Dick move: James Maddison’s casino trip
Maddison has struggled to convince Gareth Southgate of his credentials for this England side but the Leicester playmaker received a call-up for the Czech Republic qualifier in October. Falling ill with flu couldn’t be helped. Being pictured at a poker table on the night the Three Lions fell to a defeat definitely could.
Rodgers tried to defend his player, saying he went to the casino to watch the game after catching the first-half at home. He couldn’t go to his parents because they were in Prague having booking a trip to watch their son. So, obviously, the only alternative was a casino…
“Probably he’ll make better decisions in his life,” admitted Rodgers. You think? “You want to be high performance, low maintenance,” responded Southgate, who appears to have given Maddison the benefit of the doubt.
Did their recruitment work?
Leicester’s greatest success was not in the players they recruited but those they did not.
With £80million burning a hole in their pocket, the Foxes resisted the temptation to splurge their Harry Maguire windfall on an over-priced replacement, choosing instead to trust Caglar Soyuncu. It was an inspired decision, with the Turkey defender forming a hugely impressive partnership with Evans.
Maguire’s sale meant Leicester had a net spend of around £15million last summer. There were no qualms over spending a club record £40million on Tielemans, though chucking £30million at Newcastle for Ayoze Perez raised a few eyebrows. The attacker is yet to convince anyone that he was worth that outlay.
Dennis Praet and James Justin both looked like rather more savvy acquisitions and the season shut-down has come at the wrong time for both, with Praet starting to show some impressive consistency in Leicester’s midfield, while Justin was due a run in the side in Pereira’s absence.
Leicester’s recruits from last summer may not have made a huge impact this season but there is plenty of optimism that it will turn out to be an astute window’s work.
Manager’s job security:
Now less than four months into a new five-and-a-half-year contract, B-Rodge is sat smugly and snugly in the Foxes hot-seat. Having been offered new terms to persuade him to snub Arsenal, only the lure of one of the truly big-hitters might tempt him away from a role which reportedly pays him more than Jurgen Klopp gets for bossing Liverpool. Apparently, only Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have a fatter Premier League pay packet at the end of each week.
Rodgers has everything he needs at Leicester: an exciting young squad; the financial clout to add to it; the Champions League platform he feels he deserves; and a shiny new training complex under construction. Likewise, the Northern Irishman has demonstrated to Leicester in a year that he is a suitable candidate to lead them into a potentially exciting future.
Until they suffer an injury crisis and lose four on the bounce…
What they need in the summer:
Not signing a centre-back worked splendidly last summer. This time, with European football crowding their schedule, there is a need to add cover in the heart of their defence. Rodgers borrowed Ryan Bennett for the second half of the season but the Wolves loanee hasn’t yet made a matchday squad since his deadline day arrival.
At left-back, a bad summer could see Rodgers could lose both senior specialists. If anyone meets their valuation, then Chilwell could get his big move and Christian Fuchs is out of contract, even though Leicester are tempted to dangle another extension under the nose of the Austrian who will be 34 next month.
In a perfect world, Rodgers might like to add a winger and another centre-forward since cover in both areas requires players to operate out of position. But once again, the priority for Leicester is preservation and the retention of players like Maddison and Chilwell. Achieve that and add some depth, and the Foxes will be set.
Not watching Leicester I don't know how accurare that article is/isnt, but it was a decent read.
Just an observation and question.
It says Vardy is 33 but in the last paragraphs about what they need, its about retention, the defence and a winger. Given how important Vardys goals are and how LFC play to his particular strengths, don't you think a pacy, reactive back-up striker should be on the wishlist?
The article is pretty much spot on, a rarity from an outside source.
It does mention another centre forward but as we all know, in normal circumstances finding a goal scorer for the Premier League is incredibly hard, finding one to replace Vardy could be almost impossible.
It is our biggest worry, unless of course we can clone Vardy.
It's a big question and the answer is that we won't be able to find a suitable backup for one of the top strikers in the Premier League over the last 6 years and arguably the best striker/player ever to grace the field for Leicester.
Not least the issue would be finding someone with those attributes who would be prepared to warm the bench!