Brendan Rodgers took a gamble when leaving the all-conquering Celtic to take over from Claude Puel at Leicester City in February, but he has so far reaped the rewards this season.
The Foxes might have been in a comfortable position in the Premier League, but fans and ultimately, the management, demanded more. After their emphatic and history-breaking title win in 2016, Leicester have strived for maximising their resources in every department.
Sitting comfortably in the top four in early November and Rodgers could not have wished for a better start. There might have been a few hiccups and lost points along the way, but having only conceded eight goals so far is mesmeric.
When Harry Maguire left the club for Manchester United there were worried faces around the King Power Stadium – especially when he wasn’t replaced. Instead, a defender from Turkey bought in 2018 was expected to take his place and force his way in the team.
Brendan Rodgers explains why Leicester don't miss Harry Maguire as their impressive start to the season continues!#beINPL #CRYLEI #LCFC pic.twitter.com/CJVRWeS8tV
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) November 3, 2019
Caglar Soyuncu has been a glowing in-house replacement and has performed to a level which has kept some of the best forwards in the league quiet. Leicester’s defence, and especially the high-flying wing-backs of Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell, have been as threatening going forward as they have been concrete in defence.
Rodgers has always been a polarising manager in English football, especially after his stint at Liverpool which saw him go inches from winning the club’s first Premier League title since its inception.
With the David Brent-isms shining through in press conferences and interviews, the public had treated Rodgers with a certain level of disdain and refused to take him seriously. The move to Celtic might have helped Rodgers keep out of the direct spotlight in England, but it enabled him to start winning important trophies in Scotland and achieving unprecedented feats.
Football is a fickle sport in general, but there is a whiff of close-mindedness from certain sections of supporters to think people can’t change or improve on their ability: especially when it comes to English managers.
Rodgers has shaped his philosophy and has been the perfect match for the Foxes. With his controlled and balanced midfield of Wilfried Ndidi, Youri Tielemans and James Maddison, Leicester have one of the best spines of any team in the Premier League. The permanent acquisition of Tielemans from Monaco has been a masterstroke given the interest that was circulating around him.
In the forward department, there are not many as consistent as Jamie Vardy, who continues to find the back of the net and improve on his goal-scoring ratio. Already with nine Premier League goals in 10 appearances, the England international is spearheading a team that continues to create chance after chance and pose problems for their opposition.
With Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United floundering, Leicester have the perfect opportunity to break the mould, again, and finish in a Champions League-qualifying position.
With Christmas being a pivotal section of any team’s season, Leicester fans will be hoping they can come through it unscathed and with the opportunity to truly cement their top four spot.
Rodgers has done a remarkable job so far, as well as the recruitment team and players, and will have turned a large proportion of minds in regards to how they view his management style.