Five things we learnt from Southampton v Leicester City game
The 2015-16 Premier League champions Leicester City are finding defending their title very difficult as the day goes by and now face a relegation battle. Last week the Foxes lost 3-0 at the King Power stadium and today lost by same goal margin to Southampton at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday
Last week the Foxes lost 3-0 at the King Power stadium and today lost by same goal margin to Southampton at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday
Here are five things we learnt from their game against the Saints
1. Leicester City are now deep in a relegation fight; as the Leicester City fans trudged towards the exits, ‘Back to life, back to reality’ blared out of the stadium speakers.
The champions slumped to yet another away Premier League defeat and their second successive 3-0 loss.
No excuses can be made, though, when such a performance is against a Southampton side that came into the
game on the back of four straight defeats, and with just two goals among them to show for it.
Blue shirts were second to every ball, lacked urgency and, by the end of the game, there was an air of resignation
about it all.
Concerning, too, that Leicester have hardly created a single chance of note in that time. That never bodes well, especially when you are in a relegation battle. And they are deep in the heart of one. That’s
That’s the great reality dawning on the Foxes and their fans.
2. The formation just did not work: At half-time, with Leicester 2-0 down, Peter Schmeichel tweeted his
agreement with a comment made by Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness about Claudio Ranieri’s changes in formation.
“Why try to fix something that is not broken?”
The inference was about Ranieri’s decision to tinker with his formation once again. At Everton in the FA Cup, it had been 4-3-3, against Chelsea it was three at the back.
Here today at St Mary’s, it was a diamond and it didn’t work. Southampton’s wide players had the freedom of St Mary’s as crosses flew in from both sides as Saints’ full-backs overloaded their Leicester counterparts.
Ranieri changed back to 4-4-2 in the second half and his players looked more comfortable, more balanced,
3. Leicester should go back to basics – and that’s 4-4-2 formation:
But, it was broken. Things did need fixing. Only those with a chronic case of short- term memory loss can forget the numerous games when Leicester’s two-man, N’Golo Kante-less central midfield was over-run, game after game.
Something needed changing. The only problem is that the Foxes seem so engrained in their tried-and-tested system that they appear unsure how to play anything else.
Ranieri said after the game that he would be going back to basics from now on. No more Tinkerman. If that is the case, then Leicester will have to hope that Wilfred Ndidi can go some way to filling the void left by Kante to stop Leicester from being overrun.
4. Demarai Gray’s Positive and Negative: The calls for Demarai Gray to be given a run of starts in the side had become almost deafening in recent weeks and, at St Mary’s, we saw the reasons why fans want him on the pitch and also why Ranieri is so reluctant to pick him on a regular basis.
In the space of just a single attack, we saw the best and worst of the England under-21 international. With one drop of his shoulder, he would beat one defender and with a flurry of his feet, he would bamboozle another.
But, in the next breath, he would ignore the waving arms of Jamie Vardy in space, so determined was he to take on the hero shot.
At one point, too, he received a blast from Kasper Schmeichel when the Leicester keeper wanted to start a quick counter-attack and Gray was preoccupied in ambling towards the halfway line.
5. What does Ranieri have to do against Derby in the FA Cup? Ranieri has a decision to make. The defeat here has made his selection for the FA Cup game this weekend much tougher.
With relegation fears looming and a game against Burnley next Tuesday beckoning, there must be a temptation to rest a few players ahead of it.
But it’s Derby. Fans will not stand to see a second-string side get turned over by their East Midlands rivals. That’s enough to make some turn.
The Foxes need a lift as soon as possible. A victory against the Rams could go some way to providing that.They were 20 points better than this last season in the league, not too good one for the champions.