Are Leicester City In Trouble?
Leicester City are yet to record a win in the Premier League this season and after suffering a 5-2 thumping away to Brighton last weekend, signs of improvement are looking scarce. Could the Foxes be in trouble?
Despite being crowned Champions of England just over 6 years ago, Leicester find themselves bottom of the league after picking up just 1 point from 6 games.
Leicester have already squandered the lead in half of their League games so far. A 2 goal advantage at home to Brentford, ended in a 2-2 draw in the opening game of the season. Then, after having broken the deadlock against Southampton, they succumbed to a Che Adams brace; his first goals in over 6 months.
Last weekend brought a similar story. The Foxes found themselves ahead again in the first minute away to Brighton, yet still shipped a flock of goals against the high-flying Seagulls, in a 5-2 hammering.
Although they needed penalties to beat League Two side Stockport in the Carabao Cup, scoring goals hasn’t been the issue for Leicester. They have scored in 5 out of their opening 6 matches and found the net twice in half of them. You would expect 6 goals in 3 games to yield more than a point, but having been stung by the Bees, robbed by the Saints, and absolutely swarmed by the Seagulls, Leicester look incapable of protecting a lead.
The Foxes’ frailties seem to lie in defence. The loss of Kasper Schmeichel, former club Captain and a vocal one at that, leaves big gloves to fill. So far the jury is well and truly out on Danny Ward. Brendan Rodgers had referred to Schmeichel and Ward as his two number ones in the past but having already conceded 16 goals (the joint most in the league) is that statement necessarily ringing true for the Welsh Goalkeeper? After his penalty heroics in the Carabao Cup, should Iversen be getting his chance between the sticks?
Wesley Fofana’s transfer saga ended up with another defensive departure as he joined Chelsea for around £70 million. Of which, only a third was available to Rodgers for reinvestment. Leicester did manage to get Belgian defender Wout Faes through the door to replace the Frenchman, so perhaps he can help to re-establish some authority at the back for the Foxes. However, with him being the only new first-team signing, that could be a big ask and a lot of pressure to put on him.
Then there is also Caglar Soyuncu, who not long ago was a linchpin for City’s backline, but now finds himself frozen out and potentially on his way back to Turkey, to join Galatasaray.
Defenders are leaving quicker than they are being replaced and it is leaving Rodgers short of options. Wilfred Ndidi has been known to slot in at the back but then there is the issue of having a key midfielder absent from the engine room.
Dressing Room Discontent
Signs of a lack of harmony between the foxes have also started to show. In last weekend’s game against Brighton, Ndidi and Danny Ward quarreled over the latter giving the ball away in a dangerous area, whilst James Maddison and Daniel Amartey were also seen bickering.
Could this discontent be more widespread than this though? Kacper Schmeichel leaving this summer will undoubtedly be having adverse effects on the team. It’s never ideal to lose your Captain and your best shot stopper but to do so in one go will definitely disrupt the changing room.
Wesley Fofana didn’t handle his move in the most professional manner. He had just signed a long-term contract at the club but still pushed for a move to Stamford Bridge and got it as Leicester reluctantly gave the green light. Meanwhile, players like Youri Tielemans, who has been expecting to leave, had a reported bid from a “mystery club” rejected, as Leicester had set their price. He can’t have been too happy if the alleged bid is to be believed.
What sort of precedent has Fofana set at Leicester? Will players start to realise, that if they push hard enough, they can bully the board into a sale? Or will they become restless when they notice it’s one rule for others and another for them?
After winning the FA cup just over a year ago it is weird to think that we could be questioning their team spirit and togetherness but something clearly isn’t right at the King Power.
So are Leicester really in trouble?
Obviously, there is still time for Leicester to turn their fortunes around. Not long ago they were FA Cup champions so we all know the quality they do have. However, changes do need to be made and fast! Otherwise, Brendan Rodgers could be following Scott Parker to the job centre. Unless that is what he actually wants.
Although can the Leicester board even afford to sack him? They didn’t have the finances to sign new players in the summer and with Rodgers’ contract having a reported 8-figure payout clause, they could be hesitant to terminate his role at the club for now.
Next week’s game against Aston Villa could be pivotal for Leicester and Brendan Rodgers’ future. Both teams have fallen short of expectations so far this season and both managers will be feeling the pressure. However, Aston Villa will be feeling buoyant after their 1-1 draw with Manchester City.
Let us know what you think about the situation at the King power on our Twitter: @aftermatchftbl. Do you think the Foxes are in trouble?