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3 things that Claude Puel must change at Leicester City

Friday 27th October 2017
For Leicester City vice-chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, the appointment of Claude Puel is a breath of fresh air; he hailed the new manager as the “perfect fit” for the Foxes. Regardless, Puel must ring the changes to engender success.
Looking for a manager who warms up to the fans and has them singing his name? Look away from Claude Puel. During his first spell in England, at Southampton, the Frenchman left fans of the St. Mary's frustrated with his rigid style and dodgy tactics.

The Saints looked better on paper than on the pitch. Despite 18 defeats, 16 in the Premier League, Southampton somehow managed to have a respectable 2016-17 season under Puel as they finished eighth in the League and reached the EFL Cup final; their first Cup final since 2003.

Surprisingly, the Southampton hierarchy wasn't ready to give the 56-year-old any further chances. His one win from his final eight games as Southampton gaffer proved too costly and he was shown the door.

In that regard, many fans of Leicester City remain unsure of the choice of Puel.
Albeit, the inevitable change has taken place. Puel is now saddled with the immense responsibility of getting Leicester out of the woods. The new Leicester boss must, however, make some changes to the Foxes setup.

Overreliance on Jamie Vardy



It's been Jamie Vardy or nothing for Leicester since 2014. Despite spending as much as £70 million on strikers such as Islam Slimani (£29m), Ahmed Musa (£16m) and Kelechi Iheanacho (£25m), Jamie Vardy continues to bear the bulk of the goalscoring burden for the Foxes. Leicester's expensive attacking arsenal barely see any playing time.

Ahmed Musa who joined from CSKA Moscow in Claudio Ranieri's second season, barely makes the matchday squad. Islam Slimani and Kelechi Iheanacho, both big-money signings, have continued to remain on the fringes due to overreliance of Jamie Vardy.
The 2015-16 season is fast becoming a distant memory. Jamie Vardy is a revered striker and at the moment, remains a key man at Leicester. Nevertheless, he simply cannot do it alone. Puel must allow other strikers get more chances to help City. Not 10, 20-minute cameos.

A formation change



The 4-4-2 formation worked wonders for Leicester during Ranieri's tenure. But that was Ranieri's. Ostensibly, that formation has been set in stone for the 2015-16 Premier League Champions even after the Italian's departure.

Although they got burned on so many occasions, both Ranieri and his successor, Craig Shakespeare, stuck to their guns of a 4-4-2 and a direct playing style.
It became abundantly evident that Leicester City, for long, has been found out. Leicester's win % dropped from 44.4% under Ranieri to 38.1% under Shakespeare. It could drop further if Claude Puel sticks to that system.

Rejig the defence



Just two Premier League clean sheets in nine games are simply not good enough. Leicester have conceded more goals (14) than they've managed to score (12). Simply put, the Foxes have been shipping goals in the division and this must change.

Playing with three centre-halves (a back-three) is not such a bad idea. Claude Puel could consider giving it a shot. Perhaps it helps plug the ominous hole at the back for City.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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