Who doesn’t love a great underdog story? We haven’t seen one with a happy end in the Premier League since Blackburn’s great title run in 1995. We have had a few other exceptions in European football where the domestic title was won by an outsider, but none in the PL for 20 years.
Can Leicester City overturn this statistic this year? They are sitting closer than anyone has ever been in the last 10 years. It’s going to be tough, without a doubt, since we’ve seen clubs go from top-flying to mediocrity fairly quickly, but we want to present a few reasons why they can go all the way this year.
Great Quality Streak
The team this year is nothing short of spectacular. The side possesses great pace, experience, back-up players, everything one would need in order to construct a title-winning side.
While most of the team members are quick enough, the likes of Jamie Vardy, Marc Albrighton and Jeffrey Schlupp lead the PL quickness charts. Leicester City also lead the PL in terms of goals scored as well as turnarounds, showing that they are also strong mentally.
The midfield is very hard-working and secure, while the defense certainly doesn’t lack experience, containing the likes of Wes Morgan, Robert Huth and Kasper Schmeichel.
Rivals Lacking Form
The usual contenders for the Premier League title are struggling to find their form this year. Some of them have been inconsistent (Manchester City, Arsenal) while other have been downright horrible (Chelsea, Liverpool). The latest both replaced their head coaches already in hopes of returning to their winning ways.
Manchester United can hardly be considered title challengers at 1,3 goals scored / game, Arsenal are extremely dependent on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, City look very shaky in the defense without Vincent Kompany, and Liverpool and Tottenham cannot find their pace. The latest leaders of the Premier League at this stage of the season had 62, 59 and 57 points. Leicester’s tally is not at all odd – their name is.
Lack Of European Football
All the other grand English clubs will have lots of games to play this spring in the main European club competitions. These games can wreck even the most balanced of sides with injuries and replacements or rotation players need to step up. While all their direct competitors prepare and compete in Europe and rotate their squads, Ranieri can carefully recover his squad between Premier League fixtures.
Balance And Strength Of The Squad
Ranieri has a very practical approach to his game. His first-team choices were consistent this season and he’s rotated little, just when he considered necessary. But even if this is the case, the people who came in impressed whenever they were called upon.
Let’s see some examples of this: Right-backs De Laet and Simpson are close in terms of quality of play, just different as physique and game impact. The same can be said about their left-side counterparts, Cristian Fuchs and Schlupp.
Vardy’s support up front comes from Ozazaki and Ulloa, two strikers who are mature, hard-working, team-oriented and most importantly, efficient.
The likes of Kramaric, Inler and others bring quality to Leicester’s bench and squad and can easily play in the starting eleven in any day.
The togetherness shown by the squad is nothing short of great. Some of them have been here for years and are clearly friends off the football field. The squad doesn’t boast many big names, which is also bound to help. They work, have fun, win and lose as a team.
Clearly, Leicester City still has a lot to do to win the Premier League title. They know that 81 points were enough to win the league on the last 5 occasions, with the championship being closer than ever. If they rivals keep stumbling like they are now, ever fewer points could give them the win.
Until the end of the season in May, we can stand back and watch their enthusiastic performances every week and maybe ever cheer for them, because there is no greater end to an underdog story than a victory.
Yes! They Did It.
Leicester City Won The Premier League Title On 02/05/2016.
Bravo Ranieri & Team!
Congratulations & Thank You For One Of The Greatest Football Stories Of All Time.