From flying high and dreaming of another Premier League title, to quickly sinking and just hoping to hang on for a top-four finish — that’s been life for Leicester City the last 12 days.
When the Foxes kicked off their meeting with then-19th-place Norwich City on Dec. 14, they were second in the PL and only trailed Liverpool by eight points. Fast-forward a dozen days and three games, and here’s where they now stand: 13 points behind Liverpool, who now have a game in hand; and one point ahead of Manchester City, who play on Friday and will go second with a win or draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
It was fun to dream and play the “what if” game, but manager Brendan Rodgers was very honest following Thursday’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of the Reds, offering only, “We know where we are” in regards to the failed title bid — quotes from the BBC:
“We didn’t have enough patience in the first half. We never secured the ball which meant we had to defend for long periods, really.
“The players gave everything. It’s a great learning game for us. Credit to Liverpool they played well. We just didn’t have long enough periods with the ball. When you don’t against a top team — world champions — it becomes difficult for you.
“We are at the halfway point now. We are 19 games in. It is the bigger picture with these guys. We have come a long way in this period. The players have been brilliant and this is another learning game for them, they see the physicality you need to compete.
“People were trying to put us in a race with Liverpool, but we know where we are.”
“They have a great cushion but that can go very quickly. They have the power and strength and now the big thing is the confidence.
“Having won the Champions League, Club World Cup and Super Cup, they have the feeling and the squad is very strong. They will be hard to shift in the second part of the season.”
On the bright side, Leicester still lead fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur (and sixth-place Sheffield United) by 10 points with 19 of 38 games still to play. Champions League qualification is still very much a realistic possibility for the Foxes, assuming they can come out of their current nosedive when they visit West Ham United on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold).