Opinion: Why Leicester's comprehensive victory over Arsenal could be a sign of things to come under Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers relays instructions during his side's win against Arsenal | Photo: Getty/ Graham Wilson

Opinion: Why Leicester's comprehensive victory over Arsenal could be a sign of things to come under Rodgers

The Foxes ruthlessly dispatched of a poor Gunners' side at the King Power Stadium and Sunday - a win that could have great signs for the future at the King Power Stadium.

daniel-orme
Daniel Orme

Leicester City dealt another huge blow to Arsenal's top-four hosts on Sunday evening by thumping the Gunners 3-0 at the King Power Stadium

The victory, a fifth in eight games since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers from Celtic, was an eye-catching performance - one that could bode extremely well for the rest of the season, and indeed the Northern-Irishman's tenure in the East-Midlands. 

It has to be said that the hosts were massively assisted by an inept performance by Unai Emery's men but the three points did show huge signs of promise for the Foxes under their new boss.

Best of the rest

Since arriving at the King Power Stadium, Rodgers has never attempted to hide what he feels should be the targets for Leicester City - European football. Whilst that could be slightly beyond the team this season, albeit sitting in eighth and only three points behind a potential UEFA Europa League place, it could be a realistic aim next season and wins over any of the top-six could go some way in strengthening that position. 

In order to achieve European football, any points picked up against any of the so-called 'elite' clubs are certainly useful and could see them potentially break into the top-six. 

Hosting Arsenal on Sunday evening, the hosts did certainly not seem intimidated whatsoever, especially considering it was the first match in Rodgers' tenure that the side have faced a team above 10th place in the table. Aggressive from the off against Emery's troops, the Foxes'  certainly did not seem intimidated - all the more impressive considering their recent daunting record against the Gunners

If they are able to adopt this attitude in future games against the 'top-six' and channel the spirit of the title-winning season in which they were only beaten by Arsenal and Liverpool, there is all the more chance that they could achieve great feats with Rodgers at the helm.

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Possession aplenty

One of the most impressive aspects of the win against Arsenal was simply how much possession that the Foxes enjoyed throughout the match. Rodgers' men had the lion's share of the ball throughout the whole match, limiting Arsenal to lowest percentage of possession in a game they have ever had since Opta begun recording statistics; a paltry 33%. 

It has been well-documented that former boss Claude Puel had attempted to alter the style of play to a more possession-based approach before he was relieved of his duties. It could again be argued that it needed to happen, with the side's previous counter-attacking style of play being massively restricted by sides sitting back and soaking up pressure.

One of the main complaints of that however was that whilst the possession was admirable, the chances created did not really justify the share of the ball. The style of play seemed laborious and languid. 

That was completely different against Arsenal. There seemed to be a distinct purpose to the passing. Every time the Foxes went forward, they seemed like they were going to find the net, only for Arsenal stopper Bernd Leno to pull off numerous impressive stops. 

With Rodgers having more time to yet implement his desired style of play at the King Power Stadium, there is the opportunity for the players to get even more comfortable on the ball - rendering this chosen style potentially more successful going forwards.

Composed but ruthless

Even before Ainsley Maitland-Niles' sending off for his two yellow cards, it could be argued that Leicester were firmly in the ascendency. All that was missing was the opening goal. 

Following the youngster's dismissal, the initiative was handed over to the hosts and against ten men, they were now probably the favourites to win the game. Nevertheless, with expectation comes pressure. The longer that the game bore on without the Foxes taking the lead, the more frustrated the crowd could potentially have got and more panic could have set in within the playing ranks. 

Whilst they could have done this and started forcing the play throughout the game, this did not happen. The Foxes stuck to their game plan and kept composed knowing that should they continue in their current vain that they would eventually hit the back of the Gunners' net and that is exactly what happened.

Once Leicester did take the lead, through a Youri Tielemans header, it seemed there was no coming back for the North-Londoners. The hosts continued to create chances and the ruthless goalscoring form of Jamie Vardy saw him gobble up two more chances to produce a score-line that more accurately represented the respective performances of both sides.

This calm nature and ruthless streak, once presented with chances, is a sign of a impressive and well-drilled side. If the team can remain on this side of composure and calm without allowing arrogance to slip into their game, they could become a feared opponent in the Premier League.

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Experience mixed with youth

A further appraisal that Rodgers, and indeed his predecessor Claude Puel, have both received has been the development of young prospects at the King Power Stadium. 

In the team against Arsenal, there were various impressive youngsters picked in the starting line-up such as Ben Chilwell, James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury, Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans, whilst Harvey Barnes and Demarai Gray were introduced off of the bench. The opportunities afforded to young players in the East-Midlands obviously bodes very well for the future of the club. 

There were also numerous players starting the game that could be considered as experienced campaigners of the Premier League. Jonny Evans and Marc Albrighton have enjoyed long careers in the English top-flight. Meanwhile, Kasper Schmeichel and Jamie Vardy have been key cogs in the Leicester side for many a year now. 

That blend of youth and experience could prove very useful for Rodgers as he attempts to build a squad capable of not only playing in the Premier League but challenging in the upper echelons of the division. The youngsters will provide that added sparkle and inventiveness which will be complemented by the added experience of knowledge of the older players within the side, allowing Leicester to become a solid and impressive side.

That is exactly what Rodgers is attempting to achieve at the King Power Stadium. The elements witnessed in the win over Arsenal point to an extremely promising future under the stewardship of the former Liverpool boss - aspects that Foxes' fans will hope to again witness in their last two games of this season against Manchester City and Chelsea, and further beyond. 

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