The Diminishing role of the Stopper Center Back in the Premier League

Defending and its place in the modern game has spawned a quagmire of critical debate. Back in 2014, when Gary Neville’s article in the...

Latest Posts

Do Premier League Players Have a Say in Their Transfers?

Americans know that in sports, there is a widespread culture where players don’t have a final say in their destinies, with exceedingly rare exceptions.However,...

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Big Sam’s tactics against Liverpool show the template to stifle Klopp’s side

Two complete opposites came up in the congested Christmas fixture list, as Liverpool in great form sitting at the top of the table look...

The Meteoric Rise of RB Leipzig: From Tier Five Football to the Champions League

The best football clubs in the world usually have a storied history, years of success, and generations of fans. However, one of the best...

4 players Man United can target in January transfer window to challenge for the title

Manchester United after an up and down start to the season find themselves 5 points behind Liverpool with a game in hand. After being...

The Return of Strike Partnerships in the Premier League? Part 1

No matter the make-up, the notion of a strike partnership – two out-and-out attackers, often with very different strengths and calling cards, working seamlessly...

Football Books

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Foul- The Beautiful Game, An Ugly Truth [Book Excerpt]

The clip-clop of football boot studs on concrete echoed through the tunnel over the hum of distant crowd noise. A drenched team of players...

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

Steve Walsh- The man behind Leicester City’s title win

Football has undergone tremendous change over the years. There is so much emphasis on tactics and managerial changes these days. Nobody has patience anymore, a team in bad form cannot apparently turn their fortunes around unless they have a marquee signing in the subsequent transfer window or they sack their manager. This mentality is seen in the so called ‘big and small’ clubs alike as scouting potential talent and players from all over the world has become paramount to a club’s sustained success. Southampton are an excellent example in the Premier League who have a solid structure established within the club with an extensive scouting network.

Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez were the bedrock on which Leicester laid their title winning credentials. Coming in from Fleetwood Town, Stade Malherbe Caen and Le Havre respectively, all these players were quite unknown to the footballing world before their metamorphic rise last season, with only Vardy being known to the English fans and Premier League followers prior to last season. The three of them were scouted and recommended by the same person-Steve Walsh.

Walsh was born in Chorley, Lancashire and worked as a physical education teacher at Bishop Rawtorne School in Lancashire. He worked as a scout in tandem to his teaching duties at Bury, Chester City and later Chelsea. It was at Chelsea where he unearthed two gems of players- Gianfranco Zola and Didier Drogba, utilising his knowledge of the French Ligue very well. He also played a key role in the signing of Michael Essien. He later became the Chief scout at Newcastle United in 2006 after leaving Chelsea. This was a particularly important event, especially in Leicester’s point of view as he met Nigel Pearson there at the club. He became an integral part of the backroom staff under Pearson and followed him to Hull and then to Leicester in 2011. Thankfully for Leicester, the management retained Walsh and the other backroom staff after Pearson’s sacking.

Walsh was persistent in asking Ranieri to sign N’Golo Kante, when the new manager arrived at the club and was met with expected skepticism at first. As the season wore on though, it was seen as an absolute robbery with Kante putting in top quality performances. (Mahrez was signed the previous season and Vardy two seasons prior to that, all recommended by Walsh) He was even handed the Assistant Manager role alongside his scouting duties at Leicester. Subsequently, he was snapped up by Everton earlier this season, after Iranian Farhad Moshiri bought 49.9% stake of Everton FC, and is now their new Director of Football. Everton are on a big rebuilding spree and the appointment of Walsh as the Sporting Director this season speaks of his credibility.

Walsh must be credited with overseeing the total over haul of the Leicester squad to turn them into the title winners they are now with Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, Danny Simpson, Danny Drinkwater, Marc Albrighton and Leonardo Ulloa all being signed by the club in the last few years. Walsh is also known to be a deep researcher before he makes signings as he is known to look into the character of the players he recommends. He has built an extensive scouting unit at Leicester over the years. Walsh is also known to scout players well in advance before signing them with an example being Ahmed Musa who was courted by Leicester from January this year and signed in the summer  transfer window by them.

Scouting talent and the lesser known players is of more profound importance to clubs who are not perennial title contenders. To bring up a team like that and win the title as convincingly as they did in a league as competitive as the Premier League, huge credit must go to the scouting setup at the club and the personal involvement and dedication shown by Steve Walsh in particular. Walsh deserves credit and more recognition for the work he has done at Leicester and should be considered as much as a loss as Kante this season for them.

Related

Mason Mount: Chelsea’s Golden Boy

When Frank Lampard was appointed, Derby County fans everywhere collectively held their breath in the hope of whom his widely spoken about “contacts” might...

Rough Diamonds #31- Kasey Palmer(Chelsea)

As Chelsea’s 2015/2016 petered off into a 10th place finish, there was a clear opportunity for Guus Hiddink to include some of the clubs...

Rough Diamonds #30- João Mário (Sporting)

A graduate from the famous Sporting academy, João Mário is the latest talent to roll of off the production line. After breaking into the...

Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #1- Timothy Fosu-Mensah

This is the tenth and last post in this series,where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and/u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s...

Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #2- Callum Gribbin

This is the ninth post in a series of 10, where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and/u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams....

Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #3- Axel Tuanzebe

This is the eighth post in a series of 10, where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and/u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams....

Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #4- Joshua Harrop

This is the sixth post in a series of 10, where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and/u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth...

Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #5- RoShaun Williams

RoShaun Williams This is the sixth post in a series of 10, where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and/u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s...

Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #6 -Marcus Rashford

Note-This article was initially written 2 months ago before Rashford made his first team debut.This is the fourth post in a series of 10,...

Latest Posts

Do Premier League Players Have a Say in Their Transfers?

Americans know that in sports, there is a widespread culture where players don’t have a final say in their destinies, with exceedingly rare exceptions.However,...

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Big Sam’s tactics against Liverpool show the template to stifle Klopp’s side

Two complete opposites came up in the congested Christmas fixture list, as Liverpool in great form sitting at the top of the table look...

Don't Miss

When Sir Alex Ferguson Lost by 9 Goals in back to back matches

I'm shattered, I can't believe it. It was our worst ever day. It's the worst in my history, ever. Even as a player I...

English Football and its “Get Stuck-In” Mentality

It was a glum group of players and supporters who filed out of Matlock Town’s Causeway Lane ground in 1982. Hyde United had lost...

The European Resurrections of Ever Banega

It seems fitting that Éver Banega’s final bow in European competition involved him lifting the Europa League. Barring a surprise reversal in the future,...

What if Pep’s Barcelona played against Sacchi’s AC Milan?

Pep Guardiola has re-invented football so much in the past decade that one wonders if the game is still the same that was played...

Cruyffism through Spain

Spain has developed a unique commitment to technical football which has put them in good stead to make the past decade a period of Spanish dominance. The story to this dominance begin decades before hand when Cruyff decided that Barcelona would be the club he would next manage after his time at Ajax was over. He would create a cohesive identity for the club which kept the vision while finding success. This vision began with a number of manager who came before Cruyff but after Cruyff left, there would be many managers in Spain who would use his methods to discovery their own success.

Football History

The long & bizarre history behind why Red Bull chose Leipzig as the hub for their football club

When Red Bull tried to set foot into German football for the first time, they initially tried to use the same method they had...

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...

The Original Invincibles- Preston North End 1888/89

In the wake of Manchester City’s record-breaking claim to the Premier League, The False 9 will look back at some of the greatest club...

Football And Alcohol

“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”Football and booze go a long long way back, in...

The Football match which started a war

Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There's strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to...