The Spanish end Ayoze Pérez explains the quarry model and elaborate game that has pushed the club in central England to third place in the Premier.
Three years after winning the Premier by playing backlash with an Italian coach, Leicester City once again competes for the first places in the championship playing exactly the other way around with an English coach. The metamorphosis can be expressed in the 80th minute of Anfield’s game, on October 5.
Essential protagonist of the phenomenon
The Tenerife Ayoze Pérez, the essential protagonist of the phenomenon, describes it precisely: “We were going 1-0 down and Brendan Rodgers put me on top with Vardy. I tried to detach myself from Van Dijk to avoid physical contact and I stayed in an intermediate situation, several meters from Van Dijk and behind Fabinho. I received the Albrighton ball with the right direction and strength, and I could turn. Fabinho didn’t enter me because it would have been necessary. I raised my head and saw Maddison’s movement unchecking Van Dijk’s back. The timming was perfect. ”
It is not easy to break the mark of Van Dijk and Fabinho, two of the players with the highest averages of won duels and balls recovered in Europe. Much less, do it as the Leicester did, gaining time based on interior combinations of flyers such as Maddison and Albrighton, false ends such as Ayoze, sides that double as Pereira and a tip as Vardy, which does not touch the ball if it is not to finish off but distracts the opponent with a run to the second stick.
1-1 was a sample. Third of the Premier in ten days with 25 goals in favor and eight against, the Leicester numbers are the closest to the numbers of the City of Guardiola (32/9) and Liverpool Klopp (23/8) with half Budget The team represents the new renewal wave of English football. It is exotic and significant to be led by an English coach, Brendan Rodgers, who, as a Liverpool coach, has been the only one of his counterparts born in England who has been close to winning the league since the Premier format was inaugurated in 1991.
Brendan Rodgers respond
“Brendan does not respond to the English coach archetype,” says Ayoze. “It is made of another paste. He wants us to be dominators. And on top of that we have the staff, youth and talent to carry it out! “
“Brendan does not respond to the English coach archetype,” says Ayoze. “It is made of another paste. When he met me to offer me a contract, he made me feel important. I’ve always felt nine or ten , but he told me that he wanted me to play on end in a 4-3-3. That I will go down to associate with the interiors and that I will also seek the arrival to the goal. That we would be dominators. That we would get in touch with the ball a lot at the pace played here, that in 90 minutes it does not allow you to take a break … And on top of that we have the squad, youth and talent to carry it out! In Leicester the midfielders are baseball players. ”
Rodgers promoted the signing of Ayoze to Newcastle for 33 million euros last summer. For a few days, until they paid 45 million for Tielemans, the 26-year-old Spaniard was the most expensive player in the history of a club that invests more in infrastructure and reinforcements every season. According to the Transfermarkt portal, since the conquest of the title in 2016, the club’s owner, the Thai company King Power, closed the summer markets, successively signing 92, 88, 115, and 106 million euros. In addition, he dedicated 80 million to build one of the most avant-garde sports cities in the United Kingdom.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the president who died in a helicopter accident a year ago, was succeeded by his son Aiyawatt, whose football fanaticism surpasses that of his progenitror. The family ambition to make the club a reference in English football survives. Not only for the results. Also like that. With that purpose they signed Claude Puel in 2017 and began a transition that would take them away from Claudio Ranieri’s 4-4-2 in favor of a more sophisticated proposal. “Ranieri put the emphasis on unbalancing with individuals like Mahrez and Vardy; this Leicester is more associative,” says Ayoze.
Between 2016 and 2019 the club entered up to 230 million with the sales of Mahrez to the City, Kanté and Drinkwater to Chelsea, and Maguire to United. Dismissing their main references except for Vardy and Albrighton temporarily affected the team. Puel was in charge of going through the pothole. “We developed a different idea to evolve, we promoted young English U21s with talent to control the ball, and now Leicester is one of the teams with the best prospects for improving the Premier,” Puel warned in May.
The French set out to implement an elaborate game model. He resorted to the quarry to nurture the team with people like Gray, Chilwell, Barnes or Choudhury, and hired Ndidi, Maddison and Tielemans, the base of the current midfield, and Evans and Söyüncü, axis of the defense that breaks the mold by pulling The ball played. Three of the ten players who pass most in England are Leicester defenses: Chilwell, Evans and Söyüncü. By way of exaltation of the new chameleonic character, the fans dedicated a refrain to the team that elaborates from the back what jumps lines like lightning: ” We play from the back, we counter attack “.
Puel was dismissed last February after a bad run. “I worked from misunderstanding,” he laments. “In a traditional old school setting. I had to face the veterans [like Vardy] who wanted to insist on the way of playing that had made them win the title. I wanted to move on to something else because repeating that pattern of success was no longer possible. ”
Rodgers relieved Puel but, in addition to rehabilitating Vardy, he did not alter the program. Starting with his commitment to the youth of a staff with an average of 26 years. “With so much money, sometimes in England the quarry is neglected a bit,” notes Ayoze. “But Leicester is an ambitious club that works very well in the lower categories.”
Left-hander Ben Chilwell, a youth player, scored the first of the nine-goal series at Southampton when last October 25, Leicester won the biggest win in the opposing field in the history of the Premier: 9-0. The play started from the right, with a dribble from Ayoze who took the kick that caused Bertrand’s expulsion in the 10th minute. Ayoze would end up putting a hat-trick .
“The club has the ambition to do something important,” says the canary. “It is beyond winter. Many times in England Christmas, where so many games are played, they dictate what the league final will be. ”