It’s been more than a week since Leicester City clinched the Premier League title, but the disbelief, amazement, and admiration remains, and probably will for many years to come.
From a hard-fought relegation fightback last season to champions this season, their journey has been nothing short of miraculous.
When Claudio Ranieri replaced Nigel Pearson at the start of the season, many expressed disbelief, especially after the job Pearson did in keeping the Foxes in the top flight.
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Despite this, the highly experienced Italian quietly went about his business and laid the foundation for what was to become arguably the greatest football success story ever.
Leicester’s success is indeed unprecedented and it reminds players, managers and fans alike that anything is possible. The keys to their success can be summed up in three simple lessons.
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Lesson one - Exceptional Scouting
Jamie Vardy. Danny Drinkwater. Riyad Mahrez. N'Golo Kante. Just four members of the squad assembled so skilfully.
Leicester City had a clear and simple plan, to bring in dependable players who would fit in well with the club philosophy. This method shows no signs of changing and rightly so.
Chief scout Steve Walsh told Sky Sports: "I think you've got to bring in the people you think will do the job, people who fit in. Claudio enjoys the blueprint and the way we play. We try to duplicate that, so you look for similar types of players who can fulfill roles in the team that you need.”
The aforementioned four all played massive parts in Leicester's title win, and will certainly play massive parts in their defence if they choose to stay.
Lesson two - Bring in hungry players
One of the factors that led to Leicester City’s success was the hunger and determination of the players.
Each member of the squad had a point to prove and a story to tell. Vardy’s rise from non-league football to the Premier League, arguably the most extraordinary.
Players like Danny Drinkwater, Danny Simpson, Robert Huth and Mark Albrighton had been rejected and were seeking a club to finally succeed with.
Lesson three - Play to your strengths
Claudio Ranieri recognized straight away that what his team lacked in flair they made up for in discipline and bite.
Time and again this season, Leicester relinquished possession to their opponents but were able to use their pace in the counter attack to punish teams.
Their clever use of the 4-4-2 formation meant that they were not only solid in defence, but devastating in attack.
With two highly mobile and energetic midfielders in Kante and Drinkwater, opposing teams were unable to cope.
When the goals stopped coming, they then managed to tighten up the back and grind out 1-0 wins that are the clear signs of true champions.
Leicester City’s success will no doubt be an inspiration to other teams next season and by learning the lessons of their success, other clubs who have underperformed this season might just see their fortunes change for the better.
Who are in the best position to do a Leicester City next season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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