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The Managers: Peter Taylor, 2000-2001

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The Managers: Peter Taylor, 2000-2001

Club Historian John Hutchinson continues his series on Leicester City’s managers by taking a closer look at the stewardship of Peter Taylor.
More on this story...

After days of agonising, Martin O’Neill, one of the Club's most successful managers, finally left Leicester City in June 2000 to join Celtic, while coaches John Robertson and Steve Walford went with him.

Despite reported interest by the Club in Sam Allardyce, Joe Kinnear, Steve Bruce and David Moyes, Gillingham’s Peter Taylor was appointed as O’Neill’s replacement later that month.

Taylor came with a good reputation after playing for Southend United and for England whilst at third tier Crystal Palace. He later suffered relegation and promotion with Tottenham Hotspur before moving to Leyton Orient, and, briefly to Oldham Athletic and Exeter City.

Expand photoLeicester City 2000/01 squad photo

24FB2812.jpg
Taylor inherited a talented squad who had just won the League Cup the season beforehand.

He then managed Dartford, Southend, Dover Athletic, and Gillingham, with whom he gained promotion to the second tier just before his appointment at Filbert Street.

His three-year spell as England Under-21 coach saw his team qualify for the 2000 UEFA European Championship finals. During the close season, Taylor started to re-fashion O’Neill’s team, bringing in Gary Rowett, Callum Davidson, Trevor Benjamin and club-record signing, Ade Akinbiyi.

In September, Steve Walsh and Tony Cottee left the Club, soon to be followed by Stan Collymore, who was transferred to Premier League side Bradford City.

PA-1326927.jpg
Taylor bought Ade Akinbiyi for a club-record fee in 2000.

On the first day of October, though, after the opening eight fixtures of the season, Leicester City went to the top of the Premier League, having accrued 16 points.

Taylor was named Carling Manager of the Month, while goalkeeper Tim Flowers received the Player of the Month prize.

Such was Taylor’s reputation at this point that in November, he was appointed caretaker manager of England for a match against Italy and made David Beckham his captain.

Back at Filbert Street, Neil Lennon left to join O’Neill at Celtic in December 2000. The following month, however, Taylor signed Roberto Mancini, who left to coach Fiorentina after only five appearances.

 

Expand photoDavid Beckham & Peter Taylor

PA-1364496.jpg
The Foxes manager was the man who handed David Beckham with the England captaincy during his spell as caretaker manager of the Three Lions.

The season still looked promising with little hint of the disappointments to come. Remarkably, City started March in fourth place - a UEFA Champions League berth - following a win over Liverpool.

A week later, they lost at home to third-tier Wycombe Wanderers in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. After that, the season collapsed.

City lost nine of their remaining 10 Premier League matches in a run which included eight back-to-back league defeats, which was a club record.

The team slumped from fourth to 13th in the standings. During the close season, following that collapse in form at the end of the previous season, Taylor signed Ian Walker, James Scowcroft and Dennis Wise for a combined sum of £7M.

Expand photoFilbert Street

LC3114F.jpg
Excitement was abundant on the opening day of the 2001/02 season, but it got off to a nightmare start.

However, the season started disastrously with a 5-0 home defeat by newly promoted Bolton Wanderers, followed by a 4-0 defeat at Highbury.

Six weeks into the season, with Leicester bottom of the Premier League, Taylor was sacked following a defeat at Charlton Athletic.

He subsequently managed Brighton and Albion, Hull City, Crystal Palace, Stevenage Borough, Wycombe Wanderers, Bradford City and England Under-20s.

Taylor had additional spells with Gillingham and the England Under-21s.

He also coached in Bahrain, India and New Zealand and is currently the manager of Dagenham and Redbridge FC in the Conference Premier Division of the National League.

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Had what very few other managers have had in our history- a good team with plenty of money to spend.

 

He left us bottom of the table with a significantly inferior squad. His final six months were an absolute disgrace.

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Even when we were flying high in the league and in the QF of the cup, it never felt convincing. Like things might collapse like a rickety old deckchair at any moment. And sure enough, they did. It was always going to be a tough job for anyone following on from the MON era. But even taking that into consideration, he did a poor job.

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On paper he probably sounded an okay appointment, but in a small amount time he managed to ruin all the good work O'Neill had built over the years. In his defence he had to cope without the likes of Heskey, Lennon and Guppy, but the players he choose to replace them were just laughable. His leadership skills were pretty weak, the dressing room became quite hostile under him. 

Edited by Leicesterpool

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What really angered me was that O'Neill ran the club on a shoestring for the most part of his time. Taylor was given a war chest and went out and bought crap. Awful manager. 

 

Always seemed pre-occupied with England as well and had to cover the first team when Keegan walked away. Never felt he was entirely committed to us. 

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Almost ruined the football club by ripping up everything O'Neill built in no time at all and wasting millions on rubbish players that were not good enough for the shirt.

 

I still have Junior Lewis flashbacks.

 

And then there was Wycombe. Don't get me started on Wycombe.

Edited by Tuna

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I understand this post needed to be put up as part of the series, but couldn't it have been closed immediately to just let it sink out of view?

 

We in the honeymoon period of a new manager: no need to remind us all of this!

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I could write a dozen paragraphs of ranting about Taylor but I'll just say this.  He made David Pleat look like Guardiola.

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Did such a poor job at the club it really did take us ten years to rebuild. However, the thing that irked me the most about his is interview shortly after where he said he left Leicester in good shape and did a good job. I couldn’t believe he actually came out and said that.

