Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Foxes may turn out to be one-hit wonders

20 November 2016, 21:19Peter Auf Der Heyde

Johannesburg - One-hit wonders have appeared on the charts of just about every country and, last season, the English Premier League had its own version when unfashionable Leicester City grabbed worldwide attention by outgunning the big ones and winning the title.

Fans of the Foxes, of course, were hoping their club would not become a one-hit wonder, and that they would continue taking on the established teams.

On one hand, their hopes have been dashed. Leicester City had 22 points at this stage of the season last year, just three behind the then leaders, Manchester City.

A year later, they have 10 points less and are 14 behind the leaders, Liverpool. Although several Leicester City players were among the stand-out stars of the season, the club managed to hold on to them, with N’Golo Kanté being the only regular who jumped ship when he joined Chelsea.

Despite interest from many other teams, super strikers Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez committed to the club, as did all the others.

With the same squad available, fans were, of course, hoping for a similarly successful season that would see their team challenging.

Now that they are not, the pundits are looking for reasons, and one of the most common being put forward is their shaky defence.

Statistics, though, would suggest that is off the mark as the team conceded 19 goals after 11 matches last season, whereas they have conceded even a goal less this time around.

Coach Claudio Ranieri, who was rewarded with a four-year contract for his achievements and is also on the shortlist for the Fifa Coach of the Year award, believes the team is improving in all areas.

‘We are getting better. But it’s not only the defenders. The whole team is now better with the fighting spirit of the squad. We improve because it is not only the defenders, but everybody. It comes from the philosophy that when you lose the ball, you must get it back.”

Firing blanks

The biggest difference between Leicester City last year and this year is not to be found in their half of the field, but rather up front.

Although they conceded 19, they scored 23, whereas this season they have managed to find the back of the net just 13 times.

Vardy and Mahrez, who were firing on all cylinders last year (11 and seven goals, respectively, after 11 matches) have been firing blanks most of this season and have managed just three goals between them.

Ranieri, though, has some consolation for Vardy: “Jamie is a goal scorer, and all the goal scorers in the world have good periods and bad periods. It’s important for him to stay calm and, sooner or later, he will start to score again. He is still working hard for the team.”

Another factor that had resulted in a decline in the club’s fortunes was that, even though they managed to hold on to most of their players, they sold Kanté, and his role in their triumph last season was widely overlooked as the spotlight shone brightly on Mahrez and Vardy.

The other thing that is in the natural order of things, of course, is that the natural order of things is restored after it is thrown into disarray. And Leicester City is quite simply not where clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City, United, Liverpool and Arsenal are.

All is not lost for fans, though, as Leicester have been campaigning with some success in the Champions League and need just one more point to advance to the knockout stages.

Should they again receive a favourable draw in the round of the last 16, their Champions League campaign could quite easily ensure that their fairy-tale run, which began last year, continues – albeit in a different competition.

- City Press


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Separating kitchen politics from ...

Like everyone else, I believe that the most popular definition of democracy is “government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Read more...

Submitted by
Bethel Tanifo
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, ...

Like NDDC Unlike MONDA. This notion is an intuition that does not portend political participation, affiliation, intrusion or aggression but a submission with the intention of completion of the previous administration's noble vision. Read more...

Submitted by
Bethel Tanifo
Nigerian Constitution versus Corr...

The problems of Nigeria is not in its conventional composition, formation, functionality, constitution or treaty, while the solutions are not disintegrations as promulgated by some faiths fanatics and bigotries.  Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Much Ado about Trump’s Presidency

It was unbelievable when the social and mainstream media all over the world began airing the breaking news of Donald Trump’s victory in the most contentious US Presidential elections in recent years. Read more...

Submitted by
Mike Daemon
Nigerian author highlights gay ch...

A new novel by a prolific young Nigerian author features gay characters, which could help increase the visibility of the gay community and possibly lead to greater understanding of LGBT Nigerians. Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Your Excellency, I will call you ...

Your Excellency, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, as a leader that pays attention to details, I understand that the odd title of this piece would definitely arouse your curiosity.  Read more...