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Pressbox: Don’t Have High Expectations for Leicester Next Season

Pressbox is a column here on The Sideline. It serves as a medium for writers to rant about some of the hottest takes in the sports world. Read all Pressbox rants here.

It has now been over a week since Chelsea came from 2-0 down and drew with Tottenham, giving Leicester City the Premier League title.

And honestly, I still can’t believe it. I probably will still be in shock 30 years from now.

Now before the season, Leicester were picked to be relegated by many (including me… I was sort of close). They were put at 5000-1 odds to win the league, and with the appointment of Italian Claudio Ranieri – questions flew around the King Power Stadium.

Leicester opened the season like no other. Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy exploded onto the scene as the most lethal finishers. But as Leicester started winning and rarely ever losing, many sat back and said “Just wait. West Ham did the same thing. They’ll eventually cool down and dwindle into mid-table obscurity.”

So fans waited… And waited… And waited… Until it finally was clear – Leicester could actually win the title.

And they did.

So the question that has been asked by many, “Can they keep this up?” The short answer: No.

The long answer: There are a few reasons why Leicester won’t stay around the top.

Side note, What will be more challenging? Leicester remaining as a top club, or people trying to pronounce Leicester? For those who don’t know: It sounds exactly like “Lester”

#1: The Premier League is in a down year

guardiola-manchester-city-pep_3408830
Via Sky Sports. Pep Guardiola will enter the 2016-2017 season as Manchester City’s new manager.

Yes I know, Manchester City made the Champions League semi-finals. But it doesn’t take away the fact they could very well finish fifth, if some things go against them. Also, Chelsea had a disastrous season, having them in ninth place and level on points with tenth place Stoke City. That means there is one less team contending for a top four spot. With a new manager coming in and it being unlikely that a repeat season will happen, the Blues will be right back up at the top.

Pep Guardiola is also set to arrive at Manchester City, which will add a total winning mentality to the Citizens.

Money and new managers will attribute to some teams rising up the table. Some of those teams pose as direct threats to Leicester, which will knock them down.

#2: Champions League football

It will be an amazing experience for Leicester fans to feel the chills as the Champions League anthem blares for the first time at the King Power Stadium. But with six guaranteed games to be played during the season, the fatigue will affect the players (maybe not N’Golo Kante, but will he ever run out of gas?).

Plus, what if Leicester finish third or above in the group stage? That means more games (in either the Europa League or Champions League) until they are knocked out or win whichever tournament they remain in.

A good example of the effects of European football on league form is Everton. They did well in the 2014 Europa League, but they were struggling to find their feet in the Premier League.

#3: Money talks

Leicester City could make 150 million pounds with their Premier League title win. However, clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea have war chests that boast a mass amount to spend.

Unless Leicester find gems like Mahrez and Kante for cheap prices, it will be very difficult to keep up with the great players that transfer to the Premier League every Summer.

It will be an extremely difficult task to repeat their triumph this season. But is this the peak of Leicester City? I can’t wait to see what Ranieri and co. bring next season. Because they could very well surprise everyone again.

 

Categories

EPL, Featured

Noah Ziegler View All

I write about the beautiful game. From the smallest islands to the biggest teams, it all will be covered.

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