Jokes aside, bald men not using shampoo, does have little or no impact on the road to become something similar to what Pep Guardiola has achieved at Man City, with his former assistant Enzo Maresca taking on Tottenham and Liverpool in Leicester’s next pre-season games coming up.
There are still early days and we all know that Leicester will have a weaker squad in quality than what was present last season, seeing class players one by one leaving the club.
But the major problem often for a manager can be to have too many players at the same level of quality and not really be able to bring your best team out on matchday, chopping and changing without really pushing things forward.
A key to Maresca’s project is to keep pivotal characters that are not just good players but also knows how to keep the balance and having a special edge, one of them is surely Jamie Vardy. Would have liked to see Jonny Evans also part of a push, but at this point he looks gone and his injury problems might have been an issue.
Pep is on his way with his preperations as you can see, made a pivotal signing in Mateo Kovacic, giving him all details and push into his body and brain the messages needed to get him on board.
Watching the interview with Conor Coady and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall after the first pre-season game at Northampton, you surely understand that even if Brendan Rodgers had his football build on a similar path as Pep, and being obvious on having the ball, something must have slipped along the way as especially KDH looks to have have noticed a number of changes, as we often could see a more cowardly approach at times from Rodgers, making the play a bit of a hybrid, and then it all turned out to be difficult to adapt to and also a frustrating way of play. But one certain change has been seen under Maresca, probably the most vital as that was not in place last season.
The main idea of the Pep formula is to always have the ball, and if you don’t have it, get it back as fast as possible. To do that you have to attack at once and go after it with all your power and pressure in a movement that don’t stretch your team out of balance, and when getting the ball back turning every idea in your head to make sure you try to push forward and score goals.
This style will bring certain type of players into action and we certainly can see that in the build up so far. No place for Wilfred Ndidi, instead using Harry Winks in the deep midfield role, having much better distribution skills, but defensively not having the same movement and abilities of Ndidi. The fact that Jamie Vardy looks to be given a very important role in the set up will bring certain energy to the system, that no other player can bring in with his history, his skills and of course having the routine and experience he have.
This will change the rythm from last season and hopefully bring the first major change that will see this team getting a much better chance to go forward with more players getting into the box as the distribution of the ball and the penetration being more accurate and better.
Jannik Vestergaard does not look as a first choice for Enzo Maresca at this point, but his form of defending will look like something very different with Harry Winks in the role in front of him as he can play with more freedom without being exposed in the way he has been in the past, with his game almost destroyed under Brendan Rodgers, seeing a lot of lost passes and balls being missed and then a slow turner like Vestergaard can be changed from a clever act to a horror show.
We all remember how well the partnership between Robert Huth and Wes Morgan worked, but still a key to it all was the man in front, N’Golo Kantè, who was like a shield making it possible for the two men to be able to controll everything with a few seconds more almost every time anyone came forward from the opposition.
There are also another main factor in the Pep formula, to be adaptable to play in several positions as we could see with Nathan Ake and John Stones last season, as both played their part in bringing three major trophies to their cabinet.
There are still a few weeks left to the season opener, but we can allready see a new contour of the team. As we all know players impact and abilities will always be the most important, but hopefully it will be possible to bring in and keep enough quality to see Leicester flying.
CHECK YOUR FOOTBALL RESULTS
CHECK ALL GOALS