Nigel Pearson is often accused of tactical deficiencies, last night was a perfect example of why. Leicester had no answer to Charlton’s five man midfield which squeezed the space between it and the defensive line. Placed under pressure on the ball in tight spaces the Foxes lacked confidence and ideas.
Credit must go to Charlton, whose players have mastered this game plan and earned the third best away record in the Championship for that very reason.
But have no doubt that this blueprint will be tried again at the King Power Stadium this season.
When it happens James or Drinkwater will need to be sacrificed to allow for more creativity. There’s simply no need for two holding midfielders in matches like these, particularly at home.
The key numbers;
6 – Whilst Leicester’s is still statistically the strongest defence in the division, its conceded six goals in its last three outings. Often these have been characterised by individual mistakes. Konchesky failed to clear when we’ll placed to do so against Huddersfield, allowing the winner in last week’s FA Cup tie. Drinkwater played the ball blind into his own area and City were duly punished last night. And whilst Danny Haynes’ winner was a strike of genuine quality, the marking which allowed the substitute time and space to deliver it was unforgivable. The Foxes’ first job at Blackpool will be to offer the home side no favours.
10 – City’s tenth defeat of the season was yet again by a single goal. They remain the Championship’s only side yet to be beaten by more than one goal, and yet this is scant consolation. With 15 matches to go the Foxes have already lost as many games, and in most cases more, than every side promoted to the Premier League automatically in the last five seasons.
45 – With 15 games to go there is still everything to play for, but Leicester have now made things much more difficult for themselves. The Foxes will give themselves every chance of winning second place with 30 of the remaining 45 points on offer. But an average of two points per game between now and the end of the season will require far better performances than City’s most recent offerings.