Tag Archives: Morgan

What’s going on?! The Leicester City Story

If you don’t know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich. Your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no.

Apoplectic with rambling rage, Nigel Pearson’s Leicester City looked destined for the drop when champions elect Chelsea brought their unexpectedly pleasant run of form to an end, turning the Foxes over 3-1 at the King Power stadium.

Leicester City badge

With just 31 points on the table and four games left to play, Leicester had seemingly turned a corner too late, with their four successive victories before the Chelsea match not enough to escape the drop zone.

10 points in the final four fixtures ensured that not only did they survive, but did so with room to spare, finishing in 14th position, a full four places and six points clear of the dreaded divide.

An amazing escape indeed, but when Pearson was relieved of his duties that Summer, and replaced by an Italian manager widely considered to be a decade and change beyond his prime, the chances of a repeat dose of survival rapidly took a tumble.

How could it feasibly transpire that journeyman manager Claudio Ranieri, with his squad made up of other teams’ cast-offs and a sprinkling of lesser known imports, would be able to retain their top-flight status?

 

Turn the clock forward 12 months; Leicester City are seven points clear at the summit of the Premier League, one win away from what was an inconceivable title win. Players previously considered second rate no-marks have been lighting up the division with their dynamic, incisive play; Leicester are on the brink of becoming champions.

Too unrealistic for a comic strip or movie script, this is a story of 5,000-1 underdogs repeatedly overcoming the odds to besmirch the notion of rational analysis.

Those players who were once decried as mediocre non-entities have found themselves transformed into international stars, recently voted among the elite of Premier League footballing talent by their peers.

 

The Players

Leicester City FC

Kasper Schmeichel
Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 29
2015-16 league games/clean sheets: 35/15

Has marshalled the Foxes’ defence superbly this season in the vein of his father, Peter, during his Manchester United pomp. One of the most gifted ‘keepers in European football, has played every minute of league action for his club side this season.

 

Danny Simpson
Position: Right back
Age: 29
2015-16 league games/goals: 25/0

Simpson has belied his lack of technical prowess with an unwavering spirit and some superb last ditch tackling this term. A reliable, solid full-back who isn’t afraid to get stuck in and take one for the team.

 

Jeff Schlupp
Position: Left back/winger
Age: 23
2015-16: 17/1

Jet-heeled fullback-cum-winger who rejected Germany to play for Ghana. Shlupp’s attacking strength has always been evident, but this season he has cut a much improved defensive figure as part of a rock solid back four.

 

Wes Morgan (Captain)
Position: Centre back
Age: 32
2015-16: 35/1

Club captain and ever present rock at the heart of his side’s defence. Morgan was deservedly selected in the PFA team of the season. At 32 is thriving in the top division after years of shining in the lower leagues.

 

Robert Huth
Position: Centre back
Age: 31
2015-16: 30/3

A German international, Huth has rebuilt his reputation as a tough tackling defender with an eye for goal this season, having forged an excellent partnership with Morgan. £3m Summer signing now looks a snip at that price.

 

Riyad Mahrez
Position: Winger
Age: 25
2015-16: 34/17

The PFA Player of the Year has been scintillating throughout the season, with 17 goals and 11 assists to his name thus far. Linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, it will be a challenge for the Foxes to keep hold of their crown jewel next season.

 

Marc Albrighton
Position: Winger
Age: 26
2015-16: 35/2

An unsung hero, Albrighton has finally showed the creative consistency to begin fulfilling his undoubted potential. Protects his full-backs well, whilst possessing enough offensive prowess to whip in some delightful crosses from the byline.

 

N’Golo Kante
Position: Central Midfield
Age: 25
2015-16: 34/1

The new Claude Makelele? Kante arrived in the Summer as a virtual unknown for the bargain sum of £5.6m. Recently broke the Premier League seasonal record for most successful tackles. Leicester say they won’t stand in the way of him leaving for big money if they can find a replacement – That won’t be as easy as it sounds though.

 

Danny Drinkwater
Position: Central Midfield
Age: 26
2015-16: 29/1

Like so many others in the squad, this has been Drinkwater’s breakout season. Now a full England international, the tenacious midfield man will be hoping to feature for his country at Euro 2016, and is certainly deserving of a spot in the final 23 man squad.

 

Jamie Vardy
Position: Forward
Age: 29
2015-16: 34/22

Having struck just 5 goals in the whole of last season, not a lot was expected of Vardy this term. 22 goals and 6 assists later and he is one of the hottest commodities in the Premier League. A fairytale among fairytales; the talismanic forward was playing non-league football until the age of 25!

 

Shinji Okazaki
Position: Forward
Age: 30
2015-16: 32/5

Japanese forward has added spark to the Foxes’ frontline since arriving from the Bundesliga in the Summer. His insatiable work-rate and selfless movement has allowed space for the likes of Vardy and Mahrez to operate. Has also chipped in with a handful of key goals.

 

Leonardo Ulloa
Position: Forward
Age: 29
2015-16: 27/6

Powerful striker has been used predominantly as a super-sub this term, although he filled in adroitly during Vardy’s recent suspension against Swansea City. Has become a very useful squad alternative to a clutch of diminutive attackers, with his excellent hold up play and aerial ability coming to the fore.

 

Christian Fuchs
Position: Left back
Age: 30
2015-16: 27/0

The experienced Austrian international has proved another transfer market master stroke for the club. Goes about his business without too many frills and spills, fitting in ideally with the high pressing mantra of the rest of his team.

 

Andy King
Position: Midfield
Age: 27
2015-16: 22/1

Youth Academy product continues to flourish as a valuable squad player. Unlikely to start many games with Kante and Drinkwater in such fine form, but the Welshman is a safe pair of boots to cover for his more talented team mates.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.