Sheffield United 1-2 Leicester: Set-piece troubles continue for Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Leicester City (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Leicester City (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
Sheffield United vs. Leicester City (Photo by Jason Cairnduff – Pool/Getty Images) /

Regardless, the “hybrid” system that Leicester are using isn’t being effective currently. I’ve defended the system, purely due to the fact that if you incorporate either of the other two – zonal and man-marking, without utilising the other it causes more problems than it solves.

Zonal’s shortcomings are that you’ll lose most aerial duals because the defender is initiating the dual from a standing start, versus the attacker who has momentum from their run. With a purely man-marking system, you give away a lot of additional corners because your retreating movement to track the attacker means your facing your own goal when making the clearance – resulting in heading out for another corner, rather than down the pitch.

That’s why adopting a “hybrid” system is the best for most teams, and that’s why I feel the system isn’t problematic. I think the decision-making inside the system is the biggest fault. Let’s use the game against Sheffield United to highlight an error, that’s isn’t an issue because of the system.

The corner that resulted in The Blades’ goal saw Youri Tielemans and James Justin marking Oli McBurnie – this is a good start, doubling up on the most dangerous option. However, I’d prefer Wesley Fofana or Jonny Evans to be man-marking their biggest threat and leaving one of the shorter defenders to operate in the “zonal” part of the system. In the given example, Evans (6ft2) was marking Kean Bryan (6ft1) but Fofana (6ft3) wasn’t marking anyone.

Instead, he was told to control an area in the six-yard box (around the front-post) – this could be done by any player and shouldn’t be the role of the most aerially dominant player in the team. In some games this season, Vardy has controlled the front-post, but without the option of Harvey Barnes to launch a counterattack, he was left around the halfway line.