Make no bones about it Leicester City Football Club, last seasons Premier League champions, are in a massive relegation dogfight. They currently sit 17th in the standings, just one point and one place above the bottom three and on their current form look doomed. As silly as it sounded that they would hold out and win the title in 2015-2016, this season they may well become the first defending title holders of the English top division to be relegated for nearly 80 years. For the record that team was Manchester City – champions in 1936-37 then relegated the following season.
The Foxes have slowly been dragged into the lower echelons of the table and 2017 has been awful for them in the Premier League, 6 matches, 1 draw and then 5 straight defeats, with no goals scored and 12 conceded. I have seen three of these matches and the performances have been dire especially once they have gone behind in a match, it seems that confidence levels are at an all time low. They are a total shadow of the team that shocked the footballing world by topping England’s top division 5000-1 outsiders says everything.
PRIORITY ONE = PREMIER LEAGUE SURVIVAL
Leicester won their FA cup replay against East Midlands rivals Derby in midweek, but when they needed to step up in the bread and butter of the league against Swansea, another team deep in trouble in the lower parts of the table, this last weekend, they looked listless, uninspired and worryingly were not playing like a team united. They were the complete opposite of last season and this cannot just be down to losing N’Golo Kante to Chelsea last summer. At one point the owner was seen shaking his head at what he was watching. Manager Claudio Ranieri stated in an interview after the game that Premier League survival is now their main aim this season, so cup matches are not a priority. If the Italian is to be believed even the Champions League, a competition where they have performed superbly topping their group and earning a round of 16 match against Sevilla, is now a secondary concern. Their next match this coming Saturday against Millwall in the FA Cup will be even further down their list of priorities, the teams selected for these two matches will be interesting
CHANGE AT TOP?
The next scheduled Premier League match for Ranieri’s men is at home against Liverpool on the 27th February, however there has to be a slight question mark over whether he will be in charge then. As mentioned two matches to come before this game and their opponents on Sunday, Swansea have shown how a change of manager (Paul Clement has won 4 of his 6 games since his appointment) can bring an upturn in results, though this is no guarantee, ask Sam Allardyce and Crystal Palace. The word is the owners will be loyal to the manager that won them the title last season, but at times football is pretty brutal, with little or no room for sentiment. For instance another Italian manager and ex Leicester player who has won the Premier League title himself with Manchester City is available in Roberto Mancini, what are the odds of him and maybe Robbie Savage, a trophy winner at the club as his number two being in place come the beginning of March, stranger things have happened.
NO VARDY PARTY THIS YEAR
So on the 2nd May last year, Leicester players were at Jamie Vardy’s house celebrating their title triumph as Tottenham Hotspur drew 2-2 at Chelsea. Five days later they dominated Everton in a 3-1 win at a raucous King Power Stadium and were presented with the Premier League trophy. An amazing achievement, that realistically nobody would have thought could have happened at the start of the season. It is now a bit of a deja vu as no one expected the champions to be embroiled in a relegation dogfight just over nine months later, and as we stand it looks like being a fruitless one. However football is a funny old game and there is still plenty of time for things to change, but it needs to happen soon or we will be saying the following “Champions one season, Relegated the next!!!!!!!”
Let me know what your think.
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