Don’t forget that anything can happen by accident. But being an underdog doesn’t change the fact that the Premier League leader is simply playing very good football and not winning by accident. It is also a sign for the English Premier League being very well balanced this year. This story could not appear in any other top league.
Claudio Ranieri (Leicester coach) once said: “When I talk to the players I speak first of all in English, then I say ‘sorry, now I will speak in Spanish, or Italian. Then on the touchline I speak another language so the other manager doesn’t understand what I am saying!”.
They’ve beaten Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea playing the same kind of physical, tactically sound football you might see in the Champions League group phase, or the late stages of the Europa competitions.
Leicester’s success is a chance for Ranieri to recover the respect which he lost after the catastrophic European Championship qualifications with the Greece national team.
What did he do to Leicester? The team which advanced to the Premier League just two years ago with a squad that hasn’t really changed since then.
“When speaking to the players, I realised they were afraid of Italian tactical approaches. They didn’t seem convinced and neither was I. So I told the players that I trusted them and would speak very little of tactics. It was important to me that they all ran hard, just as I’d seen them running towards the end of last season”.
Opinion on Leicester is divided into two camps. On the one hand Leicester is a phenomenon, “in an era when money counts for everything”. A fairytale.
On the other hand, Leicester’s success is simply evidence of the Premier League even level.
With the two best attacking players, a perfect tactical plan, a most fascinating spirit, one of the best defensive midfielders in europe this season and only 10 fixtures left, supporters all around the world should hope that this Leicester well-planned fairytale, will have a deserved happy end.