Leicester City have a start to this Premier League campaign far from what they have imagined. It has happened with Brendan Rodgers before and it is happening again in his third season at a Premier League club. Rodgers faced a slump in his third season at Liverpool back in 2015 and was sacked, he has got a terrible start at Leicester yet again where history could be repeating itself.
With only two wins in seven matches, the Foxes are in the lower half of the table in 13th position and looking to make a comeback in the league. They failed to qualify for the Champions League in two previous consecutive seasons on the last matchday and this time it seems further away. No wins in their last four matches have not helped their cause at all.
In 2015, Rodgers had already lost his prime striker Luis Suarez at Liverpool and seemed clueless, but to god’s grace things have been slightly brighter at the King Power Stadium. The biggest reason behind it is none other but their talisman, a 34-year-old Jamie Vardy, who is carrying the teams whole attack on his shoulders again.
The Premier League golden boot winner has been directly involved in seven goals out of Leicester’s nine. At an age where he should be way past his prime, the striker looks fitter and finer than ever before.
We look at the attacking stats of Vardy.
Vardy is one of the prolific strikers of this generation who has won a Premier League title with Leicester and also hold the record for scoring in the most consecutive league matches. He is just too lethal inside the box and the world has been its witness. However, this season he has spent most of his team near the centre line -the red areas in the above image. He has operated mostly on the left-wing rather than the middle while also drifting towards the right from time to time. The 34-year-old has carried the whole Foxes attack on his own, dropping deep to link up as well as covering spaces in the whole attacking third, yet keeping his clinical finishing intact in front of goal.
He is not a player to likes to keep the ball at his feet for long, while he makes runs off the ball for his teammates to find him. In seven matches, Vardy has played just 82 passes with 11 passes on average per 90 with 22 touches. He holds a passing accuracy of 81% and the majority of his passes have been near the attacking third and penalty area. The English forward has never been a great playmaker, but in times of crisis has delivered crosses into the box for others to attack while also playing through balls with xT of 0.1120 at times.
Vardy has taken most of his shots inside the box while trying from distance only once. He is a proper fox in the box, scoring all of his six goals in and around the box. He has never been shy of taking shots and the power he generates while attempting a shot, the keeper always has to give more than a 100% to keep him at bay. With 59% shot accuracy, he has the same precision as ever before and currently averages a goal every 103 minutes.
One moment you cannot see him and then the next moment you see him celebrating. One of the hardest players ever to mark, Vardy comes out of nowhere to score goals and his xG from this season speaks the same. He has accumulated an xG of 2.820 which is closer to the league average but he has scored six goals and is the joint top scorer of the league with Mohamed Salah. In a season where his club has been really struggling to get goals, Vardy is leading the charts. There is not a single striker in the league at this age who is as lethal as him.
10 shots on target, six goals, he boasts of a conversion rate like no one else. He might have been way past his prime but it does not seem like so, he is still the same clinical in front of goal, like a predator hungry for goals. Scoring three with his right feet and three with his left, he is one of the few complete forwards in the world.
At the twilight of his career, he is still roaring and scoring at the optimum level. Even during such difficult times, there has not been even the slightest dip in his form and Leicester would hope for their talisman to score more and more for them to get a respectable finish at the end of the season.
From being without a club ten years ago to scoring 124 Premier League goals and still going strong, Jamie Vardy is certainly an inspiration for players and fans alike.