The secret to playing 4-4-2 is having good partnerships all over the pitch and Leicester City’s presence at the top of the Premier League means that their left-sided link-up play is arguably the best in England.
Despite having an incredible partnership and understanding, Christian Fuchs and Marc Albrighton were not even at the East Midlands club two years ago, and both arrived without costing a penny.
Austrian international Christian Fuchs - whose surname in German translates to Fox - is a typical, old-fashioned, full-back who joined the Foxes on a free transfer from German club Schalke in the summer of 2015. A solid and reliable defender, the 29-year-old is the man who has to deal with the opposition’s tricky winger.
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Gone are the days when Chelsea’s left-back Ron Harris could literally chop down Manchester United’s George Best and get away with it. A Champions League team like Leicester cannot deal with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi like that. These days the modern left-back needs the
help of his left-sided midfielder.
Marc Albrighton arrived at the King Power stadium in May 2014 after being let go by his boyhood club Aston Villa. The two teammates complement each other well because Fuchs does not ‘bomb on‘ down the flank like Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno, leaving gaps behind him for the opposition to exploit. On the contrary, he holds his position and calls Albrighton back to close the spaces between the lines.
26-year-old Albrighton admitted: “I’ve had to adapt my game a little bit. With my injuries as well, I don’t know whether I’ve lost a bit of pace, I’m not as confident to run past a player anymore, whereas I’m more confident in my crossing ability. I feel like I’ve worked on that more since I burst on the scene.”
The two teammates keep the opposition winger occupied until the cavalry comes to the rescue in the shape of N’Golo Kante. On the rare occasion that Kante does not win the ball back, Albrighton and Fuchs force the opposition wide to put crosses in that is meat and drink for centre-halves Wes Morgan and Robert Huth.
Fuchs elaborated: “It starts with the strikers. Jamie Vardy is insane, running his tail off, blocking balls. We don’t have the budget but the spirit on the field means we can win all the games we play. It’s our mentality, we don’t give a Fuchs!”
However, Fuchs does occasionally get forward to supply crosses himself, like the one for Morgan to head the only goal of the recent 1-0 win at home to Southampton.
Their rivals may well ask if Fuchs and Morgan were attacking, who was defending? The Premier League table-toppers would love to tell, but it’s a secret.
Can Leicester City get the job done and win the Premier League title? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!