By 90Min
May 16, 2019

Leicester City finished the 2018/19 Premier League season in ninth place, a respectable position considering the club changed managers mid-way through the campaign.

Here's a look back at the season as a whole and an overall grade for the report card.


League Performance 

Premier League - 9th

Leicester finished ninth for the second season in a row, but the team won five more points than in 2017/18, finishing with a total of 52. 

The Foxes will most likely never repeat the heroics of the 2015/16 title-winning season, but the club would've hoped for seventh place and possible Europa League football at the start of the season. However, many fans were not particularly optimistic about the club's chances under Claude Puel, despite having one of the most talented squads outside the top six.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Those concerns turned out to be justified, with Leicester failing to pick up any real form during the first six months of the season before Puel's dismissal. The appointment of Brendan Rodgers saw a big improvement, and the Foxes finished the season strongly. 

Overall, Leicester can't be too disappointed with their league standing considering their poor early season form and change of manager. 

The club also tragically lost owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha when his helicopter crashed in October, and the team performed admirably in extremely difficult circumstances.


Domestic Cup Performance


Carabao Cup - Quarter Final

Leicester enjoyed a decent run in the Carabao Cup, kicking things off with a comfortable 4-0 win over Fleetwood Town before overcoming both Wolves and Southampton on penalties after 0-0 draws in both games.

The Foxes faced off against Manchester City in the quarter-finals and managed to take a team featuring the likes of Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne to penalties. However, Leicester missed three spot-kicks in a disappointing shootout and exited at the hands of the eventual winners.

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

FA Cup - Third Round


The FA Cup campaign was far more disappointing. Claude Puel's side crashed out in their first match, a third-round tie against League Two side Newport County. The French coach rung the changes and paid the price, falling behind to a Jamille Matt strike just ten minutes in.

Rachid Ghezzal equalised in the 82nd minute, only for his side to concede a penalty minutes later. Padraig Amond tucked the spot kick away to send the Foxes back to the King Power Stadium with their tails between their legs.

Stu Forster/GettyImages

Best Player 

This is a tough one. Jamie Vardy, Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell have all had superb seasons, while Youri Tielemans has also excelled since joining on loan in January. However, our pick for player of the season is James Maddison.

David Rogers/GettyImages

Signed from Norwich for £20m last summer, the young attacking-midfielder has excelled in his first season in the Premier League. Maddison's dribbling and creative skills proved invaluable, setting up seven goals for his teammates. He also proved he has an eye for goal himself, scoring seven times in 36 league appearances. 


While those are solid numbers, the most impressive stat is this one from Opta - Maddison was the only player in the league to create 100 goalscoring chances this season, two more than his nearest rival Eden Hazard.


Worst Player 

Big things were expected of Kelechi Iheanacho when Leicester paid Manchester City £25m for his services in 2017, but the Nigerian striker has largely disappointed since his move to the East Midlands.

Iheanacho scored just a solitary goal in 30 Premier League appearances in 2018/19 and his shocking miss against his former side in the penultimate game summed up a miserable season. While there are reports that the striker remains part of Brendan Rodgers' plans, his form will need to improve if he is to earn a place in the starting XI.

BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

The Manager(s)

Claude Puel, until 24 February

Despite taking over a struggling Leicester in October 2017 and achieving a steady ninth place finish two seasons ago, Puel was never a popular figure with supporters. Three wins from 14 league games in the second half of 2017/18 contributed to that, as did his dour, defensive style of play which was a world away from the swashbuckling counter-attacking football Leicester fans associated with the team.

Puel failed to gather any kind of momentum during the first half 2018/19 and a falling out with star striker Vardy did little to help his cause. The Frenchman earned a stay of execution after consecutive wins against Chelsea and Manchester City in December, but Leicester took just four points from the next eight league games and also crashed out of the FA Cup to Newport. 

Puel was relieved of his duties following a 4-1 loss to Crystal Palace on 23 February.

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Brendan Rodgers, after 26 February 

Former Liverpool boss Rodgers joined the Foxes after leaving Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership and instantly lifted the mood at the King Power. The manager won four of his first five games, though the highlight was undoubtedly the 3-0 thrashing of Arsenal on 28 April. In total, Rodgers took 17 points from a possible 30 during his ten games in charge.

It's not just the results that have earned Rodgers praise, though. The Northern Irishman transformed Leicester's style of play, promoting fluid, attacking football and getting the most out of the creative talents of Maddison and Tielemans. The biggest impact has been on Jamie Vardy - the former England international scored nine goals in just ten Premier League games under Rodgers, compared to nine in 24 games under Puel.

Safe to say, Rodgers has got Leicester fans dreaming again.

Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages

Overall Grade

A respectable season overall minus the FA Cup disappointment. Ninth place is a solid platform for the club to build on next season, and with Brendan Rodgers at the helm, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. If Leicester can keep their top players this summer, seventh place and a strong cup run will be realistic targets for 2019/20.

B

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