Claudio Ranieri led his Leicester City side to the most improbable championship is modern sports history last year getting his charges to play as a team.
Unfortunately Claudio Ranieri’s club’s failure to do that exact same thing on the opening day of their Premier League title defense saw them capitulate to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hull City. The Tigers are the one side that everyone already had pinned for relegation until the final whistle this afternoon.
Following the match in his comments to the press as aired on NBCSN, Ranieri appreciated his players efforts but wanted to see more of a team effort:
"“We made a big effort but it was individual effort, not like a team.Our strength is when everyone is connected to each other.”"
The Foxes manager hit things on the head as all match it seemed that the understanding between the players was completely off.
Robert Huth’s suspension saw new signing Luis Hernandez make his Premier League debut. Aside from the occasional long throw into the box, he failed to make much of a showing and the lack of communication and game time next to Was Morgan was glaringly obvious.
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Marc Albrighton was dropped unexpectedly for January signing Demarai Gray whom had some great movement but failed to bring his surrounding teammates into the game.
Ahmed Musa also made his debut for the side to a frustrating display as he equally is obviously not used to the players surrounding him and how they play and vice versa.
The loss of N’Golo Kante was additionally largely apparent as the midfield of Andy King and Danny Drinkwater was not the engine driving the game the way it was when Kante was a part of it. He may be the only loss of the summer at the moment, but he left a massive hole to fill.
Ranieri thanked his players for their spirit and effort but knows that his side are far from being their finished product for the season:
"“I can say thank you to my players, their effort was amazing, but they must understand the team is stronger than individual players.”"
If Leicester want to make another push for a top place in England following their rise to the summit, they have to get themselves back to playing as a unit like they did last season.