Gary Neville on Leicester's start to the season: "When you demoralise a dressing room, a coaching staff and a manager with the players that leave, it's very difficult to recover that, so I would be very worried if I was Leicester, at this moment in time"
Thursday 15 September 2022 09:07, UK
With Leicester rock bottom of the Premier League ahead of Saturday's trip to Tottenham, live on Sky Sports, Gary Neville has serious worries about their current predicament.
The Foxes have had a horrendous start to the season, shipping 16 goals in their opening six games and losing five of those matches to leave them 20th in the table ahead of the game in north London (5.30pm kick-off).
Brendan Rodgers is now the odds-on favourite to become the next Premier League manager to lose their job in the wake of a tough few months on and off the pitch, which has included the departures of Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana, the latter after a protracted transfer battle with Chelsea.
Budget constraints have meant only Fofana has been replaced, by Reims defender Wout Faes, and for a net profit of £60m. Even so, a string of poor performances, culminating in a 5-2 battering by Brighton in their last game, left Neville telling the Gary Neville Podcast he was severely concerned about Leicester's problems.
"I really worry about Leicester," he said. "Earlier on in the season when Kasper Schmeichel went to Nice, I thought 'why? Why is that being sanctioned?'.
"We talk about character, he's not only a very good goalkeeper, but you imagine the presence and impact he'd have on the dressing room. You just can't replace that.
"They've lost [Harry] Maguire before, N'Golo Kante before, [Riyad] Mahrez, they've lost players before but I felt like it was a strange thing to do. Now, obviously, Fofana has left as well and I'd be worried if I was a Leicester fan.
"Then there's obviously rumours that the manager is in trouble, he's done a brilliant job there. What else was he supposed to say, Brendan Rodgers, that he expected the window to go better? I think everyone did - Leicester hadn't signed a player up until right at the end.
"Leicester have been like Brighton, they've let players go and brought other ones in, they're good at replacing them. But you look at what's happened there now, and I'm worried for Brendan, I'm worried for Leicester, because they were winning the league six years ago - and at the moment, they look in a bit of trouble. It doesn't look like it's right.
"When you demoralise a dressing room, a coaching staff and a manager with the players that leave, it's very difficult to recover that, so I would be very worried if I was Leicester, at this moment in time."
Despite previously stating his squad was "clearly weaker" than it was last season, Rodgers was defiant when asked about whether he had considered his position at the club.
His time at the King Power Stadium represents the Northern Irishman's longest spell in charge at any one club, and on his backing from the Leicester board he said: "It's been very supportive. I am not daft, I understand football, it has not been a great start at all, but the support shows the level of work we have done here and the appreciation of what we have been through over the course of the summer.
"It is my responsibility to improve the results, there is no question about that, but I have had nothing but support to get that."
Rodgers also defended his record, which has seen the club finish fifth in the Premier League twice under his management, and lift the FA Cup in 2021.
He said: "I love being here, my record here is concrete in terms of what we have done and how performances have been.
"But it has not been to the level. My career has been built on resilience, which is something you need in this industry. It is how I have arrived where I am.
"The strength is very easy to come by, it is not easy when you are not getting results but it provides the motivation to get things right."