The general consensus last week was that Brendan Rodgers’ position as director of Leicester City It was safe for now – but that was before their defensive surrender in Brighton & Hove Albion It is abundantly clear that things cannot continue in a similar fashion.
With just one point out of his first six games, in which his team conceded 16 goals, and suffered five consecutive defeats, his situation looks increasingly precarious.
So far, the Leicester hierarchy has had no desire to make a change. But they will plan for this possibility, because the fact is that if such a decision is made, it will be taken by Chairman and Owner Khun Top Srivaddhanaprabha alone. He can come at any time.
Rodgers’ personal relationship with Khun Top, who has not been involved in the past few matches, has always been strong. Rodgers said only on Thursday that the main reason he has stayed at Leicester for the longest period of his career is ownership of the club.
His honest comments about not receiving the help he needed to reconfigure the team would have been noticed but would not influence the final decision.
The cost of sacking the club’s highest-paid manager with three years remaining on the contract he signed in December 2019 may prompt further thought. Reports that Rodgers is being paid £10m ($11.6m) a year are inaccurate but he still gets an impressive bonus. It still wouldn’t stop Khun Top from making the decision.
Rodgers has not been given license to spend large amounts of money in the transfer window due to concerns about financial fair play rules and Leicester’s high wage-earnings ratio, which made it on UEFA’s watch list. If the decision to get rid of Rodgers is best for the club’s long-term future, Khun Top will pay the price. His family’s personal wealth has been hit by the global pandemic but they are still very wealthy, while parent company King Power is also believed to be holding reasonably strong, even though the tourism industry is still recovering.
There are financial concerns in Leicester. They incurred losses of £120m over three years and the following accounts are not expected to read well. The club is preparing for another big loss and the club’s debt of 276 million pounds will rise significantly, but the cost of relegation will be disastrous.
Make no mistake, the specter of a relegation battle looms. This is the biggest challenge they have faced since the 2016-17 season when Top’s late father, Khun Vichai, made the toughest decision ever, to fire manager, Claudio Ranieri, who had just scored the biggest victory in the club’s history.
There are some similarities. The last time Leicester lost five games in a row in Premier LeagueThat was before Ranieri was fired. Rodgers achieved a lot in his time at the club, finishing in the top five and eighth place, reaching the European semi-finals and winning the title. FA cup Community shield. This puts a lot of stock in the bank but doesn’t make it bulletproof.
Like Ranieri, too, when his players seemed to be confused by a new game plan, there was discontent among his ranks. Rodgers clearly made it clear that many members of his team are undesirable, having reached the top of their careers. Having then failed to move those players in the transfer window, he has stuck with them but will likely need them at some point. It will be difficult to get them back.
Caglar SoyuncuAnd the Yannick WestergaardAnd the Ayoz PerezBaby Mindy and Dennis Bright They are all barely distinctive. Leicester started with five players (Jonny EvansJames Madison, Wilfried PassionAnd the Harvey Barnes And the Yuri Tillmans) who started at Watford on the first day of his reign in March 2019.
Iheanacho and the goalkeeper Danny Ward, who both started in Brighton, were Soyunko and Mendy on the bench at Vicarage Road. Despite that, the aspect hasn’t changed much in that period Wout Faes, who was the only player to arrive in the summer window, becoming the thirteenth player to sign under Rodgers for a total of around £220m. That so many of these players did not become regular starters is a point that has not gone unnoticed by the club’s hierarchy.
Soon after his arrival, Rodgers laid out his philosophy on human management. “I think what’s very important for the players is to be clear,” he said. the athlete. “Clarity and purpose, I’ve found, very important in my managerial career as I’ve been going, that players are stable in terms of where they are. And the only way to do that is through conversation.”
Now Rodgers is struggling to get his message across, and sources say there are concerns within his team that players are unsure of what is being asked of them, confused by the regular change of systems and people, and puzzled over the game plan. One in the attack, then two. Four in the back or five. There is some discontent and disagreement.
omission Timothy CastaneyThe player Leicester retained after his long-term injury Ricardo Pereiradespite the interest of Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, was baffling. Rodgers said it was due to the number of goals conceded but Castagne was one of the most reliable and consistent players.
One area where Rodgers differs from Ranieri is in the message he was conveying to the public. While Ranieri has always tried to dismiss negativity in press conferences, Rodgers had to change his pessimistic message this week.
Talking about “destabilizing” the club, not being the club it was two years ago, its squad weaker, needing help but never getting it – and the damned verdict after losing the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest last season that many of its players weren’t as good as they thought and arrived To the end of their time at the club – it created a negative narrative that lasted all summer.
This not only passed on to the fans, but also to his players, which affected morale. Low confidence in many of his younger players took over Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall Out of the starting line-up at Brighton. The team frequently conceded straight goals after scoring themselves this season and quickly fell 2-1 from being ahead in the first minute at the AMEX Stadium.
As events unfolded and Leicester disbanded, many of their players could be seen arguing on the pitch as well, especially Ward and Ndidi in the first half. Rodgers insists the spirit is there, Leicester is a close group, but there are worrying signs.
Rodgers’ account of the state of the club may be an attempt at self-preservation, used to alleviate his team’s problems, but he knows he has to change the message now.
He has to inspire a low-belief group and provide clarity on how to move forward, because if he can’t do it, Lester will find someone he feels will. They’ve done it before.
(Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)