Dean Smith has been named as the new Leicester City manager until the end of the 2022-23 season as he tries to save the Foxes from relegation.
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The former Walsall, Brentford, Aston Villa and Norwich boss was fired by the latter earlier this season and has been tasked with keeping Leicester in the top-flight. They sit two points from safety with eight games of the Premier League season to go and are currently on a run of seven defeats from their last eight.
Former Leicester assistant coach and manager Craig Shakespeare, plus Chelsea legend John Terry (who was Smith’s assistant coach at Aston Villa) have also joined Smith’s coaching staff at Leicester.
Speaking about his arrival at the King Power Stadium, Smith was positive about Leicester getting out of trouble.
“If it was something that I thought was unsurmountable, I wouldn’t have come – and Shakey and JT wouldn’t have come also,” Smith said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge, but we know it’s going to be tough. We’ll be putting demands on the players and on ourselves. We’ll be spending every minute of every day making sure we work hard to keep this football club in the Premier League.”
Leicester and Jesse March failed to reach agreement after talks
Jesse Marsch was in talks to be the next manager of Leicester City but they were not successful and whether that was his call or Leicester’s is a point of contention in the media.
The Telegraph reported Sunday afternoon that Marsch had withdrawn his name from consideration for the vacant Leicester City job, but other Sunday reports made it seem like Jesse Marsch’s status was in question with the Foxes.
According to our own David Ornstein (video above), Leicester doubts were inspired by fan and even alumni reaction as Gary Lineker expressed concerns over the potential hiring. Maybe that spooked Marsch. And Sky Sports said that losses to Aston Villa and Bournemouth had given Leicester pause as to whether they were hiring for the longer term or a season rescue.
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Leicester was said to be in deep discussions with the former Leeds United and RB Leipzig boss over their managerial vacancy following Brendan Rodgers’ departure last week.
The Telegraph report says that Marsch told Leicester of his decision to withdraw on Sunday morning after discussing the matter with his coaching staff following Leicester’s lost relegation six-pointer to Bournemouth on Saturday.
And The Leicester Mercury explained further:
Marsch has “withdrawn from the recruitment process” and so will not be the next manager of Leicester City. They report that Marsch feels Leicester would need a “different approach” if relegated to the Championship, and a “different profile of player” to that he is used to.
Discussions were deep enough that The Telegraph claimed Marsch’s appointment could come by the end of the weekend and would be a three-year deal plus the remainder of this season, with the American coach undeterred at the prospect of leading the club into the Championship if they cannot climb out of the bottom three.
Marsch was fired by Leeds United midway through this season with the club in relegation danger, but had led the club to safety during the 2021-22 campaign. He was reportedly offered the Southampton job in the interim before talks fell apart.
Brendan Rodgers exits Leicester after extended dry spell
Leicester City is in the bottom three despite Brendan Rodgers and his players’ recent pronouncements that they were not in a relegation fight, and now the club will conduct a relegation fight without him.
Rodgers’ four seasons in charge of the Foxes came to an end Sunday after the Foxes dipped into the Premier League’s bottom three following a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace, and the club says it’s reached a ‘mutual agreement’ to go in a new direction.
Rodgers led Leicester to the FA Cup and Community Shield, but the club struggled to address its squad this year in the transfer market and the boss couldn’t get them sorted on the pitch.
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Leicester’s won just twice since the Premier League returned from World Cup break, besting Aston Villa and Tottenham on Feb. 4 and 11, and has lost five of six while scoring just three goals.
Adam Sadler and Mike Stowell will take control of the team, as they did when the club fired Claude Puel in February 2019.
Leicester boss Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said in his statement –posted in full after the jump — that the club “will always be grateful” to Brendan Rodgers and his staff for their time.
Rodgers, 50, began his coaching career in Chelsea’s system before spending time with Watford and Reading. He made his name with Swansea from 2010-12, then moving onto Liverpool and Celtic before returning to the Premier League with the Foxes in 2019.
Leicester City statement from chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha
“The achievements of the team under Brendan’s management speak for themselves – we’ve experienced some of our finest footballing moments under his guidance and will always be grateful to him and his staff for the heights they helped us to reach on the pitch.
“Off the pitch, Brendan embraced the culture of the Club and helped cultivate an outstanding developmental environment, particularly during the transition to Seagrave, and provided strong leadership during the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. His place in Leicester City history is assured.
“However, performances and results during the current season have been below our shared expectations. It had been our belief that continuity and stability would be key to correcting our course, particularly given our previous achievements under Brendan’s management. Regrettably, the desired improvement has not been forthcoming and, with 10 games of the season remaining, the Board is compelled to take alternative action to protect our Premier League status.
“The task ahead of us in our final 10 games is clear. We now need to come together – fans, players and staff – and show the poise, quality and fight to secure our position as a Premier League club.”
Leicester City remaining Premier League fixtures
Man City (A), Wolves (H), Leeds (A), Everton (H), Fulham (A), Liverpool (H), Newcastle (A), West Ham (H)