Leicester fans fight over ‘Rodgers Out’ banner – boss responds

Leicester City fans hold a banner referencing manager Brendan Rodgers (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Leicester City fans hold a banner referencing manager Brendan Rodgers (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

Brendan Rodgers finds himself on the receiving end of necessary criticism from Leicester City supporters. They are divided yet worried. Here is how we know.

The King Power club are in dire straits. 17th in the Premier League only one point above the relegation places although at least they have better goal difference to their competitors. They have been uninspiring and clearly all ambition has been sucked from the soul of the club.

Like a dementor, the head coach has spoken about hard work, finding intensity, building a run of results, and needing to improve our defensive resilience. Meanwhile, he has simultaneously commented on the degree of achievement he feels survival in the ‘Prem’ would be for himself. From achieving European qualification to relegation battlers, such an ambitious achievement if I do say so myself.

As a result of this negative attitude, many supporters – particularly the regular travellers – have expressed their anguish in the form of boos at full-time and the waving of anti-Rodgers banners. The latest example was the situation after the Brentford result.

Leicester City boss responds

Fans unfurled a banner once again calling on the board to sack the manager who has led the Foxes from the promised lands to the doldrums with a largely unchanged side. However, this was not universally supported: some tried to wrestle the banner down and show their support for the coach.

Rodgers himself went over to show his appreciation for their support of the team on the road. The head coach had some interesting comments on their reaction to him:

"“It was a hard-fought point for us and hopefully they can feel proud of their team, especially the run of games we were on. It was just showing appreciation really”“People are entitled to their opinion. I’ve always been respectful, I’ll always show respect. Whatever the reaction is, it’s okay. It’s been like that for a lot of the season”"

Effectively, Leicester City’s manager wants supporters to feel proud they managed a point after the dismal run of losses they were on, and went over to show his ‘appreciation’ of their support for the team on the road despite those poor results. Further, he is just used to the negative opinions about him by now.

That is a toxic atmosphere to be tolerant of. Those negative results and the weak mentality that causes them is a toxic malaise to be tolerant of. The Foxes should not be proud until they start winning again in my opinion, and the division over ‘Rodgers Out’ is not so much a contest between those that believe the coach has been bad or good: it is a contest about when to show that discontent with poor coaching which has led us here.

Arguably, it is more potent to support the team on the road and always show appreciation for effort rather than immediately turning into a toxic community no coach or player wishes to approach or talk to. James Maddison has been doing a stellar job of this on Twitter recently, consistently engaging with supporters.

"“My focus can only be on making sure we get the results that keeps the club… in the Premier League. Nothing will distract me from that. It’s not what you want, but that’s the reaction so you have to accept that”"

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What the boss wants is a positive reaction to the fight for survival. I do not understand how Rodgers would believe supporters capable of going from two top five finishes with mostly the same squad to a mid table finish and relegation candidates this season, and still being positive. The reaction is negative, so you have to not just ‘accept that’, you have to celebrate it: supporters are still passionate, still ambitious, and will aim to keep the players and coaches aspiring. Survival in the Premier League is not ambitious.