Can Brendan Rodgers survive Leicester's downward spiral?

Brendan Rodgers Leicester
(Image credit: Getty)

It's almost five years since Claudio Ranieri was sacked by Leicester, with his role in leading the team to the miraculous 2016 Premier League title proving not enough to keep him in his job following a terrible run the next season.

Brendan Rodgers might be wondering if he might meet the same fate after his side slid to a third defeat in their last five matches with Sunday's 2-1 loss at Wolves, leaving them still without a league win in 2022.

Like Ranieri, Rodgers oversaw one of the best days in Leicester's history as they lifted  the FA Cup for the first time by beating Chelsea in last year's final.

But he will know that Leicester's owners have little time for nostalgia when the going gets tough.

Three years ago Rodgers was the beneficiary of the ruthlessness of chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, who sacked Claude Puel when the club were 12th in the Premier League and appointed the Northern Irishman, plucking him from Celtic in the middle of the season.

Right now Leicester are 11th, only separated by Aston Villa in 12th by their superior number of goals scored.

Rodgers admitted before the trip to Wolves that he was under pressure and appeared to make a plea to the owners for more time to continue what has been a promising spell with the club.

After all, he achieved consecutive fifth-placed finishes in the league, even if on both occasions it was after blowing the chance to come fourth and qualify for the Champions League.

“I think we’ve started out on a journey here of which we are nowhere near finished. We’re nearly three years in working together and we’ve made some greats steps going forward," he said.

Rodgers also blamed Leicester's injury troubles for the team's wobble, saying: "Progress isn’t always linear, there’s going to be fits and starts and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist when you see where we are this year, if you look at the players we’ve been missing."

He certainly has a point.

Jamie Vardy has been out since early January with a hamstring injury while Jonny Evans has also been a big absence after undergoing hamstring surgery in January.

Leicester's injury problems really began before the campaign begun, with Wesley Fofana, one of the outstanding performers of the last campaign, breaking his leg in a pre-season friendly with Villarreal.

But there are also questions about Rodgers management of the team after he decided to call out the players for "lacking hunger" after their FA Cup fourth round defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Leicester have always been a tight-knit squad and turned on Ranieri the season after the title win, so Rodgers is playing a risky game by publicly criticising his squad.

But he was positive about the team's performance against Wolves and felt luck was deserting his side.

"Sometimes after you lose a game there's obviously disappointment and frustration, but I was very enthused by the team today," he said. 

"We're started to see in a number of the last games the bits of our Leicester returning back to our levels of play and creativity. I was so proud of the team in relation to the performance and that's what's going to allow us to get back to the level that we have been at for a few years."

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Richard Martin is an experienced football writer, editor and social media producer. Before returning to London, he spent 10 years in Spain as a football correspondent and has attended over 600 games across 16 countries, his favourite being Argentina. He has also worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Times and AS.