Who’s to blame for Leicester relegation? Part 2: managers

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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Has it hit home yet? Leicester City are a Championship club. No more Premier League razzmatazz. No mention of us on Match Of The Day. No more VAR. The ‘who is to blame for this whole mess‘ series continues and today it’s the turn of the managers.

Ex-Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers

There’s a reason Foxes fans of a certain age and a long enough memory shudder when they hear the name Peter Taylor. Following the successful Martin O’Neill years, Peter Taylor systematically ruined the club in just over a year and sent them on a downward spiral that took them over a decade to recover from.

Whereas Peter Taylor was the villain to Martin O’Neill’s hero, ‘Rodgers 2023’ bizarrely turned into the villain to ‘Rodgers 2021′ who brought home the club’s first-ever FA Cup. Rodgers has ruined his legacy at the club but the wheels had started to fall off long before the FA Cup Final with results that cost Champions League football and then threw away the Europa League campaign in a typically cowardly Brendan Rodgers fashion.

This season has been an unmitigated disaster for the Northern Irishman who complained and whinged about a lack of player recruitment right through the summer. This was all surrounded by losing pre-season games to teams like National League Notts County. He then blatantly used transfer window games to make his point to the board and the media. He used the Brentford game on the opening day of the season to make only one substitution whilst watching his team collapse in the heat when he should have been able to get three points over the line.

Self-preservation was the name of the game for Brendan Rodgers from as far back as February 2022 when he blamed a thrashing at Championship Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup (the same trophy he was supposed to be defending) on the players and a lack of investment. This was only a week or so after a truly spectacular collapse at home to Spurs that will live long in the memory. Rarely did Rodgers admit to any of his own faults. His team lacked aggression, desire, fitness, organization, form, belief and bravery!

But what they didn’t lack, is a squad full of quality. James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, James Justin, Youri Tielemans, Jamie Vardy and many more. So how can he get a group of players to underperform so spectacularly? He didn’t talk the players up enough, he didn’t appreciate what he had and in many ways, lots of these players got worse and barely any of them played to their potential this season. His man-management was atrocious and it was on his very expensive watch that this was allowed to happen, City have made this man very rich (reportedly £10million a year) to deliver one of the biggest failures in their proud history.

Rodgers left the club on April Fools’ Day 2023 after only two league wins in three and a half months and sat in the relegation zone, he took a large payout, kept a reputation in the media largely unscathed and kept a relegation off his C.V. Who were the real fools in the end?

He should have been sacked long ago and he looked like he was doing all he could to get relieved of his duties. But ultimately he should have just done his job properly and got a talented squad to mid-table mediocrity. He failed miserably and he will fail again at another club, just like he did at Liverpool, but maybe not before he shows signs of promise like he did in the early days with the Foxes.

In the same way, Peter Taylor’s name sparks inexplicable rage in Leicester City fans, I hope we don’t look back on Rodgers time with that same anger, because if we do, it will mean a long time has passed since we were last in the Premier League and his infamous reputation will have grown amongst supporters fuming with his arrogance and incompetence.