Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Leicester City Season Review And Expectations From The Upcoming Campaign

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Leicester City and their miraculous 2015-16 Premier League triumph was not expected to repeat again, however, they were backed to deliver a decent show and fight for a place in Europe. But all went wrong for the Foxes as their ‘Tinkerman’ Claudio Ranieri, who wrote their fairy tale, was sacked following a series of disappointing results that took them closer to drop zone and was replaced by assistant boss Craig Shakespeare. Shakespeare upturned their fortunes in no time and Leicester City eventually finished 12th in the League. Although the worst finish for a side who have been defending the league title, the consequences could have been much worse considering their mid-season form and their upsurge will motivate them to get closer to a European spot in the upcoming campaign.

Leicester City Players Who Impressed This Season

Leicester City had a disappointing campaign, yet they recovered in the later months and Jamie Vardy, although failed to replicate his previous season’s form, once again proved to be their highest scorer of the campaign with 16 goals altogether. Islam Slimani also had a decent spell in his first season in English football but the impact of January signing Wilfred Ndidi deserves a mention here. The £17m signing from Belgian outfit Genk brought stability in the middle of the park and replaced N’Golo Kane to some extent.

Players Who Disappointed The Most

Most of their stars from the previous campaign had a highly disappointing campaign. Danny Drinkwater struggled in midfield whereas Riyad Mahrez, who won the Premier League Player of the Year 2016 award, failed to reproduce his excellence and find consistency. Robert Huth, Danny Simpson, Christian Fuchs and skipper Wes Morgan- all four of their first team defenders had a dismal 2016-17 Premier League outing. Their underperformance, lack of professionalism and commitment cost Ranieri his job.

Season Status

Although Leicester had a dispiriting Premier League campaign, they had a memorable journey in UEFA Champions League competition as they progressed through to the quarter-final of the competition, but were beaten by La Liga giants Atletico Madrid despite delivering a stellar show that earned them huge applauds for such a lion-hearted display. Their performance in the domestic cup competitions was disappointing too as they were knocked out in early rounds.

Areas Of Improvement

Claudio Ranieri, the former Leicester boss, made a huge mistake by not bringing in enough resources who could add steel in Leicester City back-line. He rather concentrated on attacking reinforcements and did not alter his tactics or philosophy despite series of undesirable outcomes. The players did not cooperate with the most successful manager in the club’s history as a few seniors reportedly pleaded his sacking to the hierarchy. However, the new boss Shakespeare, who signed a new long-term deal after constituting a comeback, needs to strengthen his back-line and has already acquired impressive Harry Maguire from relegated Hull City. They need to add an attacking midfielder who can operate from behind of Jamie Vardy and link up with fellow attackers to create enough goal-bound opportunities.

Expectations From 2017-18 Season

The Foxes should be optimistic about a better league outcome as they have a few decent resources who can establish them as a strong contender for a place in Europe.

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