This season appears to be ending with an anti-climactic sputter for Leicester City. Injuries and suspensions have been piling up over the last month or so but the team’s form has been worse than could have been anticipated. From the season-defining loss to Burnley, to the lifeless draw with Southampton, and culminating in the 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Crystal Palace, the Foxes may as well have taken an early summer vacation. As a result, the negatives will far outweigh the positives on this list:
Nostalgia: As Jack Lee pointed out to me, all this losing combined with the time of year is forcing us to rely on nostalgia for our Leicester City related joy. In this piece the Fosse Posse staff reflected on the two-year anniversary of the Foxes clinching the title. May 3rd, was the anniversary of City lifting the Championship trophy in 2014 and starting this incredible Premier League adventure. Perhaps most notably, May 7th will mark the two-year anniversary of Leicester City actually lifting the Premier League trophy. So no matter how drab things may seem, we will always have these memories to fall back on. And remember, Little Leicester was never supposed to be punching with the heavyweights anyway.
Kelechi Iheanacho: There really wasn’t much to choose from in terms of positives over this period in time. Still, the play of Iheanacho has been consistently good which is more than can be said about most of his teammates. He even earned my Man of the Match designation in two of the last three games despite playing just one half in each of those affairs. He has also continued to show growth in the important role of connecting the center midfield to the attack (which is just Jamie Vardy these days). Without his recent contributions the extent of Leicester’s attack would have been the aimless crosses into the box from the wings.
Reality: This was the unfortunate flip-side of Jack Lee’s suggestions. After flying so high, long stretches of lows like the one we are currently experiencing seem extra painful. The Foxes haven’t won a game since March and let potentially significant achievements fall out of reach. If the team hadn’t experienced this late collapse, it very easily could have been finishing in seventh and qualifying for the Europa League. Hell, City even had Arsenal’s current standing of sixth in their sights at one point. Now, the team has fallen down to ninth and shown no signs of recovering. At this rate a fall out of the top half of the table is possible.
Wes Morgan: The captain’s return hasn’t exactly been a triumphant one. His play continues to be subpar as he seems a step slow and has been guilty of a number of crucial errors. In contrast, his replacement, Aleksander Dragovic, has mostly handled his opportunities well, including the Southampton match in which he replaced Morgan. Regardless, the captain got another chance against the Eagles and once again failed to capitalize. The entire defense was a mess as the Foxes allowed five goals, but Morgan was a big part of the problem.
Danny Simpson: Claude Puel’s system requires a full-back who is capable of aiding in attack. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts to become one, Danny Simpson is not that. As a result, he has been replaced as the team’s right-back by Marc Albrighton. Simpson struggled mightily against Burnley and hasn’t touched the pitch since then, even when Marc Albrighton picked up a red card against Palace. With the club’s rumored interest in Ricardo Pereira, it is possible (if not likely) the end of the Danny Simpson era at Leicester City is approaching.
Adrien Silva: Injuries and suspensions opened the door for Adrien Silva to claim a spot in the XI. Unfortunately, he has struggled to make the most of his opportunities. He started against Burnley and Southampton but made little meaningful impact in either game. Consequently, he was left on the bench against Crystal Palace in favor of 20-year-old Hamza Choudhury. He was eventually brought on at the half, but once again failed to impress. In fairness, City was down a man for much of the second half, but Silva was unable to curb the onslaught.
Riyad Mahrez: Leicester City’s attack has been entirely dry throughout this run of games, but it is Riyad who is expected to get the team out of such slumps. Somebody’s (fictional) wise uncle once said “with great power comes great responsibility,” and such logic can be applied to the Algerian magician. He is the player with the most inventive spirit among City’s ranks and yet has provided little liveliness in each of the three games in question. Yes, he has been good for a handful of sparkling moments, but he hasn’t strung together a complete game in quite some time. If these are the last games of his Leicester City career, it may be best erase them from our collective memory.