From Cinderella to the proverbial pumpkin, Leicester City has shown how fragile success can be for clubs outside the big 4.
In last year’s English Premier League race to the finish, Leicester City managed to string together disciplined defensive performances without playing outside the means of the players they had at their disposal. Morgan and Huth were strong at the back and Vardy and co were deadly up front on the counter. A relatively simple recipe for success.
The only player Leicester sold who was an integral part of their maiden premiership squad was N’Golo Kante. Kante was sold for $30,000 to Chelsea which is not a bad trade by any stretch of the imagination, especially for a club that’s as financial handicapped as Leicester. Did Kante make that much of a difference? Well, if you take the engine out of a car, will it still go as effectively? That’s what we have to ask ourselves seeing as Kante did all the dirty work in the middle of the park allowing fringe premier league players such as Danny Drinkwater to gallop around being made to look like a Lampard by average squads.
Consistency is the main issue for the Foxes at the moment. The Club just hasn’t been able to play from their blueprint of yesteryear. Unforced errors, wayward passes and a defence that looks like the ugly stepsister of what we were able to experience last year. Conceding 24 goals thus far has put additional pressure on Leicester‘s strikeforce in Vardy, Mahrez, Okazaki and Slimani among others.
A hangover is acceptable in my eyes, after achieving such as incredible feat. But this is different. This is the equivalent of binging on the weekend with the epic bender crew and taking Monday off after Australia day. This is all too much for a club that still has many if not all the same pieces available that made them such a huge success.
The financial rewards, praise and even overconfidence has torn Leicester down. From new contracts to free cars provided by ownership, the Foxes have tasted the finer side of life and haven’t got the same hunger that made them such a force.
Currently Mired in 16th position on the Premier League ladder, Leicester have a lot of wrongs to right over the Christmas period. With Swansea, Hull, Sunderland and West Ham below them, it is very possible that at least two of them could sort their issues out and jump the foxes to safety. That would push Leicester into the relegation zone and into folklore as being the team who had it all one year and lost it all the very next.
Written by Nik Hatzi