When we look at Leicester we see a well-balanced team with a manager that knows how to get the best out of his players.
I remember when Branden Rodgers came back to the Premier League, some argued that it was a step down from a big club like Celtic where he was winning trophies every season, but all along he must have thought he wasn’t done with the Premier League, after he came so close to winning with Liverpool. His goal was to come back to a team that he could help get into Europe and maybe even challenge for some silverware.
And look at his Leicester team now. They’ve made a better start than they did in their title-winning season, winning eight games in a row with Jamie Vardy as the league’s top scorer on 16, five goals ahead of anyone else. Vardy is one of the most clinical strikers in the world, and is just three games away from equalling his own record of scoring in 11 consecutive games.
With Man City taking a few setbacks in the title race, it looks like if any team can stop Liverpool now it will have to be Leicester. Only Liverpool have scored more goals than the Foxes and they have the best defensive record in the league. We know there is such a long way to go but the Foxes are the only team keeping the pressure on Liverpool at the moment.
They also have great fullbacks in Chilwell and Pereira. They don’t seem to get tired and are always hard to beat, stopping wingers coming in from out wide. Soyuncu is probably the one that surprised everyone the most though, because it’s not easy to settle in that confidently at a new side that had to make lots of adjustments. I know it helps to have a player like Evans that has bags of experience to help you, but his no-nonsense way of playing is paying off and he does not want to give any player an inch when they play against him.
Tielemans is the perfect connection between Maddison and Vardy. When Ndidi wins the ball back he looks at Maddison or Tielemans for the attacking options. Because both are players that like to get on the ball it’s sometimes too hard for defenders to stop both because if you stop one, the other one will look to receive the ball. When you concentrate too much on both you will see Vardy asking for the ball over the top.
The only option they give you when you’re playing them is to treat them with the respect teams give the top sides, by not allowing them time and space between the lines to look for the options that can hurt you. The other thing opponents have to master is defending counter-attack. It’s a dangerous game giving too much space away behind the defensive line with Vardy lurking.
They will keep doing what they have been doing for some time, and now that Rodgers has signed a new deal, if teams don’t find the solution to stop them, Leicester will become stronger and will be the team that starts thinking about how to build a bigger squad so they can start competing in Europe. That has been the only tricky part for Rogers when he was at Celtic, and I am sure he wants to compete at that level too. #mmlove