Jamie Vardy: 34 and Still Firing for Leicester City
By Space Coast Daily // September 16, 2021
The story of Leicester City will forever be etched in Premier League folklore. How a team that Premier League betting had at 5000/1 to win the title went all the way.
How a newly promoted side narrowly avoided the drop and rose to be kings of English football just a year later, with a band of rag-tag signings who all experienced a degree of rejection, pulling together under the guidance of Claudio Ranieri — the tinker man.
Their talisman a former non-league factory worker who is still finding the back of the net for the Foxes today.
Jamie Vardy’s career is one relatively well known and the underdog captured the heart and imagination of the football landscape with his escapades in 2016. After turning down a move to Arsenal that summer, many worried the Sheffield man was going to be a one season wonder.
It is safe to say the striker has aged like a fine wine, and in defiance of his age, doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon. But what makes him tick? Read on, as we unpick how Vardy has managed to repeatedly score goals at the top level in his meteoric rise from Stocksbridge Park Steels to the Premier League.
Style of play
Despite working under three other managers since the departure of Ranieri, the style of Vardy has changed very little. That is to no discredit to his ability but more a testament to his pace and direct style as the team is built around him.
As sides began to work out the Foxes’ counter-attacking system, Vardy became more intuitive with his movement, and while he presses less now, aiming to block passing lanes rather than create turnovers, he is always capable of finding the back of the net.
His desire and work ethic put him in great positions and he has looked as fast as ever, with a goal on the opening day against Wolves his 119th since arriving in the top flight.
For someone who has plied their trade in all steps of the football pyramid, Vardy’s injury record is very impressive — with his longest absence being just four weeks.
This has allowed the forward to keep his pace and although he doesn’t run the channels now, the way he has maintained his body, coupled with the great facilities at the King Power’s medical department has meant he can play regularly at the top level.
The latest Premier League betting tips favour Leicester’s chances of finally securing an elusive top four place after being denied the last two consecutive seasons on the final day, and Vardy will need to remain sharp to help the Foxes achieve that feat.
Having lost their star players from the title winning season Leicester endured a period of transition. Craig Shakespeare steadied the ship but losing N’Golo Kanté and Riyad Mahrez took its toll on the club. Since Brendan Rodgers’ arrival the recruitment has been steady with players that have allowed Vardy to flourish.
The introduction of Youri Tielemans allows the Foxes to have more possession and his passing range helped Leicester to win an FA Cup, with the Belgian scoring and Vardy causing headaches to Chelsea’s defence.
The new recruit Patson Daka from RB Salzburg shows similarities to Vardy — his pace and ability to run in behind gives Rodgers more tactical flexibility, being able to play the two together as a partnership or to rest Vardy for the big games reducing his chances of injury and fatigue.