1. Vardy party hiatus continues
The former England striker’s landmark 200th appearance will probably not go down as one his favourites. He was consistently isolated and struggled to involve himself in the game at all.
We all know Vardy doesn’t need many touches to get his goals, but anyone would struggle to get back into goalscoring form with just 19 touches in 90 minutes.
200 - Jamie Vardy is making his 200th Premier League appearance for Leicester tonight, the second player to reach this milestone for the club in the competition after Muzzy Izzet. He is Leicester's top scorer (97) and second highest assister (28) in the PL. Immortal. pic.twitter.com/IvfGcLb4XW— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 14, 2020
The blame should probably be spread fairly evenly through the team. The midfield failed to create chances for anyone and rarely seemed to be looking Vardy’s way, but he wasn’t getting himself into dangerous positions either.
In fact, he looked swamped by Wolves’ back three for most of the game. The same thing happened in our first meeting, when he had even less touches. There’s clearly a tactical issue there that leaves Vardy with too much to do, and perhaps it’s time to try something different against back threes.
2. A defensive improvement
The Foxes’ one-time league leading defence hasn’t been at their best lately, but they looked strong again on Friday. Jonny Evans and Çağlar Söyüncü both put in good performances to secure our first clean sheet in the league since New Years’ Day.
In the second half, we played well but then went down to 10 men. For us to keep a clean sheet and get through it in the end, it was pleasing - Brendan Rodgers was happy with the defensive effort
As much as we struggled to create chances of our own, the draw always looked fairly comfortable. Even down to 10 men, we never really looked like conceding from open play.
Set pieces were a slightly different matter. The Foxes got a little lucky to be let off by VAR (although the decision was correct) and could have conceded at least a couple more had Jimenez been sharper.
Still, they definitely settled down as the game went on, and looked pretty solid by the end. Combined with the Chelsea game there’s a definite set piece concern, but we’re also seeing a defence that can shut teams down from open play again.
3. Choudhury’s poor decisions
Hamza was unlucky to be sent off on Friday. His first yellow card, for his first foul, was given after a perfectly good challenge. It felt like a response to his unearned reputation rather than the tackle.
But that doesn’t mean he bears no blame for the second card. Whether he felt it was justified or not, the academy graduate did know that he was already booked, but still opted for an unnecessary trip on the halfway line. He had to know a red was coming.
But he says Hamza Choudhury's suspension may be softened by the potential return of Wilfred Ndidi next week: "Wilf may be available for next week. He didn't make today but he’s responding well to treatment and we'll assess that at the start of the week."— BBC Leicester Sport (@BBCRLSport) February 14, 2020
With Wilfred Ndidi still struggling post surgery and Papy Mendy missing for a few more weeks, Choudhury’s absence could leave the squad without an established defensive midfielder against Manchester City.
It was a particularly disappointing foul because he really did seem to have his reckless streak reined in since his absence for unspecified off field issues. If he can limit the mistakes, he has all the tools to be a greta midfielder.