Brendan Rodgers insists Leicester DON’T rely on Jamie Vardy but they have more shots and score more goals with him playing… so, how will they fare against Leeds when the injured star misses just his 18th Premier League game in seven years?
- Brendan Rodgers believes it’s ‘lazy’ to say Leicester are reliant on Jamie Vardy
- The Foxes continue to go from strength to strength even without Vardy’s goals
- The stats show that the Foxes score more on average with Vardy in the team
- However, they also concede less – but the points-per-game remains the same
- The Everton draw was just the 17th top-flight match he’s missed since promotion
- It’s Leeds up next for Leicester at the King Power on Sunday afternoon
As Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City continue to ascend and challenge for the top honours once again, the impressive longevity of Jamie Vardy remains perhaps their most important asset.
Still leading the line at 34 years of age, Leicester’s No 9 is their top scorer – again – this season with 13 goals in all competitions, as they continue to fire on three fronts.
After claiming his first Premier League golden boot last season – four years after winning the Premier League Player of the Year award in that memorable 2015-16 season – Vardy continues to go from strength to strength.
Jamie Vardy continues to lead the line for Leicester after winning last season’s golden boot
Yet now, amid a hectic period, the high-flying Foxes are without their talisman, as he underwent groin surgery at the weekend.
Rodgers confirmed Vardy would be out for ‘a few weeks’, but then when questioned about how his side will cope in his absence, the Foxes boss stated in no uncertain terms that they’re not reliant on the 34-year-old.
‘The numbers are there to look at, it’s lazy to say “Jamie Vardy’s out, Leicester won’t score”‘, said Rodgers, whose side are third in the table.
‘Those who dig deeper would see that’s not the case. We’ve scored 56 so far this season so more than 40 of them have come from other players.
‘We all know Jamie’s qualities and what he gives the team, whether he’s scoring or not scoring, but you have to respect the development of the rest of the squad.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers insists his high-flying team are not reliant on Vardy’s goals
‘The statistics tell you other players here are capable of scoring goals. That’s taking nothing away from Jamie, we all know what I think of him and the love I have for his game. But maybe we need to try a different narrative now.
‘I loved watching him before I came here, and I love watching him even more now he’s in my team. He’s an amazing striker but my job is to make sure the collective doesn’t suffer.’
The Northern Irishman’s message is unequivocal. Yet does this claim stand up to the figures, since Leicester were promoted to the Premier League in 2014?
Vardy has, quite remarkably and in a testament to his supreme fitness, only missed 17 league games over six-and-a-half years since his first Premier League game on August 31, 2014.
But from those limited games missed, the stats show that the Foxes score on average fewer goals – by 0.3 – and take fewer shots – by 0.3 – without him.
That being said, they also show that the team concedes fewer goals – 0.9 compared to 1.3 – without Vardy in the team, though that hasn’t had any affect on points gained, with the average of 1.5 exactly the same both with and without Vardy in the team.
Vardy has scored 13 goals in all competitions but had not scored in his last five matches
In terms of sole reliance this season, Vardy has 13 goals – but Harvey Barnes has 10 this term and James Maddison nine, all of which have been from open play, whereas seven of Vardy’s have been penalties.
Vardy had not scored in five matches before he underwent surgery either, which ruled him out of the 3-1 FA Cup win at Brentford on Sunday.
The Foxes progressed thanks to goals from Cengiz Under, Youri Tielemans and Maddison and it was Tielemans who scored in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Everton with Ayoze Perez starting in place of Vardy at Goodison Park, operating as a false nine, rather than the out-of-form Kelechi Iheanacho.
It’s Leeds at the King Power up next this weekend with the Foxes just two points behind leaders Man City having played a game more. Tielemans scored twice with Barnes and Vardy also on target when Leicester won 4-1 at Elland Road earlier in the season.
Rodgers added: ‘The problem is when there are a number of players out in key positions. That can affect the performance level and you have to work hard to cope with that.
Harvey Barnes (L) and James Maddison (R) have also stepped up to the goalscoring plate
‘With Jamie out for a small period of time, we’re missing that real direct threat on the last line of defence. But you saw from the team at Brentford that we can still penetrate and get into goalscoring positions.’
Will Vardy’s absence have a severe affect on Leicester’s terrific form? We shall see – but it could just define their season as they get a sniff of a dream replication of their monumental feat five years ago.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article