Leicester 2019/20 Review: End of Season Report Card for the Foxes

Leicester's fifth-placed finish does not tell the whole story of their season.


While their second-best top flight position since 1962 would normally be cause for celebration, the Foxes' cataclysmic collapse during the final weeks of the campaign left fans disappointed.


Even so, once they have some distance from the event supporters will surely remember the 2019/2020 Premier League campaign as a good one, but just how good?


90min reviewed Leicester's season, school report card style in order to find out...



League Performance


Premier League - Fifth


Leicester's start to the season was nothing short of extraordinary. In their first 16 games, they only lost twice (to Liverpool and Manchester United) and put several teams to the sword.


They scored five against Newcastle and beat Aston Villa 4-1 at the beginning of December, but their finest hour came on a cold and rainy Friday night at St Mary's. On that particular evening, the Foxes put a Premier League record NINE goals past Southampton in one of the best team performances in recent footballing memory.


Leicester celebrate ANOTHER goal against Southampton

Over Christmas, Leicester's form fell off a cliff following back-to-back hidings against Manchester City and Liverpool. After those two games, Rodgers' side lacked the consistency that had seen them go on a run of eight straight wins earlier in the season.


Their 14-point advantage in the race for Champions League qualification was slowly whittled away, with defeats to lowly Norwich and Bournemouth proving particularly hard to stomach.


An injury depleted Foxes' squad eventually dropped out of the top four during Matchday 37 for the first time since September, and a final day defeat to United confined them to the Europa League next season.



Domestic Cup Performance


Carabao Cup - Semi Finals


After being knocked out in the quarter finals during the previous two seasons, Leicester went one better this time out.


Their deep run into the competition began with a second-round win over Newcastle on penalties. A sumptuous James Maddison free kick had given the Foxes the lead in normal time before Yoshinori Muto levelled things up. Jamie Vardy (who else?) eventually netted the winning penalty to set up a third-round game against Luton Town.


Leicester fell short in the EFL Cup semi finals

Leicester disposed of the Hatters 4-0 and also comfortably defeated Burton Albion to reach the quarter finals, where they had to rely on penalties once again to defeat Everton.


Their opponents in the semi finals were struggling Aston Villa. Despite the Foxes peppering their opponents' goal with no fewer than 62 shots over the course of the two legs, Dean Smith's side somehow found a way to win, with Trezeguet netting a last minute goal to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory.


It was a desperately disappointing way for Leicester's Wembley dream to end.



FA Cup - Quarter Finals


Leicester would also fall agonisingly short in the FA Cup - edged out 1-0 by Chelsea in the quarter finals.


The Foxes began their campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic before they dispatched of Championship upstarts Brentford 1-0 in the fourth round. Midlands rivals Birmingham were then defeated to set up a meeting with Frank Lampard's side.


Chelsea knocked Leicester out of the FA Cup

Leicester completely dominated first-half proceedings and had some good chances. However, they failed to convert which allowed Ross Barkley to snag a winner for Chelsea on the hour mark.



Best Player


It's pretty remarkable that before this season, Leicester legend Jamie Vardy had never won the club's Player of the Year award.


Jamie Vardy with his Premier League Golden Boot

Riyad Mahrez get the nod in the title-winning 2015/16 campaign, while Kasper Schmeichel, Harry Maguire and Ricardo Pereira have been preferred more recently. This season though, there could be no ignoring Vardy whose 23 goals also saw him scoop his maiden Premier League Golden Boot at the ripe old age of 33.


The former Stocksbridge Park Steels man has been unstoppable for much of the campaign, tearing through defences with a ferocity of someone a decade younger. He has clearly benefited from the praise lavished upon him by his manager this season and to be fair, there can be little doubting Rodgers' claims that the striker is one of the best in Europe.


Can he keep this incredible scoring rate up next season? We wouldn't put it past this pedigree greyhound who continues to look lethal in front of goal.



Worst Player


It's been a largely impressive season at the King Power Stadium which makes singling out one player for criticism a challenging task.


Ryan Bennett was culpable for two goals against Tottenham

Until you watch Leicester vs Tottenham game back that is...


During the encounter, Wolves loanee Ryan Bennett was given a torrid time by the Spurs frontline, even falling on his arse in comedy fashion for the hosts' first goal.


Although he deserved some leniency due to the lack of playing time he had prior to being shoehorned into the team, the fact that Leicester rejected the chance to sign the 30-year-old for just £5m speaks volumes about his performances.



The Manager


After reaching near untouchable status in December, Rodgers agreed a bumper new deal at Leicester that will keep him at the club until 2025.


Brendan Rodgers is facing questions after Leicester's terrible end to the season

Few batted an eyelid at the length of the deal at the time, but as time has progressed the Northern Irishman's methods and demeanour have been increasingly questioned.


His patented 4-1-4-1 formation grew stale after Christmas, with Vardy's isolation from midfield a growing concern. To his credit, his deployment of a 3-5-2 more recently shows that he does possess at least some tactical flexibility and he deserves credit for bringing Kelechi Iheanacho back from the abyss and developing him into an effective link forward.


His media handling has irked a lot of supporters though - as it often has at other clubs. Rodgers' refusal to label the season as a missed opportunity has been particularly frustrating, but only the most grumpy of Foxes fans would say that his tenure so far hasn't been incredibly successful.



Overall Grade


If they have gained their points more evenly across the season, few could argue that the Foxes enjoyed an A+ season. However, the scale of the club's bottle job in the closing weeks of the campaign leaves a sour taste.


Grade: A-




Source : 90min