Rotation affected the match: Abdul Fatawu, Vardy, and Ndidi not in the starting XI. Choudhury cannot perform that strange disruptive AM/CM role the Nigerian midfielder has been performing, Kasey McAteer does not play the same as Fatawu – although that is only a very recent uplift which has led Fatawu into one of the starters – and ‘Seniorman Kels’ is better as holding up the ball in a central area, not really as being either an explosive striker or running all over midfield to get involved. What we saw was a lack of stylistic depth.
The clockwork and dynamo
Harry Winks and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. The ‘Clockwork’ and the ‘Dynamo’ that make the locomotive tick and tock. Every second that goes by, this duo command the tempo and beat of the match, demanding the ball to progress and create, penetrate and develop. Tick and tock. When the two play well together, the Foxes control the ebb and flow of the match moving the ball effortlessly all over the pitch, switching from side to side.
But what happens when the clockwork is clogged and the dynamo cut-off? Well, the tempo is controlled by external forces, and the ticking stops. A muddy mess as Leicester try to dredge their way slowly through the marsh-like defence. Again, without that crucial link between them – Ndidi – what we saw was an inability for the two to stay active throughout the whole fixture, and unable to coordinate attacking plays. The dynamo was isolated from the clockwork.
Middlesbrough were critically effective in stopping us from controlling the game. We may have had the ball a lot, but the ebb and flow, the movement of the ball, those elements were dictated by a compact and structured series of defensive and midfield lines. Again, this falls back to the other two points: better stylistic depth could have let us change the players to get back into the game with less issues, whereas a ‘Plan B’ could have got the two back involved regardless.