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The Sunday Telegraph's Paddy Barclay
"I don't believe Peter will be cast into the wilderness"
 real 14k

Monday, 1 October, 2001, 00:43 GMT 01:43 UK
Taylor's fall from grace
Timeline of Peter Taylor's rise. . .and fall
By BBC Sport Online's Saj Chowdhury

Peter Taylor was hailed as one of a new breed of manager who could take English football to new levels.

After leading unfancied Gillingham to Division One via the play-offs, he was appointed manager by Leicester City in July 2000.

Taylor was seen as the natural successor to Martin O'Neill and there were hopes that he could take the Foxes to new heights.

Reaching Europe was the new goal for the Filbert Street outfit.

Taylor started brilliantly. He took the Foxes to the top of the Premiership in September and was named manager of the month.

Peter Taylor took charge of England against Italy last October
Taylor took charge of England last October
And the former England international, who had been manager of the England Under-21s before taking over at Gillingham, was beginning to be noticed by the powers-that-be at the FA.

He took charge of the senior side for the friendly against Italy on a caretaker basis.

Although England lost the match 1-0, Taylor made a big impression.

He made David Beckham captain, blooded several younger players and showed a tactical awareness that Kevin Keegan had patently lacked.

Yet it proved the high point in Taylor's managerial career to date.

Many observers think the catalyst for Leicester's slump was the departure of Neil Lennon to his former mentor Martin O'Neill at Celtic in December 2000.

  Taylor factfile
1953: Born in Southend.
1976: Wins the first of his four England caps.
1999: Leads Gillingham to promotion in his only season in charge.
2000: July - appointed manager of Leicester; Sep - leads them to top of Premiership; Oct - manager of England for Italy friendly.
2001: March - crash out of FA Cup at hands of Second Division Wycombe; May - end season in 13th after winning one game in nine; August - lose opening game 5-0 to Bolton; 30 September - sacked as Leicester lie bottom of league.
Lennon had been the heart beat of the Leicester side. He was a tireless worker, tenacious tackler and orchestrator of attacks.

Leicester were a far poorer team without him.

In March they humiliatingly lost 2-1 at home to Second Division Wycombe in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The Foxes never recovered from this result and their league form also slumped.

In March they had still been fourth in the Premiership but they finished the season in 13th.

Many Foxes fans had become disillusioned by this stage and some thought his involvement as a coach with England was a distraction.

Taylor decided to walk away from England last summer - a huge sacrifice - to concentrate on bringing the club out of the mire.

Lawrie Sanchez and Roy Essandoh celebrate Wycombe's FA Cup win over Leicester
Leicester were dumped out of the FA Cup by Wycombe
But Leicester still made a disastrous start to their 2000/ 2001 campaign.

They lost their opening game 5-0 to Premiership newcomers Bolton at Filbert Street.

The Trotters had started the season as favourites for the drop.

Intense pressure was soon on Taylor after his team picked up just one win and five points from their first eight games.

This run, added to the 10 defeats from the last 11 games of the previous season, sealed Taylor's fate.

With a new stadium being built in the shadow of Filbert Street, the club's directors acted to prevent a financially-disastrous return to the First Division.

Links to more Leicester City stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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