Despite a promising opening month to their first season back in the Premier League since 2004, Leicester City have since struggled to cope with the step up in class. Creditable draws against Arsenal and Everton, and of course the famous 5-3 victory over Man Utd, gave Leicester an impressive start. But after just 16 matches it looks like Championship football is looming for the club next season.
The Foxes are currently going through a horror run of form in which they’re without a win in 11 matches, losing nine of those – including their last four on the bounce. Manager Nigel Pearson has come under a large amount of pressure with questions being asked about whether or not he is the right man to try and lead them to safety.
Performances haven’t been up to standard in recent weeks, although they put in a decent display against Man City this past Saturday. The level of performance against Man Utd in September showed what Leicester can do, but with the current run they are on, all confidence has gone and the team lack a leader that is going to get the best out of them on the pitch.
With the amount of money available to the club, perhaps Pearson could have spent more than the £11m he did during the summer transfer window. This would have certainly given them a much better chance of survival because their current squad is lacking in Premier League experience.
The big signing was Esteban Cambiasso, who was a coup for the club. The 34-year-old was signed on a free from Inter Milan, where he had gained legendary status. It was thought that the Argentine would play a huge role in the club’s survival but it hasn’t quite gone to plan with Cambiasso not having the impact many thought he would.
£8m was spent on Brighton striker Leonardo Ulloa who has provided a decent return so far with six Premier League goals. Jamie Vardy is another who has looked good in spells, especially against Man Utd where he ran their defence ragged. He has put in fairly consistent displays, and works extremely hard for the side, but only has the one goal to his name so far this season.
The injury to Kasper Schmeichel is another setback in Leicester’s hopes of survival. Second choice goalkeeper Ben Hamer looked good against Man City but his lack of experience of the Premier League is something the club should consider when weighing up the potential of bringing in a temporary replacement in January.
There is certainly talent in the Leicester squad, but it is predominantly a young squad, with the majority having very little experience at this level. This is part of the reason why they are finding it difficult to adjust to life in the Premier League, but with January fast approaching, it gives the manager a chance to add a couple of players to bolster that inexperience.
Even so, with the gap from safety now five points, it is hard to see Leicester managing to pull off a great escape on this occasion.