“This is not a crisis” stated Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri as the Champions of England spiral deeper into a crisis.
With just two wins in the previous fifteen Premier League games The Foxes are a stark contrast from the team that shocked the world by winning their first Premier League title against all odds – specifically a 5000/1 shot.
How has this happened?
It turns out Leicester are a bigger one hit wonder than Goyte and Kimbra with their 2012 hit “Somebody that I used to know” which conveniently brings me to the subject of Mahrez who seems to have forgotten what a professional footballer is.
If you have listened to our earlier PUPcast podcasts you will have heard the lads’ theories that Riyad Mahrez is casting his eye towards a new club. This can be seen by his dire Premier League performance compared to his convenient revival for big Champions League games.
Photo credit The Indian Express
I still find it hard to comprehend how this Leicester City defence managed to secure a title last season. Admittedly, Leicester played much higher in the past and were cemented by the incredible N’Golo Kante but when you break each defensive position down it was a minor miracle that Leicester have not shipped three goals a game this year.
Robert Huth and Wes Morgan are the sort of players a team like Sunderland sign on a free in case their starters get injured – yes that’s a Joleon Lescott comparison. Repeatedly the pair have been obliterated due to their lack of speed and receptivity.
Surprisingly, since the new holding laws from set pieces have been introduced Leicester’s defence has crumbled – Huth and Morgan have been unable to drag every attacker to the floor and pin them there until the danger has cleared.
Likewise, Jamie Vardy seems content to accept he completely fluked last season.We can hardly hold it against him though after last seasons’ heroics.
Photo credit The Mirror
But the issue seems to be broader than just player performances.
The Leicester City board have announced their complete backing of Ranieri during this crisis yet the blame can be placed solely on the Italians shoulders.
I seem to also quote clichés but the saying in football goes – do not change a winning team – yet Ranieri has been tinkering with this Leicester squad far too often this season and they have yet to score a goal in 2017 after sitting in 1st position with 44 goals this time last year.
So far this season we have seen Leicester experiment with various tactics and players with the tested 4-4-2 likely to be used in the FA Cup replay versus Derby County. It is reported that a number of players are disgruntled with these seemingly pointless adjustments to a title winning side, notably Kasper Schmichael who said the squad’s title defence was embarrassing.
In addition to this, Ranieri has issued a ban on chicken burgers so you can almost see why this Leicester squad is under-performing without it’s greasy succulent goodness.
Honestly, I cannot see how Leicester will escape this relegation battle and on PUPcast Episode #19 I claimed that Leicester will be relegated in May. Up next for The Foxes are fellow strugglers Swansea and if they fail to obtain a result, worrying times are ahead for the Champions of England.
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