Leicester’s West Ham Loss Exacerbated by James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury’s Covid Breakthrough

0

Leicester’s nightmare at West Ham was compounded with James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury being dropped for breaking Covid rules … the English man now owes his team a big debt in the race for the top four, but the the other two could exit

What a time to have your worst day of the season. Leicester’s underperformance on the field, exacerbated by a damaging blunder from a key player out there, will raise fears of another slump late in the campaign that could deny them a place in the Champions League for the second consecutive year.

A defeat to their top-four rivals West Ham was bad enough. Victories for Liverpool and Chelsea didn’t help either. What it really triumphed were three players – including their most creative in James Maddison – who were banned from the squad for a breach of Covid-19 protocols.

Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury were not mentioned in Leicester’s statement, but the bubbling fury behind the words was impossible to miss.

Ayoze Perez (left) and James Maddison (right) missed Leicester's game after a Covid-19 foul

Ayoze Perez (left) and James Maddison (right) missed Leicester’s game after a Covid-19 foul

Hamza Choudhury (pictured) was the third offender and brought Brendan Rodgers into a big problem

Hamza Choudhury (pictured) was the third offender and brought Brendan Rodgers into a big problem

Rodgers (pictured) unexpectedly trailed three players for the Foxes' crucial draw against West Ham

Rodgers (pictured) unexpectedly trailed three players for the Foxes' crucial draw against West Ham

Hamza Choudhury (left) was the third offender and gave Brendan Rodgers (right) a big problem

Maddison’s mistake is extremely difficult to fathom. The playmaker has only just recovered from a hip problem and has made no secret of his desire to fight his way back to the England squad.

Breaking the rules in a pandemic is hardly the way to impress Gareth Southgate, especially when Maddison hasn’t played for England since November 2019 and already had to clear ground to make his way to Euro 2020 settlement. .

Brendan Rodgers has been very supportive of Maddison when he made bad decisions off the field, and the Leicester boss is sure to feel let down by one of his stars. Southgate’s opinion on this is not difficult to guess.

Ricardo is left dejected when Leicester was defeated 3-2 by West Ham in a captivating encounter

Ricardo is left dejected when Leicester was defeated 3-2 by West Ham in a captivating encounter

Ricardo is left dejected when Leicester was defeated 3-2 by West Ham in a captivating encounter

“The club has made its expectations of compliance with the Covid-19 protocols abundantly clear to all of its staff,” the Leicester statement said. It is therefore extremely disappointing to learn that there is a violation that had the potential to undermine the club staff’s efforts to protect the environments in which our teams train and play.

‘Appropriate measures have been taken to prevent our team bubbles from being compromised. We fully expect our people to behave in a way that reflects the national efforts and sacrifices our communities have made to control the spread of the virus.

Those involved have apologized for their bad judgment. Our response to the case is being finalized internally. ‘

Jamie Vardy shows his frustration after Leicester failed to complete a comeback

Jamie Vardy shows his frustration after Leicester failed to complete a comeback

Jamie Vardy shows his frustration after Leicester failed to complete a comeback

Choudhury and Perez’s long-standing careers in Leicester are now under threat. Unlike Maddison, neither would go into Rodgers’ first pick with XI and it wouldn’t be a surprise if both moved this summer.

Unfortunately for Rodgers, this is far from his only concern. He now has to prepare his team for an FA Cup semi-final – their first since 1982 – against Southampton on Sunday, and a tricky run-in as they visit Manchester United and Chelsea in the last three games of Leicester before taking on home. against Tottenham.

When football resumed last June following Covid’s suspension, Leicester had an eight-point cushion to fifth-seed United, but still missed the Champions League after winning just two of their last nine games, including a defeat to United. United on the last day. .

Maddison's mistake is particularly unfathomable given his hopes of moving to Euro 2020 with England

Maddison's mistake is particularly unfathomable given his hopes of moving to Euro 2020 with England

Maddison’s mistake is particularly unfathomable given his hopes of moving to Euro 2020 with England

Perez and Choudhury are not the first XI players and it would be no surprise now if they are let go

Perez and Choudhury are not the first XI players and it would be no surprise now if they are let go

Perez and Choudhury are not the first XI players and it would be no surprise now if they are let go

They have never felt more comfortable this season and will be relieved that three of their next four games are at home against West Brom, Crystal Palace and Newcastle, with an away game in Southampton between the last two.

Overall, this is a close-knit squad and they’ve overcome challenges in the past, most notably injuries from numerous key players during the campaign. But Maddison in particular will feel he owes his team now.

Because if Leicester slips out of the top four again, no one associated with the club will forget. With Maddison in top form, this game could have looked different.

Leicester missed the invention that the 24-year-old provides when he is at his best. He and Leicester now have seven games to show they can get past this desperate day.

Advertisement