldozed out of the way.

So here we take a look at a few things that may have got more coverage had it not been for those fabulous Foxes...

1. Bournemouth are still a Premier League team

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe smiles from the sidelines
(Steve Paston/PA)

There are several Premier League teams who might claim they would have been the story of the season had it not been for Leicester - with Tottenham, West Ham and, for different reasons, Chelsea among them. But surely the only man competing for manager of the season with Claudio Ranieri is Eddie Howe, who has performed minor miracles with Bournemouth.

Absolute nailed-on certainties for relegation at the start of the season, things only got worse as key summer signings Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel were ruled out with long-term knee injuries, alongside England hopeful Callum Wilson. Regardless, Howe has kept his team playing in his own style and shown some much bigger sides below them exactly how it's done.

2. Erik Lamela doesn't look like a waste of money

Can we just take a moment to wonder at the fact that Erik Lamela is now a key member of Tottenham's title-challenging team? Widely derided as one of the worst signings in Premier League history after two poor seasons at White Hart Lane, he was pretty much seen as a lightweight showpony whose only notable contribution was that rabona against Asteras Tripolis.

But now he's reinvented himself as a hard-working, high-pressing attacking midfielder who is the personification of the new un-Spursy Tottenham. Much of the credit has to go to Mauricio Pochettino, obviously, but you can't help but be impressed by a player who rolled up his sleeves and changed his own luck.

3. Wigan's 24-year-old chairman knows what he's doing

Not many Wigan fans had anything positive to say when Dave Whelan's grandson David Sharpe, then 23, was named as the club's new chairman last March. By the end of the season, the team, who were already in the relegation zone when Sharpe took over, had gone down to League One.

But the doom-mongers who predicted a slide to League Two couldn't have been more wrong. With 34-year-old Gary Caldwell in charge (that's a combined age of 58), they set about making their way straight back into the second tier - and even more impressively, Sharpe has announced a cut in season ticket prices. Wigan fans seem pretty pleased with him now.

4. The other Premier League scoring sensations

Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring for Manchester City
(Martin Rickett/PA)

We all know about the much reported goalscoring exploits of Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane. Meanwhile, Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero just continued being awesome, outdoing them both in his goals-per-game ratio and pushing them all the way for the golden boot despite playing far fewer matches.

And further down the table there were some feats that were arguably even more impressive. Romelu Lukaku netted 18 goals in a woefully under-performing Everton team, while Sunderland would certainly have been relegated without Jermain Defoe's 15 strikes.

5. Northampton are League Two champions

Northampton players celebrate winning League Two with fans
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

Let's be clear, it's remarkable enough that Northampton still exist, never mind that they are League Two champions. The club were in the midst of the sort of meltdown that has become very familiar in football of late - 24 hours from oblivion, with a winding-up petition over their heads, the taxman hovering and their former chairman arrested as police investigated alleged financial irregularities. On top of that, the players weren't getting paid by the club.

Pretty incredibly, under the guidance of manager Chris Wilder, the Cobblers used that not as an excuse to throw in the towel, but as a unifying force to send them on an incredible run that propelled them to the title. Now with a new owner and chairman, things could hardly be looking brighter.