Everton 0-2 Leicester City: 3 things FoL learned

Frank Lampard, Manager of Everton and Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Leicester City (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Frank Lampard, Manager of Everton and Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Leicester City (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
Youri Tielemans of Leicester City (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) /

Brendan Rodgers has solved Leicester City’s tactical conundrum

Much of the Leicester fanbase and pundits around the country, were seemingly writing Rodgers’ City obituary after a winless first seven games to start the season and conceding 22 goals in that time. But with five clean sheets in the last seven and 13 points taken from a possible 21 in that time span, fans have witnessed a miraculous turnaround at the club. Now bodes the question what is the source of this turnaround. Is it this new found defensive intensity, or the seemingly wondrous work from Lars Knudsen City’s set piece coach, perhaps. But what seems to be the most influential factor in this turn of form is newly implemented system.

Despite generally setting up in a 4-3-3 on paper both in and out of possession this is not what Rodgers’ side implements. Out of possession he opts for a 4-4-2 with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to lead press along-side either Patson Daka or Jamie Vardy – whoever is preferred at the time -. Or City opt for a mid to low block with Tielemans or Boubakary Soumare as two “6’s” in order to provide cover for both full backs – covering the half spaces on the inside of them – and to also close space directly into the forwards. This change has been a huge part, along with the sensational signing of centre-back Wout Faes, of the teams brilliant defensive form and intensity.

However, it is actually in possession where there has been the biggest transformation taking place and it has mainly been the subtle change of using Tielemans as a “6” during build up play and to tuck alongside Daniel Amartey and Faes as the right centre-back. This allows LCFC to now build up from both sides of the pitch, something especially last season the team struggled with due to not having a natural right-winger in the side.

So this system still enables building up through the middle due to Soumare’s competence on the ball and ability to play one-touch football under pressure. Which in turn draws midfielder’s out of position and gives Tielemans the opportunity to play the ball through the lines to either Dewsbury-Hall in the left sided “8” position or Maddison who is less aggressively marked as Timothy Castagne can play further forward in the right channel drawing attention away from Maddison. The difference is quite remarkable from the first seven games and the last seven games and despite his critics Rodgers has to take huge credit for this transformation.