It has been a rollercoaster start to the 2022/23 campaign for Leicester City. The Foxes endured their worst league run for 20 years as they lost six games in a row early on, with relegation being a big concern.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have recovered of late and lifted themselves up to mid-table, playing an attacking brand of football again much to the delight of the fans and owners alike. The mood around the club now is much happier than it was early in the season, with Rodgers turning things around to keep his job secure at the King Power Stadium.
As the World Cup break has allowed Rodgers much to ponder about, here are three things we have learned from Leicester City’s campaign so far.
#Leicester have dearly felt the absence of Kasper Schmeichel
Leicester City’s Achilles heel has once again been their defence, and letting go of club captain, leader and experienced goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to Nice on a free transfer continues to haunt the club.
Schmeichel was an excellent servant for Leicester City, a reliable goalkeeper and vocal leader on and off the pitch. The Dane’s exit has been hugely felt with Brendan Rodgers’ side conceding 25 goals in 15 games so far.
Danny Ward initially struggled to fill in the big boots of Schmeichel in between the sticks, and while he has been one of the cornerstones of the Foxes’ turnaround in fortunes of late, allowing the Denmark goalkeeper to leave the King Power Stadium is a decision the club will regret for years to come.
#The Foxes can score plenty without Jamie Vardy
With Jamie Vardy leading the attack for a number of years now, Leicester City would be forgiven for focusing their entire attack around their star striker.
Clearly past his prime at 35, Vardy has struggled for goals this season and only managed to break his duck in the 4-0 win over Wolves in October. Regardless of him just scoring once in the league, Leicester have proved time and again this term that they can still find the back of the net without the former England international getting on the scoresheet.
James Maddison has taken his game to a new level and is their top scorer with seven strikes, while the likes of Harvey Barnes, Youri Tielemans and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall have chipped in with more important goals.
If Rodgers’ team have shown anything in their opening 15 games of the season, it’s that they are no more reliant on Vardy for a regular supply of goals.
#Squad focus and desire have brought positive results
Leicester City’s squad have been rightly criticised for their performances and poor attitude early on in the season. Brendan Rodgers has also received a lot of stick from fans and pundits alike for setting his team up negatively at times.
But since the 4-0 drubbing of rivals Nottingham Forest at the start of October, the team has looked more energetic, enthusiastic and eager to fight throughout the 90 minutes. Truly, it has been something of a reset with everyone keen to put in their best efforts and make a difference to answer the critics in the best possible fashion.
The challenge for Rodgers’ Foxes, however, will be to try and create the same level of focus and performances when the Premier League season resumes and not get distracted henceforth.