This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Leicester City’s match against Wolves was just one of two opening weekend 0-0’s in the top-flight as the Premier League got underway for the 2019/20 season.
The Foxes dominated large spells of the game recording 70.1% possession but faltered in the final third having failed to create any major chances of note.
In fact, Brendan Rodgers’ men recorded the most passes of any other Premier League team with 665 – over one hundred more than Manchester City who are well-known for their quick tempo passing style.
Their impotence in front of goal was reflected vastly on the other end of the scale having managed just one shot on target during the entire game – the lowest of any other Premier League side.
This summer, Rodgers added Ayoze Perez from Newcastle United for £30m to what was already an impressive cohort of attacking talent.
Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and now Perez – that should get you a lot of goals.
The way Leicester set-up against Wolves wasn’t ideal.
There was too much space and time given to a side which operates with three centre-backs and two wing-backs at either side.
The back three anchored by Ruben Neves had all the time in the world to get behind the ball and settle down whilst the presence of Jonny and Matt Doherty meant that the Foxes’ own full-backs were wary of displaying their attacking intent.
As a result, they were often playing on the back foot and hoping that one of the aforementioned quartet of forward-thinking stars could spring something out of nothing – which isn’t a fantastic game plan going forward.
As good as Maddison is, he is no winger but rather a perfect candidate to play in the number ten role with a winger one side and Perez the other – the two can interchange like they did against Wolves but with more purpose.
The 22-year-old is simply wasted out wide – he averaged more key passes per game last season than any other Leicester player at 2.8, the next best was way behind averaging 2 per game with Christian Fuchs. His pass success rate was also better than any other Foxes midfielder that played over 25 matches in the Premier League (83.8%).
Could it be “game over” for Kelechi Iheanacho at Leicester? Find out in the video below…
Maddison recorded seven assists, more than anyone else in the squad, which only goes to some length in showing just how good he really is in this team but his impressive visionary skillset must be utilised centrally going forward.
Rodgers has a couple of exciting young options he could call upon to add vital width to the team.
Harvey Barnes impressed during a loan spell at West Brom with nine goals and six assists whilst Demari Gray can’t be written off after one sub-par season – he’s only 23 and could thrive under Rodgers if given the chance.
Add width, Maddison will flourish, and goals will come.