The new season is only a month old but has already thrown everyone off-guard just like last year.Hull ,who were a complete mess heading into the new season with just 13 fit senior players and a caretaker manager doing well.
Arsenal had a poor start but have since steadied ship.Liverpool have had a banging start to the season and Chelsea have had a meltdown after a really good start to life under Antonio Conte. But the one thing that has stood out among all these is the striking fall of the reigning Premier league champions Leicester City who famously won the title last year after being regarded as relegation candidates early on.
The Astronomical rise and fall of Leicester has been fascinating. Against all odds they went on to win what is widely regarded as the toughest league in the world.There was simply no stopping them last season , the Leicester Juggernaut just kept rolling.They came out of nowhere and swooped the title.And after that performance and new additions to the squad with only one major departure of N’Golo Kante they were expected to continue their good performances. That hasn’t been the case though.They’re currently languishing at 12th in the table having collected only 7 points from a possible 18 in 6 games .They’ve lost 3 games already this season , they lost 3 in the entire of last season .That is a stark contrast even for a team like Leicester who weren’t fancied to stay up last season.
The reason they were able to win last season was , they had 11 players who would play every week. A fixed starting eleven with one plan.Sit back and defend while taking the chances that come on the counter.They had plenty success with this formula.N’Golo Kante broke up play and made key tackles from midfield with Mahrez and Vardy working in tandem on the counters . The terrific speed of Jamie Vardy and tantalizing skill of Mahrez had defenders running.They were always ahead of their opponents and were clinical in taking the chances that came their way.Leicester also had a good defense with Huth and Morgan being the towering and powerful center backs and Fuchs and Simpson defending the flanks well.
This season hasn’t quite worked out the same for them. Mahrez has been out of form with Vardy showing only flashes of his former self.The departure of Kante to Chelsea hasn’t done them any good as well.Claudio Ranieri did a really good job of holding on to Mahrez and Vardy while also strengthening the squad. Islam Slimani , a club record signing has done okay in the opening games but they seem to lack something they had last season.
The urgency about their play has decreased.Their defensive frailty was exposed by Liverpool and Manchester United with both hitting 4 goals against them. Slimani is still finding his feet in English football while Mahrez and Vardy have had sub-par starts to their season.
While their league form has been disappointing they’ve had a fantastic start to their maiden Champions League campaign winning both their games so far thus becoming the only English side to win their first two Champions league games.
Claudio Ranieri will hope that he can sort out their problems before the visit of Southampton this weekend. If they end up on the losing side again they will have to have a serious rethink of their strategy as it leave them in a perilous position in the league.
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