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5 hours ago, davieG said:

The Managers: Peter Taylor, 2000-2001

Club Historian John Hutchinson continues his series on Leicester City’s managers by taking a closer look at the stewardship of Peter Taylor.
More on this story...

After days of agonising, Martin O’Neill, one of the Club's most successful managers, finally left Leicester City in June 2000 to join Celtic, while coaches John Robertson and Steve Walford went with him.

Despite reported interest by the Club in Sam Allardyce, Joe Kinnear, Steve Bruce and David Moyes, Gillingham’s Peter Taylor was appointed as O’Neill’s replacement later that month.

Taylor came with a good reputation after playing for Southend United and for England whilst at third tier Crystal Palace. He later suffered relegation and promotion with Tottenham Hotspur before moving to Leyton Orient, and, briefly to Oldham Athletic and Exeter City.

Expand photoLeicester City 2000/01 squad photo

24FB2812.jpg
Taylor inherited a talented squad who had just won the League Cup the season beforehand.

He then managed Dartford, Southend, Dover Athletic, and Gillingham, with whom he gained promotion to the second tier just before his appointment at Filbert Street.

His three-year spell as England Under-21 coach saw his team qualify for the 2000 UEFA European Championship finals. During the close season, Taylor started to re-fashion O’Neill’s team, bringing in Gary Rowett, Callum Davidson, Trevor Benjamin and club-record signing, Ade Akinbiyi.

In September, Steve Walsh and Tony Cottee left the Club, soon to be followed by Stan Collymore, who was transferred to Premier League side Bradford City.

PA-1326927.jpg
Taylor bought Ade Akinbiyi for a club-record fee in 2000.

On the first day of October, though, after the opening eight fixtures of the season, Leicester City went to the top of the Premier League, having accrued 16 points.

Taylor was named Carling Manager of the Month, while goalkeeper Tim Flowers received the Player of the Month prize.

Such was Taylor’s reputation at this point that in November, he was appointed caretaker manager of England for a match against Italy and made David Beckham his captain.

Back at Filbert Street, Neil Lennon left to join O’Neill at Celtic in December 2000. The following month, however, Taylor signed Roberto Mancini, who left to coach Fiorentina after only five appearances.

 

Expand photoDavid Beckham & Peter Taylor

PA-1364496.jpg
The Foxes manager was the man who handed David Beckham with the England captaincy during his spell as caretaker manager of the Three Lions.

The season still looked promising with little hint of the disappointments to come. Remarkably, City started March in fourth place - a UEFA Champions League berth - following a win over Liverpool.

A week later, they lost at home to third-tier Wycombe Wanderers in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. After that, the season collapsed.

City lost nine of their remaining 10 Premier League matches in a run which included eight back-to-back league defeats, which was a club record.

The team slumped from fourth to 13th in the standings. During the close season, following that collapse in form at the end of the previous season, Taylor signed Ian Walker, James Scowcroft and Dennis Wise for a combined sum of £7M.

Expand photoFilbert Street

LC3114F.jpg
Excitement was abundant on the opening day of the 2001/02 season, but it got off to a nightmare start.

However, the season started disastrously with a 5-0 home defeat by newly promoted Bolton Wanderers, followed by a 4-0 defeat at Highbury.

Six weeks into the season, with Leicester bottom of the Premier League, Taylor was sacked following a defeat at Charlton Athletic.

He subsequently managed Brighton and Albion, Hull City, Crystal Palace, Stevenage Borough, Wycombe Wanderers, Bradford City and England Under-20s.

Taylor had additional spells with Gillingham and the England Under-21s.

He also coached in Bahrain, India and New Zealand and is currently the manager of Dagenham and Redbridge FC in the Conference Premier Division of the National League.

Unless he's died? I'm not reading or commenting on that!

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I genuinely don't understand people. I genuinely don't understand the replies to this thread.

 

How sensitive have we become that we want to censor bits of our history. Absolutely the club should be doing a feature on every manager, regardless of success. Do you want to be someone who only ever looks back at the successes? How ridiculous are you? If you support a club then you have to embrace the more negative parts of our history.

 

Don't you have any interest in looking and discussing the reasons it went wrong? The fact it wasn't just the responsibility of Taylor but the whole structure of the club that ensured he was given a clean slate to sign who he wanted? The fact that in that period of his tenure they decided to go ahead with the new ground, and the long-term ramifications that had on the stadium.

 

I was just 10 when the season started and I remember listening to the radio being glued to the opening day v Villa. I remember dancing round the living room when we got Wycombe in the cup draw. I remember waiting for the bus home after we lost to Wycombe after dad got me a ticket. So many fractions of childhood memories come with these (overall depressing) times so maybe it's down to my nostalgia, but we shouldn't be boxing these periods of time up.

 

We should be looking at why it went wrong; people's memories of the good, bad, ugly and the hope. The fact we were equal fourth place in the league quite late in the season, though our away by that time was a large warning siren as to what was to come.

 

Why did the board, after such a dreadful end to the season, extend his contract? Was it because of his England national team reputation? Did they go for him in the first place in a desperate attempt to repeat the Little/McGhee/O'Neill theme of a young manager from the lower leagues, and how wise was this.

 

Definitely would've enjoyed that type of discussion. Boxing some defining eras of the club away and never speaking of them again is just childish, to be honest. It happened, we can't change it, may as well discuss it.

 

Oh, and of course someone has uploaded the 00/01 season review, so you may as well enjoy that at least ;)

 

 

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