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08th Dec 2016

Roy Keane pinpoints the problem with Leicester City in scathing analysis

Does he have a point?

Robert Redmond

Leicester City had already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League before Wednesday’s game against Porto.

With the team desperately out of form in the Premier League, and a trip to Manchester City coming up on Saturday, Claudio Ranieri made 10 changes to the side which lost last weekend to Sunderland.

The game in Portugal was a chance for fringe members of their squad to stake a claim for a regular starting spot, and boost their confidence for the league campaign. They lost 5-0.

The Foxes will at least be in the draw for the knockout stages of the Champions League, but they’ll have to pick up their form to make sure they’re not in a relegation battle by the time the competition resumes in February.

Leicester’s title defence has derailed to the extent that one ‘fan’ called-up BBC Radio 5 live and argued that Ranieri should be replaced by Iain Dowie.

Although this could easily be a wind-up, there have been murmurings about the Italian being replaced.

Sacking Ranieri after Leicester’s heroics last season would surely be a crime against football, but it’s clear there’s something amiss at the King Power stadium with the team sitting in 16th place in the Premier League, with just 13 points from 14 games.

Whether it’s N’Golo Kante departing for Chelsea, opposition teams cutting off space for Leicester’s counter-attacks or key players regressing to the mean after last season, something’s not right and many have a theory on what has went wrong.

FC Porto v Leicester City FC - UEFA Champions League

Roy Keane reckons, unsurprisingly, that it’s down to the players losing their hunger.

The former Manchester United captain, speaking on ITV, also said key players have taken their eye off-the-ball after signing new big-money contracts.

As usual, Keane didn’t hold back when analysing the team’s poor form.

“The warning signs have been there for the last few months with their league form and to me, the basic fact is they have lost their hunger,” Keane said on ITV’s Champions League coverage.

“Over the last few months, we see a few of their players getting rewarded with new contracts. The financial rewards are fantastic, but it can destroy a club. Too much money too soon and they players take their eyes off the ball and they are in big trouble.

“They have had a bit of success and it is hard to be critical of them, but you look at their manager, and he seems to be a very placid man, and he must be so frustrated. He must be scratching his head, him and his staff.

“I think his players are trying. It’s not like they have downed tools or anything like that, but their real desire not to get beaten has all gone out the window.

“Football is all about good habits and they have lost all track of what they should be about. Their DNA last year, their work rate, it’s gone.

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