As winter starts to peek its head over the horizon, it seems Leicester City Football Club has gone into hibernation early. Chills are running through the fanbase as the Foxes lost their second game in a row, this time to Middlesbrough, their first away loss this season by a score of one to nil. An 83rd minute free kick goal by Sam Greenwood was all it took to see off Enzo Maresca’s side for a third defeat of the season.
In reality we all know it was much more than this. The way Michael Carrick set up his Boro team was perfect to harry and harass the normal flow of the Foxes’ passing; seemingly a pattern has been laid on how to play against this team. Many fans have voiced opinions and myself included here that Sunderland really laid down a plan to combat this Leicester City attack. It seems we haven’t been the same since that game.
Some point to the absence of Wilfred Ndidi in the lineup. It’s true; he has been a revelation this season. What Enzo Maresca has done with Ndidi only speaks to his qualities as a developer of players. But I think it’s something deeper. I think the competitive nature of the Championship has seen the first iteration of Maresca’s formation be found out. Should fans be worried that no “plan B” has been implemented?
In my very valuable opinion, I would say no, do not be worried my Fellow Foxes. Even in this game, I saw changes to the formation and pressing that can fully calm some worries that Maresca can’t “adjust”. It’s just not the adjustments that people may expect or wish for. I think these will be micro-adjustments within the currently existing set up to combat things that other managers have worked out. A game of chess, if you will.
This is why I believe and surely 95% of the fanbase would agree we are all still fully backing Enzo Maresca as manager of Leicester City. I’m sure this wasn’t even a question or debate for most of you reading, and if you’ve read my articles before you know I have a great admiration for my fellow Italian at the helm of the team. Considering that Leicester are still top of the table on goal difference and we have a favorable run of games leading up to our major clash with Ipswich Town on Boxing Day, I would say our outlook is pleasant.
With this international break I’m sure the manager is using the extra time to rest certain players, as well as get across new ideas to the team. Many people analyzing us from the outside have said time and time again that Leicester City “don’t get out of second gear” and I couldn’t agree more. Think of earlier in the season with the massive openings we carved in teams only to miss a pass or have the player clear through on goal and miss his shot. This managers knows how to create chances.
Having extra time to really instill a deeper understanding of what Maresca is looking for will be invaluable for the players so that they can indeed get out of second gear come the resumption of league play. I know all of us will be looking for a strong response against Watford on November 25th. Every team will hit a slump in the season; it’s about how they react. Sure this is the first time we’ve lost twice in a row but based on how we reacted with the loss to Hull, I expect a great performance in just under two weeks time.
What do you think? Do you have faith in this manager to keep pace with his blistering start to the season, or has he been found out and needs to listen to fans about “plan B”? Find me on X, and let’s chat about it! Drop a comment on the post of this article so we can discuss your take on it. Until next time, enjoy international break all you Foxes out there. Up the boys!