Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers vows to ‘fight’ but can he survive?


Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers plans to ‘fight’, admitting he understands the scrutiny of his job, but can he turn it around?

The score itself was deceptive, with Son Heung-min coming off the bench to score a hat-trick in an otherwise uneventful game.

But the problem is that the Foxes have lost six in a row.

Rodgers is just one of four managers to have led Leicester to a trophy, his first FA Cup just 16 months ago.

So how much credit does he have in the bank?

‘I understand the game’ – Rodgers accepts the pressure

Rodgers, who replaced Claude Puel in February 2019, told BBC Sport: “I always think we can overcome it.

“Today you didn’t see a team lacking confidence, that’s always a good sign.

“I will always fight, but I understand the game and six consecutive losses is not good for anybody.”

In another interview, he said: “I very much understand the frustration of the supporters. I can’t hide that. It’s my responsibility.

“Whatever happens, I will have a lot of respect for them [the owners] because they have given me a lot of help. I understand the game. Whatever happens to me at Leicester if I stay and keep fighting, I will always respect them.’

James Maddison, whose goals made it 2-2 at half-time, said the players must take the blame.

“People will check the scoreboard and see 6-2 and think ‘wow, Leicester were beaten again’, but I don’t think that was the case,” he told Sky Sports.

“In the first half it felt like the Leicester we know and the Brendan Rodgers team we’ve produced in recent years, with high pressing and creating chances. It’s hard to take.

“Definitely the players should take some of the weight [not just Rodgers]. It’s collective, it’s not a manager, we’re an XI there. It hurts when you really respect the manager and at the end of the day we’re the players and we haven’t delivered lately.”

How bad has Leicester been?

Leicester are the 10th team to take a point (or none) from their first seven Premier League games.

Only Southampton in 1998-99, Newcastle in 1999-2000, Sunderland in 2013-14 and Crystal Palace in 2017-18 have remained since that start.

The Saints – under Dave Jones – were the only one of those four teams not to change their manager.

Only seven teams have scored more than Leicester’s 10 goals in the league this season. But their problem has been how leaky they are in the background.

22 have been conceded by any top-flight side after seven games since West Ham’s first appearance in 1965-66.

Youri Tielemans put Leicester ahead at Spurs, Harry Kane equalized and Eric Dier put Tottenham ahead. Maddison headed into the break before Rodrigo Bentancur and Son’s hat-tricks drew Spurs level on points.

Since the start of last season, Leicester have conceded 25 goals from clean sheets in the Premier League, the most of any team this term.

Rodgers said four of the six goals came from individual mistakes.

The Northern Irishman has never lost six games in a row in charge of Watford, Reading, Swansea, Liverpool and Celtic – where he won seven trophies in less than three years before moving to Leicester.

They go into the international break having conceded 11 goals in their last two games, winning 5-2 at Brighton last time out.

‘A grim picture’ – What does the future hold for Rodgers?

The Foxes have finished ninth, fifth, fifth and eighth in Rodgers’ four years.

Outside of their famous title win under Claudio Ranieri in 2015-16, the last time they finished in the top five was in 1962-63.

Only Ranieri, Rodgers, Martin O’Neill (1997 and 2000 League Cups) and Matt Gillies (1964 League Cup) have won the trophy with Leicester.

Former England defender Matt Upson played for the Foxes towards the end of his career in 2014-2015.

Watching the game for BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: “It’s a tough call for ownership. It’s obvious to some clubs when it gets to that point there needs to be a change.

“There are bits and pieces here, but also real points for Leicester. It’s not all doom and gloom, but when you look at the table and the points, that paints a bleak picture for Brendan Rodgers.”

The Foxes were the least active Premier League side in the transfer market this summer, which clearly irked Rodgers.

They only signed Reims defender Wout Faes, who moved to Chelsea as a replacement for Wesley Fofana, and third-choice goalkeeper Alex Smithies after Kasper Schmeichel joined Nice.

“As Brendan has talked about needing extra staff, does he want to put himself out of his misery?” asked former Celtic striker Chris Sutton.

Former Foxes midfielder Robbie Savage questioned whether Rodgers’ loyalty should be repaid now, after his time at the club, when he may have been able to look for better jobs.

“He’s had a lot of success in his years at Leicester, and if he had offers from other clubs at the time but stayed loyal to Leicester, does he deserve a chance?

“The question for the owner is, do they think Leicester will stay in the league with Brendan Rodgers in charge?”