London [UK], May 10 (ANI): Leicester sits third-bottom (17th) of the Premier League table with three games left to save their season. Seven years ago they were the premier league champions and now have to fight to stay in the relegation battle.
Seven years ago former Leicester City captain Wes Morgan lifted the Premier League trophy. Striker, Jamie Vardy had broken the top-flight record for goals in consecutive matches, Claudio Ranieri was manager of the year, and the club’s owners led the lap of honour around a raucous King Power Stadium, as the footballing world hailed the most unlikely of heroes.
It heralded the most successful period in the club’s 139-year history. But now, with three games of the 2023 season to go, Leicester are a shadow of the club they so recently were, and they’re odds-on with the bookmakers to join Southampton in the final relegation places.
Recruitment has been a key problem. Leicester has excelled in this area for many years and was an example to so many other clubs, so this has been a shocking failure of late.
Leicester’s player wage bill is one of the eight biggest in the whole of the Premier League.
Extending the salary spend was a calculated plan by Leicester’s bosses in recent years, to try to bridge the gap and compete with the bigger clubs, and to try to help retain their best players. One of the results of that increased spending was the record loss of £92.5m announced by the club in March (caused partly because the sale of Wesley Fofana to Chelsea hadn’t come through in those accounts), as per Sky Sports.
But that salary investment hasn’t been matched by performances on the pitch.
Part of the blame for Leicester’s predicament has to be laid on the former manager Brendan Rodgers. Some supporters feel the relegation threat might not have been so dire had he been sacked earlier. His inability to address Leicester’s long-standing weakness in defending set pieces will haunt him.
Leicester have conceded 64 goals in 35 Premier League matches. As if to compound Leicester’s defensive frailties, they’ve lacked a top-class goalkeeper.
The decision to allow Kasper Schmeichel to leave for Nice in the summer was not a good one. Leicester’s bosses wanted to reward him for his incredible service to the club, and so didn’t stand in his way when he told them of the better contract on the table in France.
Leicester City’s remaining premier league fixtures are against Liverpool on May 16, Newcastle on May 23 and West Ham United on May 28. (ANI)
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