Whenever I hear those two words said together, in my head it’s pronounced in a sweet Italian accent that could only belong to one man.
As it stands right now in the English Premier League, Leicester City sit in 8th position and have accumulated exactly 40 points. This number should strike a chord with Foxes supporters everywhere as it’s the point total put in place by one Claudio Ranieri in 2015 as the club bludgeoned their way head first to an unprecedented title.
“Forty points, forty points, the target is just 40 points, then we will see,” said the Italian Tinkerman.
It all seems so simple now but it laid the groundwork for the biggest footballing shock in not just our generation, but possibly of all-time. All we needed to do was reach 40 points and everything would be fine.
So here we are nearly three years later and we’ve reached that fabled number in the table and because of it, the Fosse Posse staff has decided to pour some out for Don Claudio and share a few words on what 40 points means to them. I’ll start with a haiku...
We reached 40 points // Then we reached so much higher // Thank you dear Claudio
Let that masterful verse touch your soul. It touched mine while I wrote it. But don’t let that be the only reminiscing you experience...hear from the rest of the staff below.
Forty points is the so-called magic number for top-flight safety. Hit that total and your club will be Premier for another year. In 2014, this was Leicester City’s goal and it was a reasonable one. It was also the rallying cry of Claudio Ranieri when he guided the Foxes to the title the following year, even after the total was surpassed and the title was in their grasps.
To me 40 points was a great target for a team that wanted nothing more than to play at the highest level. But this team is too talented to set their sites that low. I’m not naive enough to think that Leicester are perennial title contenders. But I also don’t think it is unrealistic to expect the Foxes to contend for the Europa League every year, either. As long as key players like Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel remain, Leicester City is a top half of the table team. 40 points is great, but the Foxes potential is greater.
- Russ McCuen
To me that means I can exhale. It’s like the sensation you get when you get a grade just good enough to pass an exam you weren’t sure would pass. It is the feeling of sweet relief and comfort, but it is also tied to a special sense of nostalgia. Reaching 40 points reminds me of Sir Claudio Ranieri insisting that the goal was to reach 40 points and “take it from there” in the season in which the Foxes ended with 81 points and one Premier League title.
Most of all, reaching 40 points is now linked to the growth of the club. While it is still a cherished accomplishment, it is now also one that is expected.
- Michael Franca
To me, 40 points is like riding a rollercoaster for the first time.
You feel each rise and fall with your hands clenched to your seat. It’s Andy King coming off the bench to beat West Ham. It’s Jamie Vardy’s truck-stick on Gareth McAuley. 40 points is halfway to lifting the trophy. Most importantly, forty points is a chance to get to do the unthinkable again next season.
- Matt Cook
40 points to me is that cushion you can sit back on, which always gives you that feeling of relief even if relegation isn’t a real threat.
Since promotion to the Premier League, 40 points has been a big part of Leicester’s story. We fought very hard for it in 2014/15 with the great escape, it was simply a case of 40 points under Claudio in 2015/16 - instead we won the league.
Last season it was becoming increasingly harder to reach the figure as games went by, before Shakespeare took over and steadied the ship. And after Saturday’s win at West Brom, reaching the 40 points mark again signifies another season ahead of Premier League football.
- Alex Waterfield
40 points means Premier League football. It protects us from another decade wandering the football wilderness with Rab Douglas in goal. 40 points means another chance next year. 40 points means we can all keep dreaming, just like Claudio wanted.
The odds aren’t great; 4999 times out of 5000, you find yourself scrambling for the next 40 to keep your place at the table. Sometimes though, 40 points is just the first step towards 81 points, and that feels pretty special.
- Jack Lee