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Wes Morgan relives title-winning season with Leicester and gives his prediction for Sunday’s clash with Newcastle

| 06.12.2021

Wes Morgan relives memories of Leicester’s title-winning season

Wes Morgan will go down in history as the captain of Premier League winners Leicester during that extraordinary 2015-16 campaign.

The central defender made 277 appearances over nine seasons with the Foxes but retired in May having ended his career with an FA Cup winners’ medal, the first in the club’s history.

In an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes, talked about his memories of the title-winning season, the current team and his thoughts on Sunday’s game ahead of the launch of the 5-A-Side between Leicester and Newcastle.

THAT night at Jamie Vardy’s, nobody was talking to each other at half-time

There’s a video on my Twitter, I think it’s my most liked post of all-time, it’s got something like 27,000 likes now. It’s me being dragged across the floor by Marcin Wasilewski in slow motion. Obviously we’d all gone to Jamie Vardy’s house to watch the game, knowing it could be the game which wins us the league.

Obviously the first half didn’t exactly go according to plan but the second half was a completely different story. Eden Hazard scored that great goal to make it 2-2. I’ll love him forever for that. It confirmed us being champions and everyone in their house lost their minds.

Let me tell you now, things weren’t looking good at half-time at Vardy’s house. It wasn’t good at all. Chelsea were 2-0 down and the whole place was just quiet. I remember sitting there, and everyone is just looking at their phones, nobody is saying anything. It was still in our hands but it wasn’t a nice atmosphere at all for those first 45 minutes and throughout half-time, but the rest is obviously history.

I went into Leicester town centre after the game. We celebrated as a team for about an hour after full-time, everyone was hugging, crying, going crazy. Things eventually calmed down and I remember seeing on social media that the whole town centre was going crazy. People were hanging off lampposts, jumping on cars. I remember getting into town and finding a pub just to enjoy the moment with the fans, because ultimately we did it for them, so it just felt right to be there and soak it all up with them.

I want Idris Elba to play me if a film is made about title-winning season

I could never get bored of talking about that title-winning campaign. At the time the thought of winning the Premier League was just never on the cards. We’d just stayed up in the previous season and things obviously just went from strength to strength from there. It was such a great mix of players within the team, but we were really limited in terms of previous successes as individuals. I know Robert Huth had been successful with Chelsea earlier on in his career, but besides that we were just a bunch of really talented players that hadn’t quite reached those heights.

People love an underdog story and ours is the best there’s ever been. If there’s ever going to be a film made about that season then my answer’s always going to be the same… Idris Elba has got to play me!

I’ve spoken to a few producers about it, but I’m not sure whether it’ll happen or not now. Maybe Jamie Vardy has got something in the pipeline. It’s five years down the line, but maybe when we’ve all retired someone will put something together on our story.

Winning the title still feels like a dream

I spoke to my mum after the game had finished at Stamford Bridge and I’ll admit my eyes were a little bit watery during that call. It’s a once in a lifetime moment for someone like me in particular. As an experienced League One and Championship player, my aim was to just make a few appearances in the Premier League. I spent the best part of 10 years outside of the top-flight, so to win the title as captain is something I never dreamed would be possible, and it’s when you think about all of that, that’s when you get a bit emotional about it all. When you’ve got your friends and your family telling you how proud they are of what you’ve achieved, it hits a chord.

I ask myself from time to time whether or not it’s actually sunk in yet. Sometimes it still feels surreal. Did it really happen? Watching the Premier League now, knowing how tough that division is, you can’t help but just think ‘wow’. We finished top of that table. I ask myself whether it’s real, but there are constant reminders all around me. I look at my trophies and my shirts and I know it’s all real.

You have to pinch yourself, though. You were the person who got your hands on the Premier League trophy and lifted it for the first time in their history. That’s what’s so special about it all. If you’re lucky, you’ll have one standout moment in your playing career, and that was definitely mine. There have been other highlights; winning the FA Cup, playing and scoring in the Champions League, staying up in 2015, making the Team of the Season. But winning the title is the pinnacle of it all.

It’s just amazing to be able to give something back to the fans of Leicester City Football Club. Coming from Nottingham Forest to Leicester, it’s safe to say there were a few fans who were unsure about the move. If I’m being totally honest, I wasn’t really that aware about the Leicester/Forest rivalry. I knew Forest and Derby were big rivals, but I didn’t really take note of the Leicester side of things. A few players and supporters questioned the move at the time, but hopefully I’ve won them over since then.

It’s a fantastic club that always cares about the community and its fans. The owners are special; when those big occasions come around, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s birthday and Christmas time, fans will come to the game and get a free pie and a beer. Little things like that go a long, long way. Fans appreciate it; it’s a special, special club. Hopefully I’ve played a part in something that will live long in the memories of such a special group of supporters.

Wesley Fofana and James Justin returns will feel like much-needed new signings

Leicester have just missed out on the top four in the previous two seasons; that’s always been the aim for the club season after season, but for some reason we’ve not got going this time. We’ve shown sparks in a couple of matches, but for a Leicester team that threat is normally consistent and it’s just not been the case this year.

It’s difficult to put a figure on why things haven’t worked out so far. Wesley Fofana is a big, big miss at the back. He’s our best defender and he had an incredible season last time out. I just think some of the other key players have just struggled to find form. James Maddison has spoken about his low confidence, but he’s picked things up a little it of late. Youri Tielemans has been fantastic – he’s been the standout player. Jamie Vardy has had his moments and scored goals, but the consistency in the team has not been there, and it’s been very disappointing so far.

The goal would’ve been to push on even further from last season, but it’s actually gone the opposite way. Mid-table is not where Leicester City should be. There’s still plenty of time to turn things around, though – we’re not even halfway through the season. A good season for Leicester now would be a Europa League spot. I’d take that. But fixtures come thick and fast at this time of the year, so although things don’t look great at the moment in the Premier League, all of a sudden we could find ourselves creeping back up the table with a couple of wins and things start looking positive again all of a sudden.

The big problem this season has been conceding goals. I think we’ve kept two clean sheets this season, one was on the first day of the season and the other was in the cup. Defending set-pieces has been a big problem; we’ve got the worst record in the league. Defensively, I’m sure the coaches will be looking at how we can stop leaking goals. Maybe someone needs to come in with more presence in that back line to take charge – especially in those set-piece situations.

But we’ve still got Wesley Fofana and James Justin to come back. They were both big, big players for the football club last season and when they return they can act as new signings in themselves. All of a sudden, those two return, clean sheets start appearing and we can build from there.

Leicester v Newcastle prediction

I’m predicting a 2-1 win for Leicester against Newcastle this weekend. We know Leicester concede goals, and we know Newcastle are full of confidence having just picked up their first win of the season. But I still fancy Leicester to get the job done. They need to bounce back and I know Brendan will be cracking the whip this week. The team has to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, and I see them doing so against Newcastle this Sunday.

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Warren Barner