Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Five Reasons For Leicester City’s Downfall This Season After The Euphoria Of The Title

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

Leicester City had a dream run, a fairytale-like season in the 2015-16 campaign when they left the entire globe in awe, pulling off spectacular wins, being unbreakable in their defence and had a magical midfield setup to lift the title.

What was so outstanding about the Foxes was that the season prior to that, they sneaked into the safety spots and then etched an unforgiven season in the history books.

However, Claudio Ranieri’s men have been terrible this season as their title defence is in complete disarray. They are merely a point adrift of the relegation zone and it is no brainer to underline that their tag of being a Premier League side is in serious jeopardy, which suffered another blow when they were humiliated by Manchester United last weekend. But how have they fragmented to pieces after being so phenomenal some months back?

The Loss of N’Golo Kanté

In very simple words, Kanté made the Foxes click under Ranieri’s regime and his departure to Stamford Bridge has come as a massive loss to Leicester City. He was the steel in their line-up, enabling them to effectively engineer a productive 4-4-2 formation as he covered the backline. The 25-year-old used to break the opposition’s surging runs and was a reliant customer to break the counter attacks. Newcomers Nampalys Mendy and Wilfried Ndidi are light years away from replicating what Kanté offered, which is why their central defence has been easier to penetrate for teams.

New Signings punching below their weight

Leicester City didn’t have a forgettable transfer window in the summer but their corrosion could also be traced to the notion that the new acquisitions have failed to deliver. Islam Slimani has turned cold after showing moments of sheer magic initially, whereas Ahmed Musa has been a flop in front of the goal ever since moving to the King Power Stadium. Luis Hernández was shipped to Málaga in six months and as mentioned before, Mendy and Ndidi are yet to find their feet.

Tactical Stagnation

The Tinkerman hasn’t been one-dimensional but he has barely pulled out anything substantial out of his hat in any of the games. Arguably, he was too slow to adopt the changes and his subsequent approaches have been far too narrow. Haven’t they been too reluctant to move away from the 4-4-2 formation?

Porous Defence

The one-season legacy of the central defensive pair of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth has withered away into nothingness and apart from these two, Christian Fuchs has also been shambolic. They have been cracking and crumbling like a house of cards facing a storm, and heroic defensive solidity has seemingly disappeared. The work rate, clinical performance and collective efforts have dipped and led to their own stagnation.

Lack of Attacking Potency

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez created jaw-dropping scenarios with the strokes of their left and right foot last term but have failed to replicate the same so far this season. The duo have been misfiring, as a result of which their frontline has become all hazy. More than anything else, it is their otherwise sharp attacking tooth that has let them down.

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