Why Leicester City manager Dean Smith dropped stars James Maddison and Harvey Barnes for the Foxes’ draw against Newcastle United on Monday night.
Smith made two very brave decisions ahead of the Newcastle clash at the start of the week. Dropping arguably your two best players never goes down well with the most educated of fans. Neither do the more, let’s say, uninformed or vocal members of the faithful take kindly to situations like that. Nevertheless, the boss and his staff like John Terry and Craig Shakespeare believed adding another tall and pugnacious centreback whilst altering the system was the correct strategy. And, judging by the point and aspects of the performance, the coaches were right.
A consequence of this formation switch meant no room for wingers, which is a partial explanation for Maddison and Barnes being conspicuously omitted from the starting lineup. Yet the former Norwich City midfielder could have played centrally; Barnes might perhaps have accompanied Jamie Vardy as a support or second striker. Nonetheless, the pair who have contributed to the most goals in the squad this season were left out. When asked why he had chosen to overlook the duo, the ex-Aston Villa gaffer said this:
"“We decided to change it,” Smith told Sky Sports. “We need to be harder to beat. The last couple of games, we have needed lots of goals to win them so we needed to make a change. We picked a team we feel can compete.“I had to think long and hard about it. Watching the (Newcastle) game against Brighton, the first two goals are from set-pieces and I wanted another centre-back in the team.“They (Barnes and Maddison) were professional about it. I want them to be disappointed if they’re not playing but they see the bigger picture and understand why.”Leicestershire Live"
Leicester City target young Paris Saint-Germain man
We have spoken about this subject previously: it feels peculiar that City are connected with significant signings while their own standing and status is unconfirmed. However, that is the case, and who am I to argue with these supposedly ‘in the know’ accounts, writers and journalists?! To be fair, we are not referring to Fabrizio Romano source information here.
Essentially, the latest link for the east Midlands team is with a Paris Saint-Germain player. Yeah, it surprised me too. Although, this is a so-called ‘starlet’ and by no means an established senior athlete at that famous club. Though Aymen Kari has appeared on PSG’s substitutes bench before now. He also featured for Lorient in Ligue 1.