This was the worst display of a dire campaign for Leicester and the kind of performance that gets a manager sacked… it is hard to see how Brendan Rodgers will survive even in the medium term
- Jamie Vardy appeared as a second half substitute at the Amex Stadium
- But the club legend was unable to turn the tide as Leicester fell to another defeat
- A growing divide appears to exist between Brendan Rodgers and the club
- Leicester have just one point from their opening six Premier League games
With his team facing a fifth defeat in six matches and his future in increasing danger, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers sent for the greatest player in the club’s history to bail him out.
There were less than 20 minutes remaining when Jamie Vardy, left on the bench after a flat opening to the campaign, entered the action. If Vardy – Premier League champion, FA Cup winner and holder of numerous records – could not get Leicester out of jail, then who could?
Sadly for Rodgers, Leicester had just gone 4-2 down and Brighton were out of sight. Yet with or without him, this was the kind of performance that costs a manager their job. The home fans knew it, chanting ‘Sacked in the morning!’ at Rodgers as Brighton mauled their visitors. The travelling supporters knew it and – deep down – perhaps Leicester’s owners and Rodgers himself do, too. The coming days look pivotal.
Leicester fell to yet another Premier League defeat, losing 5-2 against Brighton at the Amex Stadium
Even the second-half introduction of club legend Jamie Vardy was not enough to bring the Foxes back into the game
Football fortunes can change in an instant but even with that in mind, it is very difficult to see how Rodgers survives in the long-term, or even the medium-term. Before the international break, they face Aston Villa at home and Tottenham away.
Throughout the summer, a gap has grown steadily between Rodgers and the club. The manager has made public his frustration at being unable to conduct the ‘healthy shake-up’ of his squad that he demanded in February. Chairman Aiyawatt ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha, mindful of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, has prioritised the club’s sustainability over all other considerations.
Rodgers has a contract until summer 2025 and would be due substantial compensation if he were sacked – but Premier League owners fear nothing more than they do relegation. With the window closed, this was supposed to be the game when Leicester found their old selves again. It didn’t quite happen like that, with the Foxes producing easily their worst display of a dire campaign.
One of the few calls that worked out for Rodgers here was leaving out Vardy and bringing in Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka to play in attack. Iheanacho put Leicester ahead inside a minute and – after Brighton had scored twice through Luke Thomas’ own-goal – Daka equalised soon after the half-hour mark. But Brighton scored three times more after the break, had another ruled out for a marginal offside call and could have easily doubled their final tally as Leicester imploded.
Club talisman James Maddison argued with teammate Daniel Amartey after Leicester conceded their fifth goal of the afternoon
There were many defining images of Leicester’s day but three stood out. First, Danny Ward and Wilfred Ndidi bawling at each other after a mix-up nearly led to a Brighton goal. Second, James Maddison and Daniel Amartey doing the same as the Ghanaian berated his team-mate for failing to track back, after Amartey had conceded the free-kick that brought Brighton’s fifth.
Third, James Justin face down on the turf after being outmuscled by Brighton substitute Pervis Estupinan. At the final whistle, Maddison stood alone and unmoved in the centre circle, head bowed.
The decision will fall to Srivaddhanaprabha and if he determines that Rodgers can no longer motivate these players, the end will be swift. He is not a man who takes decisions hastily but there is much for him to consider in the hours ahead.
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