Thursday, February 9, 2017

Doing a Leicester - The Hole

Jamie VarDDDDDYY!! MahrEEEZ!!! Those were usual names bellowed by commentators as Leicester City FC downed teams on their unprecedented march to being crowned English Premier League champions in the 2015/2016 season. Both players combined to score 41 goals (out of the club's 68) and assisted a further 17 goals. These key stats show that their poor form throughout the 2016/2017 EPL season might be the cause of Leicesters' dreadful run in the league (though they've been superb in the Champions League up till the point of this article) and quite possibly, eventual relegation from the league. However, I'd like to point out that the MAJOR problem the team has had is the loss (ironic due to the fact that a huge financial profit was made in his sale) of N'golo Kante - The Hole.

OK, I wasn't going to be cliche (is that even the right word?) but here it goes; when you remove the engine of a car would it move? Would it even start? At least if you had no fuel in the tank and an engine in place the car might attempt to start. Right? *Don't disprove me, it's my blog!*. I had a gut feeling, after hearing of his transfer to Chelsea, that Leicester won't be the same team. In this present age of football, where goal scorers are the only respected players, it would be difficult for one to understand the importance of a "non-stop maniac-esque marauding" midfielder. And yeah, why would such pesky midfielders be appreciated when all they do is destroy beautiful "tiki-taka" football? The answer is simple; to allow the "glossy" attackers actually get forward (not trying to defend against the opponent) and maybe score a goal. Oh! and i forget, they help the centre backs when their team is defending. Kante wanted to leave immediately the offer from Chelsea came in, or at least that's what we all thought. So Leicester can't be blamed of selling off their best players to the highest bidder *coughs* Arsenal *coughs*. However, the club was pretty slow to react, they probably thought it wouldn't be a biggie.

Getting a player in the mold of Kante would be either very difficult or extremely expensive. Like it or yes (no mistake made here), Kante is the best defensive midfielder in the world presently (again, as at the time of posting this article). Ranieri tried using a couple of players in that role, Amartey and King, which ultimatley failed. He then lived up to his name, the "thinker-man" and kept changing the team formation, none of which really improved their fortunes. In the winter transfer window, Wilfred Ndidi was purchased from Genk to try and fill "The Hole". So far much has not changed but there seems to be some glimmer of hope from his displays. Would this be enough to get Leicester "started" and out of a relegation dog fight, which they seem to be in already? Come May 2017 we shall see if Leicester can do a Leeds (1992/93 season) or create a new phrase by "doing a Leicester".

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