This was the first competitive game played at Leicester’s new Walker Stadium (now known as the King Power Stadium).
Brian Deane grabbed two goals as Leicester got off to a winning start at the Walkers Stadium against Watford. A 31,000 crowd raised the roof of the Foxes’ new home as last season’s Premiership basement club put their relegation woes behind them with a solid display
Ah, the rituals of opening day; second-gearing on the motorway alongside caravans and cars with scarves hanging out of the windows, hope springing anew in every step of every fan wending their way to every ground. Neither ITV Digital nor a daily diet of summer scare stories can take that away.
The contrast with last season is striking, already. Whatever else went wrong yesterday, we were far more comfortable with the high tempo set by Leicester, and far less afraid of being seen to sweat and toil. We pressed hard, retrieving possession more quickly than before and occasionally forcing errors from a slightly sloppy Foxes defence. Notably, and despite a great deal of complaint about the lack of aerial threat from a lightweight attack, an eager midfield pounced on rebounds and clearances rather than allowing them to escape, thus enabling us to press forward without always retaining possession particularly well. It didn’t amount to much, perhaps. That doesn’t mean that it can’t amount to much, however.
All the Horns fans, some three thousand of them in a crowd of over 31,000 (ground capacity I’m told is 32,500) were in the north-east corner of the ground, with vociferous Leicester fans on either side – and Leicester fans occupied the areas behind both goals. Horns fans, not noted for their ability to make noise since our days in the Premiership, certainly out-sang our opponents until the goals arrived, but it’s hard creating an atmosphere from one corner of a stadium.