Most fans were all in favor of a team playing with more ball possession and few could see a future with only sitting back and counter attack. Ranieri slightly started to change to more possession, Craig Shakespeare reversed it, introduced it again and under Claude Puel the team are no longer a counter attacking team, using the midfield as the ground for building up their attacks with more patience.
You can see from time to time that Iheanacho and Vardy are both getting a run, but more of a coincidence than as part of a plan. Players in the center of midfield at the moment is used to the way Claude Puel would like to play his game and as a romantic approach this style is fine, but as a cynical point chaser, will it work long term.
The counter attack style was there to see in the “great escape” season, with Nigel Pearson playing a 3-4-3, with great pacy players and really grabbing points. Ranieri just let it flow and with the addition of Okazaki and Kante, this worked as a rocket.
The players in the team were perfect for the way of playing, getting Vardy set up in the best way possible giving him a chance to chase and run, which is his “pre” and what makes him so unique. Okazaki is also a perfect player in that role in between.
Tcf would say that Ranieri made a fool of himself with the signing of Islam Slimani who in no way could replace Okazaki, because they are so different, and that change in the start of the season also introducing Ahmed Musa, made this a terrible nightmare situation.
Looking in the back mirror you would say that why chance a winning formula and believe that you cannot play the way you did just a few weeks before, and we all remember what happened when Craig Shakespeare just turned back the club and did it all over again a few months later.
Footballers are adaptable, but the set up at the moment is a possession orientated team, and they tend to like to cuddle with the ball, a bit too much. Ndidi is a wonderful winner of the ball and Mendy one doing the short one to one passes, going forward in steps.
But what really happens to Vardy, will he ever again be able to be the player he was and could we have seen the best of Jamie turning the way of playing totally in the opposite direction, despite having as little as 35% of the ball at The Emirates yesterday.
The way of playing football is up to the manager. He picks the team and decides how to play and what type of players he will play with, and of course what he tells his players to do, but again, Vardy in a possession orientated team, with no or little counter attacks, is not what Tcf would describe as ideal.