Opinion: Leicester City have to be ruthless with Brendan Rodgers as they were with Claudio Ranieri to stop the slide


Not so long ago Leicester City were widely regarded as the best managed club in the Premier League. Not only did the Foxes surpass their weight financially, but they played an engaging and dynamic style of football with Brendan Rodgers arguably the most important figure in the entire operation.

Now, however, Rodgers’ side are on the slop with Boxing Day battered by Manchester City, leaving Leicester City slumped in 10th place, 13 points off the top four – where they’ve targeted Champions League qualification these last time. It’s safe to say that the competition’s famous anthem won’t ring in King Power Stadium next season.

Only three Premier League sides (Leeds United, Newcastle United and Norwich City) have conceded more goals this season than Leicester City, highlighting the defensive problems suffered by Rodgers’ side. Injury was a factor, but a Foxes caliber team should be able to absorb more.

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As Leicester City started the 2021/22 season with the intention of taking the final step in the top four, it is now a matter of consolidation. The longer their current form endures, the more likely the foxes are to erase all the good work they’ve been doing in recent times. Rodgers’ future at the club may have to be considered. Leicester couldn’t have had any other choice.

Indeed, if Leicester City are truly the best-managed club in the Premier League, it surely weighs on the contingency options after a fourth defeat in five matches. There was certainly no hesitation when the Foxes made the difficult decision to sack Claudio Ranieri just months after winning the Premier League title. Leicester may have to show similar cruelty when assessing Rodgers’ future.

One of Rodgers’ biggest flaws as a manager is his inability or reluctance to recognize unfavorable circumstances for his team. This is something Celtic fans experienced when the Scottish giants were repeatedly punished in European competitions for Rodgers’ stubbornness. Regardless of the opponent, Celtic under Rodgers played the same. This led to a number of heavy defeats. A more pragmatic manager would have had a better chance.

A more pragmatic manager could have Leicester City higher in the Premier League right now as well. Rodgers surely would have guided his side through the Europa League group stage had he taken a more conservative approach. Instead, Leicester crashed as one of the favorites to win the competition.
Time and time again this season, Rodgers has been forced to pay for his commitment to his football principles. From the form of Leicester City in the league and in Europe, to the nine-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium, to their collapse in the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Liverpool, as they led 3-1 with just over 20 minutes to play, a pattern emerged. Leicester City has become too volatile.

Of course, this season’s form shouldn’t obscure what Rodgers has achieved as Leicester City manager. The Foxes have spent 567 days in the top four over the past two seasons, illustrating how the Northern Irishman has maximized talent at King Power Stadium. For a long time Leicester City and Rodgers seemed like the perfect match.

Now, however, there are understandable doubts about the relationship. Rodgers could very well have taken Leicester City as far as he could. At Liverpool, the Northern Irishman struggled to stabilize the ship when his team started to sink and so there is already a precedent for Rodgers to lose his job after a dramatic drop. He may have entered another managerial spiral.

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