The foxes are currently dead bottom of the Premier League table
For those following, it’s nothing new. But for the outsider onlookers, it might sound bizarre why Leicester City is reluctant to sack their manager Brendan Rodgers after an abysmal start to the season.
The Foxes are at the bottom of the Premier League table. After seven games, they have only managed to salvage a single point. They have conceded 22 goals which are, by far, one of the worst defensive records that the league has seen in a while. The side has given up their leads during winnable games due to complacency. The individual brilliance of James Maddison is not enough to bail them out anymore.
It is a disgruntled squad. Many players have fallen out with the manager. Çağlar Söyüncü, Marc Albrighton, Ayoze Pérez, Jannik Vestergaard, Nampalys Mendy, and Dennis Praet have all got reduced to sitting on the bench. Brendan Rodgers has been treading on thin ice for many months.
No one can deny that he has done his best with what he inherited. Since his takeover, the team has had top-five finishes in back-to-back seasons. They qualified for Europe and won the coveted FA Cup alongside the FA Community Shield. But now, he is the captain of a sinking ship. He is the man who has failed to solve the recurring problems in the Foxes’ play.
Cluster of problems
The fans will tell you that the writing has been on the wall for several months, some even citing their unacceptable FA Cup Round 4’s 4-1 loss against their bitter rivals in Nottingham Forest, a Championship side, back in February. Brendan Rodgers emphasized a possible summer rebuild after that loss, explaining that he had to refresh the squad to compete better.
With each passing month, nothing changed much. Leicester‘s defensive woes continued as the side struggled visibly. The season ended with the Foxes standing 8th in the Premier League. Leicester expected a few to leave during the transfer window to substantiate the funds required to bring some fresh faces.
Weeks went by, but nothing concrete emerged apart from others’ interest in several of their players. Leicester City remained dormant in the market. The incomings were nowhere near enough to match the outgoings- accounting for the players who decided to leave the side, such as Kasper Schmeichel, Ademola Lookman, and Hamza Choudhury. The squad lost quality and depth further compared to last season.
Their lackluster defensive issues got ignored, and the search for a quality right-winger remained unfulfilled. They needed to make one or two sales to make up, but no viable offer arrived for Youri Tielemans, whose contract runs out in 2023. The club was also reluctant to close the deal for Lookman, who was left in the afterburner for way too long until he thought enough was enough and went on to join Atalanta.
The King Power club was then subjugated into submission when Chelsea came knocking. The Londoners had turned Wesley Fofana’s head with temptation. The Frenchman made it clear that he wanted to leave at a critical time. So in a rushed effort, Leicester purchased Wout Faes from Stade de Reims on a needs-must basis for around £15m to replace Fofana, who went to Chelsea for £69.5m 35 hours before the close of the window.
The only other signing was Alex Smithies, who will remain as a third-choice keeper.
Despite not buying many players, the outfit released statements informing that they had incurred annual losses of £119.5M, making them stand out as the only club in its division to have a lumpsum loss rather astonishingly.
Delay with the inevitable sack
Rodgers’ post-match interviews have often been elusive and unpolite. He has expressed displeasure over the idea of a promised rebuild. The upper management did not provide adequate funds to follow the promise through. Furthermore, the financial fair play rules, managing wages, and reducing the overall squad depth became prime issues. Leicester City’s mismanagement with failed transfer strategies is a living testament to the implementation.
Yes, Brendan Rodgers has failed to be a manager during a crisis. He has not developed the squad. Some players who were once promising have lost their shining qualities under him. A managerial change is urgent to churn up the lost confidence. The percept of Leicester City having too good of a squad to get relegated needs changing. A ship is useless with a broken compass. The quality doesn’t matter if you can’t sail over to the shore.
The club could and should have done better, as many sides are managing their debts better around Europe. Now, the club is at a crossroads. They don’t have the finances to compensate the manager if he gets sacked in the middle of his contract. Conversely, if they stick with this system for too long, the chances of relegation increase exponentially. The Foxes can’t afford relegation because such an occurrence could prove catastrophic.
East Midlands derby
The East Midlands side boasts of having the best state-of-the-art training facility at Seagrave, aided by the sale of Harry Maguire. Now they are on the verge of a stadium expansion. There is a shortage of funds due to carrying out these plans. Relegation should be avoided, at all costs, as it could put the club on the verge of bankruptcy.
At a delicate time like this, their most loathed rivals Nottingham Forest arrive at their home seeking bragging rights for the anticipatory East Midlands derby. Derbies are always won with passion, but does Leicester have any left?