“As far as I’m concerned I just want to concentrate on my football now and let my feet do the talking.”
That’s how Jamie Vardy wants to put the summer behind him, and that’s what Jamie Vardy’s done.
With seven goals through eight games to lead Leicester City to fifth position in the Premier League table, and an assist off the bench for England in just his second competitive cap, the 28-year-old striker is loving his life in professional soccer at the moment.
But just a few months ago, it wasn’t like that. Vardy was fined by his club and forced to undergo diversity awareness training in July after claims that he racially abused a fellow patron in a casino.
“I regretted it massively. I’ve learnt my lesson and moved on,” Vardy said following England’s win over Estonia on Saturday to remain perfect in Euro qualification. “It was very uncharacteristic of me and that is why I wanted to meet the chap himself. We sat down and had a chat and just said it was literally silly, stupid.”
Only certain individuals can truly know if Vardy has improved as a person, but he certainly has improved as a player. Leicester had a successful season last year as the newly promoted club finished above the relegation line by six points, but Vardy was non-existent on the scoring table until the latter stages of the season as the team made a charge up the standings. He finished the season with five goals and 10 assists.
Now, Vardy already has beaten his goalscoring total from last season through just eight games, and as a more central focus of the Foxes’ attack, he’s put the summer behind him.
“There was a lot of support out there and it was a massive learning curve,” Vardy said of the casino incident’s aftermath. “It was uncharacteristic and stupid of me but I’ve learned my lesson and moved on and just want to concentrate on my football.”