Rodgers reborn: Leicester boss proves he can reinvent team

Brendan Rodgers, manager of Leicester City (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Brendan Rodgers, manager of Leicester City (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
Youri Tielemans of Leicester City with teammates (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images) /

In a way, it was a shame that a Youri Tielemans’ rocket opened the scoring, because the chances City created meant they should’ve been ahead way before, and now the narrative is that it took something special to bring them to life. Ever since Alex Iwobi’s glaring miss early on, the Foxes were in control, if a little wasteful in possession.

And the pragmatism Rodgers has exhibited throughout his career came out to play once more in the second half, as his strategy altered between minutes 60 and 75 when he knew that the hosts would really pile on the pressure. From then on, Everton were spent and City could punish them with their attacking prowess to the end, which Harvey Barnes and Maddison duly did.

Frank Lampard’s time at Goodison has largely been regarded a success, but here he came up against an experienced manager who had the measure of him. Perhaps experienced is doing Rodgers a disservice, perhaps he’s still an elite coach after all, somebody who has it well within him to revitalise and ailing side and rebuild a squad to his specification.

There’s an argument that Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City will not work in a cycle, and that he will depart on his own terms down the line. If you’d have asked me a month ago if the Northern Irishman had the capacity to reform the club from its lowly state, the answer wouldn’t have been positive.

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At that time, he was perceived to be too stubborn, and acting under self-interest and brand preservations, all of which would have been adequate criticisms of somebody earning a high seven figure salary at a respected Premier League club. But with stubbornness comes single-mindedness and self-confidence, both traits that are crucial to the success of an authoritative Premier League manager – and Khun Top deserves a heap of praise for not pulling the trigger under immense pressure to do so.