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04th Jan 2023

Leicester are sleepwalking down the table and nothing is being done to stop it

Callum Boyle

Leicester City

Leicester look like a shadow of themselves.

For Leicester fans attending Tuesday night’s game at the King Power Stadium, it was very much new year, same Leicester.

Full time brought a chorus of boos as Fulham left the East Midlands with three points after Aleksandar Mitrović’s first-half strike was enough to continue their impressive Premier League campaign. 

It was the third defeat in a row for Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes and after showing brief signs of life before the World Cup break, they’ve returned to the same form that they showed at the start of the season.

Make no bones about it, they’re in a relegation battle and the only reason they’re not further down the table is because they’re just happens to be at least three worse teams in the league at the moment.

A lack of investment this season in key areas has left them slacking. Nearly a year on from reaching the semi-finals of a European competition, the best fans will hope for this campaign is a cup run to distract from the dismal showing in the league.

Several players are out of contract this summer and that could well play a factor in some of the performances. Most of these turning up know that they probably won’t be playing for the club next season but that isn’t a good enough excuse.

Fans deserve to see some effort at the bare minimum, yet there are several who aren’t looking capable of producing that at the moment.

Leicester City

Rodgers’ high wages mean he should come under more scrutiny.

Then there’s Rodgers. At his best, he is a very talented coach with a reputation for making players better, but that seems way off at the moment.

For someone who is one of the best-paid managers in the top flight, the Foxes are underperforming badly. His stubbornness has often cost him his position in previous roles and it’s there to see in plain sight right now.

Caglar Soyuncu can’t get a game yet he is reportedly on the verge of signing for Atlético Madrid who, for the last decade or so, have been one of the best defensive teams in world football while Leicester continue to ship goals at the back.

Nothing showed the fragility in the backline more than the performance at Liverpool. The two own goals from Wout Faes were calamitous enough but the first especially was a cause for concern.

Danny Ward could be heard calling for the ball clearly but Faes ignored his shout, as did Daniel Amartey minutes earlier. A bad error from Faes yes, but it emphasised that there is a lack of trust in each other.

Rodgers’ reluctance to play Kelechi Iheanacho is the biggest gripe with supporters. During Leicester’s FA Cup winning season, the Nigerian was the standout performer and often bailed Leicester out of defeats.

He was instrumental in the run that ended their FA Cup final hoodoo. Was he given the chance he deserved? No, he was given a spot on the bench.

Barring Boubakary Soumaré’s early withdrawal due to injury, Rodgers didn’t make a sub until late in the second half on Tuesday. Everybody else could see change was needed, why couldn’t he?

Leicester City

Lack of bodies are affecting Leicester, but what they have is still good enough

Injuries don’t help anyone and especially not Leicester. They’ve been desperately unlucky in that whenever it’s a big injury, it’s always one of the better players in the side.

James Maddison, Ricardo Pereira, James Justin, Patson Daka and more were all on the sidelines and all players that would either start or be of valuable use to the squad, but that doesn’t dispute the fact there is more than enough quality for them to be doing better.

January may bring some hope and optimism in that fresh faces may be brought in. The Telegraph’s John Percy has revealed that the Foxes are in talks with Copenhagen to sign talented Victor Kristiansen, a move that will bring smiles to the faces of fans.

Leicester fans don’t expect titles or Champions League qualification, what they expect is a team that gives their all. They’re the side known for creating the greatest underdog story of all time, now they just seem happy to roll over for anyone.

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