Leicester boss’s attempts at justifying 5 defenders are odd

Leicester City's Wesley Fofana (Photo by RUI VIEIRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Leicester City's Wesley Fofana (Photo by RUI VIEIRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
Leicester City
Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana (Photo by RUI VIEIRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has made an odd attempt to justify fielding five defenders in his starting line-up at home to Fulham.

Following the latest demoralising home Leicester City defeat to an average, then 19th placed team, Brendan Rodgers gave a rather odd explanation for a poor Foxes performance. Refusing to blame the defensive seeming set-up, rather fatigue and a lack of ‘fluidity, aggression’ or “domination” over opponents through pressing intensity.

Now, those factors were true. But the system was wrong – or Rodgers would not have changed it at half-time for not working!

Speaking to Leicestershire Live, when asked about the reasoning behind starting the match with three centre-backs and, essentially, five defenders in total – wingback positioning or style is a debatable issue, too – the boss implied that that formation was used to ease in 19 year old Wesley Fofana to the side.

Saying the space was “different for him [Fofana]” when altering the layout, does not alleviate the fact that the players should be ready to beat Fulham on their own turf. If Fofana wasn’t ready – though he appears good enough overall – then why even start him?

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Praise where it’s not due at Leicester City

Jonny Evans had a poor game, by his high standards, for sure. Therefore, once again, it is slightly peculiar for the manager to mention the centre-half as the side’s “outstanding player” versus the Whites to lcfc.com. If that is an intentional manoeuvre by the Northern Irishman to maintain a key player’s confidence – then I applaud Rodgers’ man management. If not, he’s deluded.

Secondly, after the final whistle Rodgers mentioned a couple of his substitutes; singling out Cengiz Under along with Barnes for praise. Which seems a little strange, when focussing on an apology to supporters – all of whom technically paid to watch that, if viewing legally – and explaining why his men were so inept on the occasion, would be more appropriate.

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Yes, the Turkey international did honestly try to penetrate and at least tried to shoot when no sufficient movement surfaced ahead of him. Yet nothing significant emerged. While Barnes got the goal, without watching the entire game again, that was truly one of the only decent parts of his performance on Monday night. Unfortunately the Academy graduate was defended expertly well.