Football News

Misfiring Jamie Vardy still provides Firmino-esque influence at Leicester City, says Brendan Rodgers

By Steve Jennings

Published: 9:40, 28 February 2020

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has defended Jamie Vardy amid a barren run in front of goal by comparing the striker’s all-round game to that of Roberto Firmino.

The Foxes have now gone nine games without a Vardy goal in Premier League, yet the 33-year-old still tops the division’s scoring charts with 17 strikes alongside Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

How concerning is Vardy’s goal drought? Five things to know…

  • Vardy hasn’t scored a league goal since Leicester’s 3-1 defeat at Man City on December 21st.
  • The striker has drawn a blank in each of his last seven league outings, missing two other through injury.
  • However, he is still in the running for the Golden Boot with 17 goals, the joint-most in the division alongside Aubameyang.
  • But Vardy’s goalless run has coincided with Leicester’s collective drop in form at a crucial stage of the season.
  • Rodgers’ men nine points clear of fifth place, but they will hope to get on back on track in terms of results sooner rather than later.

Goals have been the bread and butter of Vardy’s game since he emerged as one of the Premier League’s most lethal frontmen.

But Rodgers believes Vardy is comparable to Firmino, Liverpool’s highly-rated forward who often acts as a foil for the goalscoring exploits of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

Indeed, Vardy has provided four assists in the Premier League this term, and Rodgers has suggested he shouldn’t be solely judged on goals.

“I have no doubt he’ll get the goals and it’s a matter of time before he gets back to scoring again,” Rodgers said of Vardy.

“Sometimes you get a run like it. You don’t force it, you don’t put pressure on, he knows that’s his job.

“If you’re needing 65 goals to get where you want to be, then it’s no good having a striker with 40 when the others can’t contribute – it’s a team responsibility.

“Look at Roberto Firmino at Liverpool – he’s scored 10, but look at his influence and what he gives and allows the other players [to do].

“With Jamie, when he’s not scoring, he’s creating space for others. It’s the responsibility of everyone – full-backs, centre-halves, midfielders, front players, and the guys coming off the bench, too, to contribute.”

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Vardy came incredibly close to ending his drought against Manchester City last weekend, hitting the post with a chance he’d likely have buried earlier in the campaign.

He’ll be hoping to get back among the goals when Leicester face Norwich City on Friday night as the Foxes look to consolidate a Champions League spot for next season.

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