Vardy's goal decline and Mahrez's assist struggles: The Opta stats behind Ranieri's Leicester demise

By Peter Hanson 24 February 2017
Vardy's goal decline and Mahrez's assist struggles: The Opta stats behind Ranieri's Leicester demise

Claudio Ranieri had the football romantics dreaming again when he led Leicester City to the Premier League title last season.

But sadly this term has been more of a horrible nightmare for the not-so-fantastic Foxes, who face a battle to stay in the top flight, leading to the popular Italian's shock dismissal on Thursday.

The loss of N'Golo Kante, who has continued to show his unrivalled defensive-midfield qualities at runaway league leaders Chelsea, undoubtedly left a void.

But the likes of top scorer Jamie Vardy, PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez – both of whom caught the attention of Europe's heavyweights – and Danny Drinkwater have also fallen well short of last season's remarkable achievements.

Many on social media have argued, though, that this season is merely the norm for Leicester and that the previous campaign was the anomaly.

Using Opta data for the past three seasons, we have studied the validity of that argument using the examples of Vardy, Mahrez and Drinkwater.

 

Jamie Vardy

Vardy's record-breaking form last term earned him international recognition with England and a place at Euro 2016, but the stats suggest 2015-16 went against the trend.

Goals Scored: 

2016-17:
2015-16: 24
2014-15: 5

Minutes per Goal:
 
16-17: 340.4
15-16: 130.8
14-15: 449.0

Shots On Target: 

16-17: 9
15-16: 53
14-15: 24

Total Shots per 90 mins:

16-17: 1.6
15-16: 3.3
14-15: 1.9

Shooting Accuracy: 

16-17: 40.9
15-16: 57.0
14-15: 60.0

Assists: 

16-17: 2
15-16: 6
14-15: 8

Chances created: 

16-17: 18
15-16: 48
14-15: 35


Riyad Mahrez

Leicester managed to fend off reported interest from Barcelona and Arsenal to keep the influential Mahrez, but the Algeria winger's form this season may prompt a sigh of relief at Camp Nou and Emirates Stadium.

Goals Scored: 

2016-17:  3
2015-16:  17
2014-15: 4

Minutes per Goal: 

16-17: 594
15-16: 179.5
14-15: 520.5

Shots On Target: 

16-17: 16
15-16: 39
14-15: 24

Shooting Accuracy: 

16-17: 57.1
15-16: 63.9
14-15: 51.1

Assists: 
16-17: 2
15-16: 11
14-15: 3

Chances created: 

16-17: 31
15-16: 68
14-15: 44


Danny Drinkwater

Like Vardy, Drinkwater earned a Three Lions call-up due to his form for the Foxes. This season, though, the ex-Manchester United trainee has struggled to cement a place in the starting XI due to his dip.

Assists: 

16-17: 1
15-16: 7
14-15: 0

Chances created: 

16-17: 10
15-16: 44
14-15: 9

Chances created per 90 mins:

16-17: 0.5
15-16: 1.3
16-17: 0.5

Passing accuracy:

16-17: 77.24
15-16: 77.62
14-15: 79.24

Tackles:

16-17: 63
15-16: 106
14-15: 52

Tackles per 90 mins:

16-17: 3.4
15-16: 3.1
14-15: 3.1

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Peter Hanson

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