Leicester City of 10 years ago compared to the current crop of title winners

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Leicester have won the Premier League, will soon be travelling to Europe for the Champions League, have some of the best players in the country and are everywhere on social media.

Go back a decade to the end of the 2005/06 season and the situation is far less rosy.

The club are stagnating in the lower reaches of the Championship, have a squad cobbled together on an almost non-existent budget and are managed by Rob Kelly, a man who five months previous had been assistant manager.


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It wasn't quite the same predicament that nearly saw the club fall out of existence in 2002, but still a far cry from where they are now.

You won't be surprised to hear that almost no playing staff remain from that period, a young Andy King in the reserves representing the only familiar name from today.

There's clearly only one winner when comparing the two sides but for Foxes fans, the older names will take you right back to a time when even a top half finish in England's second tier seemed a long shot.

It might not be an illustrious period of the club's history but history nonetheless and a reminder that, through thick and thin, the Foxes faithful will always follow their team.

Goalkeeper: Robert 'Rab' Douglas vs Kasper Schmeichel

Scotsman Douglas was 33 by the time he left Celtic for the East Midlands but not necessarily past his best - he gained his 19th cap for Scotland in August 2005.

Clearly not a bad keeper to have in the Championship but he still lost his place after 32 league appearances.

Kasper Schmeichel, however, has kept 15 clean sheets this season, has been linked with moves to Barcelona and Manchester United and is now secure as Denmark's number one stopper.

Right-back: Alan Maybury vs Danny Simpson

Craig Levein brought Maybury along with him from Hearts and that was one of the few good moves by the club's Scottish ex-boss.

The Irish full-back did nothing too flash but worked tirelessly for his side, traits shared by the side's current right-back and both are incredibly popular with the supporters as a result.

29-year-old Simpson has been one of many players who have performed way above their expected ability this campaign but the combative ex-Man United youth player will rarely be mentioned before any of his defensive counterparts.

Centre-backs: Patrick Kisnorbo vs Wes Morgan

At his peak, Australian international Kisnorbo was up there with Morgan as one of the best defenders in the Championship and his serious knee injury a few years after joining essentially condemned Leicester to League One.

That injury was also the start of a pattern for the Aussie as injuries plagued the rest of his career. Were it not for those constant setbacks, it could have been him, not Morgan, leading Leicester's charge to the Premier League and beyond.

Little needs to be said about the leadership qualities of captain Morgan, a PFA Team of the Year award is enough to show just how far the English-born Jamaican has come.

Paddy McCarthy vs Robert Huth

After leaving Manchester City, McCarthy was still pretty green and drew some ire from fans for his tendency to make some ordinary defensive decisions.

The Irishman did improve so much that he later became Leicester captain but still comes up short compared to Huth's stereotypically efficient approach he has developed during his 14-year Premier League career.

The 31-year-old has possibly been the club's best bit of business since reaching the top division, providing the rigidity to first avoid relegation and then to become the best team in England.

Left-back: Nils-Eric Johansson vs Christian Fuchs

Of all the players that came and went around this period of time (and there were a lot), this Swede was one speck of genuine class among a mire of mediocrity.

He managed to play a couple of senior matches for Bayern Munich before moving to Blackburn and even though that didn't work out for him, a Leicester team going nowhere was even less of an attraction.

Fuchs is the captain of Austria and has given everyone an unprecedented insight into the Leicester dressing room with his often hilarious videos on social media. His four assists and tenacious displays weren't too bad either.

Right-midfield: Stephen Hughes vs Marc Albrighton

Hughes isn't strictly a right winger but Leicester used so many wide men during the season that those individuals barely had a chance to rack up more than ten matches over the course of the campaign.

Joining from Rangers, he had his moments in a blue shirt: a late goal away at QPR began the recovery to safety and one in an FA Cup upset against Spurs were a couple of highlights but, like much of his career, he failed to deliver on significant promise.

Ex-Villa winger Albrighton seemed to be heading down a similar path to Hughes but an exceptional return to form this year has seen him set up six goals and put in more crosses than anyone else, taking him to the brink of an England call up.

Centre-midfielders: Gareth Williams vs Danny Drinkwater

Tall, athletic and with a surprising range of passing, Williams was highly thought of at east Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.

His decent form for the Foxes got him a move to Premier League Watford in 2007 but a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury ended his hopes of making it in England's top league and later totally ended his career.

Drinkwater could well be playing for England at Euro 2016, a fitting reward for consistent all-round midfield performances where he clocked up seven assists.

Joey Gudjonsson vs N'Golo Kante

The Icelandic international was unperturbed by the lack of individual quality in the rest of the team, scoring eight times from midfield (one of which from his own half against Hull City), a tally that was just one short of the club's highest scorer.

Never afraid to mix it - he picked up 12 bookings - Gudjonsson was great at both ends of the pitch and a worthy recipient of the club's Player of the Year accolade, an award his contemporary Kante would surely have won were it not for the performances of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.

The Frenchman did receive this year's Player's Player of the Year gong, the least he deserves after missing out in the PFA and Football Writers ceremonies. Rumour has it he won't be on the French team bus, instead choosing to run from stadium to stadium.

Left-midfield: Mohammed Sylla vs Riyad Mahrez

Out of all the player comparisons, the greatest gulf in ability is undoubtedly between these two wide players.

Momo didn't find the net once in his 24 starts that season, meaning it was no surprise the club looked to at least five other players in the wide positions.

Mahrez has been unstoppable for the last 18 months, bagging 11 assists and 17 goals and leaving dozens more baffled defenders on their backside. He cleaned up at the PFA awards and is now one of the most in-demand players in the world.

Strikers: Mark De Vries vs Shinji Okazaki

Unfortunately for another one of Craig Levein's imports from Hearts, no one ever said that the Suriname-born forward had "a good touch for a big man".

Completely to the contrary, he had one of the worst first touches you're ever likely to see in professional football, no wonder he scored just six league goals.

Okazaki only netted five times this season but that wasn't why Japan's fifth highest appearance maker was brought in. He was metronomic behind Vardy, always played with a smile on his face and became even more of a legend when we discovered he can barely speak English.

Iain Hume vs Jamie Vardy

If there's one player who could fit into Leicester's current ethos of hard work above all else, it would be this Canadian international and the club's top scorer from the 2005/06 season.

Like Vardy, Hume is an utter pest, constantly buzzing around the opposition to force a mistake and feed on the scraps.

Vardy, of course, has much more quality and will be unlucky not to start for England at this summer's European Championships. With 24 goals, six assists and a Football Writer's Footballer of the Year trophy, it's fair to say he's left his non-league past behind.

The Manager: Craig Levein & Rob Kelly vs Claudio Ranieri

Levein isn't a bad manager: you aren't given the job as boss of your country on a mere whim but his tenure in English football was unanimously agreed to be a disaster.

Kelly was excellent in staving off relegation after two points in ten games saw off Levein but the former assistant was never going to be a sustainable option for the future of the Foxes.

Many thought that Ranieri was going to be just as much a flop but one Premier League title later, he is forever written into the history of the club. He's also ensured that Gary Lineker will present Match of the Day in his pants, that's almost better than his two Manager of the Year awards.

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Leicester City
Iain Hume
Premier League
Wes Morgan
Patrick Kisnorbo
Robert Huth

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