Christian Fuchs

Premier League social media wrap
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Premier League social media wrap: Fuchs’ empty airport experience, Man City birthday party

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Monday’s wrap-up of the best of Premier League personalities on social media is going to be a bit different.

We’re going to start with a reality check during this brutal coronavirus pandemic.

While the social media wrap is meant to spotlight the fun antics of Premier League players, Christian Fuchs brought us eye-opening video from JFK Airport in New York.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Presumably en route for a return to Leicester, Fuchs took a stroll through the ghostly airport. It’s…. off-putting.

The ePremier League Invitational is back this week for a second go-round, and teams are getting fired up.

Well, sort of.

Watford forward Andre Gray is clearly lacking in confidence ahead of his tournament debut and wants the Hornets faithful to know the score (or dangers of a lopsided one).

On to a different kind of screen…

Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Rob Elliot was all about that “May the Fourth Be With You” life.

“The Rise of Skywalker” was redemptive in his mind.

Morgan Schneiderlin has his old boss in his thoughts.

Former Southampton manager Ronald Koeman underwent a heart procedure Sunday after a scary incident, and is said to be recovering.

The current Everton midfielder is thinking of the Netherlands manager and praying for the best.

Finally some teammate and mentor-mentee vibes to close out Monday’s wrap.

Man City captain Fernandinho has openly spoke of his duty to get the next generation of players ready, and Brazilian youngster Gabriel Jesus clearly enjoys his relationship with the old man.

Christian Fuchs aiming for MLS future after Leicester career

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Leicester City became a Premier League darling after the club’s incredible run to glory in 2015/16, and since then Christian Fuchs has become a household name.

Now, the Leicester left back is nearing the end of his current contract with the Foxes, and a move to the United States seems more and more likely.

Fuchs, 32, recently told Goal USA that he wants to permanently move to the U.S. when his contract expires at the end of 2018/19 in order to be closer to his wife, Raluca, and three children.

They currently reside in New York City, where the family has a home.

“I have one more year now in England and I’ve always said very openly that I want to move over here,” Fuchs told Goal. “I want to be part of the community. I want to play football over here. I’m not coming over as an old player looking for his last contract. I want to come over here and play as long as possible.”

While Fuchs was adamant that he doesn’t have to play for one of the local New York clubs, New York City FC or New York Red Bulls, the Austria international did say that he would prefer to stay on the East Coast.

“My goal now is to make the right step and come to MLS,” Fuchs said. “I’m trying to figure out what options are out there. I’d love to come to New York, but I don’t want to limit myself. The only limit for me is I’d prefer to be on the East Coast, because when you talk about the West Coast I’d rather stay in England since it’s the same distance as England.”

Fuchs has spent his time at Leicester since the club’s title-winning campaign three years ago, after joining the PL side from Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga.

Claudio Ranieri dug his own grave at Leicester City

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri admitted two weeks back that he’s been too loyal to his title-winning players who aren’t performing up to standards this season. He followed that up by handing starting spots to out-of-form Christian Fuchs, Jamie Vardy, and Wes Morgan in the Champions League loss to Sevilla.

Now Ranieri has been sacked. It’s a sad story, but it’s easy to see why.

Should the eventual replacement truly hope to salvage Leicester City’s Premier League status, he must do what Ranieri failed to, and what he will be better equipped to do: put aside loyalties built from overachieving last season and and sit both Fuchs and Morgan, two critical players from last season’s incredible run who have sorely underperformed since. Just against Sevilla on Wednesday, Morgan gave away a blatant penalty with an ugly, petulant hack at Joaquin Correa’s legs, while Fuchs completely misjudged a cross en route to Pablo Sarabia’s opening goal.

Both have been equally as miserable in Premier League play. Morgan, the Leicester City captain, has looked every bit of his 33 years old, lumbering around the pitch unable to keep up with attackers slicing through the box. His successful tackle percentage is just 33%, and his pass accuracy is 69%, a shambolic combination for a defender. Fuchs, meanwhile, has been just as bad. Turning 31 himself in April, Fuchs was one of the worst players on the pitch in the 3-0 loss to Manchester United, and was yanked at halftime in the 2-0 loss to Swansea as he continued to struggle.

It’s surprising that Ranieri had kept faith in the two players after his comments on loyalty. One of the truest managers to his word in European soccer, the Italian said two weeks ago, “I could be [too loyal], could be. It is difficult when you achieve something so good, you want to give them one chance, two chances, three chances. Maybe now, it is too much. Of course I must change something because it is not possible to continue in this way.” He never backed up his words.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Ranieri had started his two aging defenders time and time again hoping they will recapture last season’s lightning. That flat out wasn’t happening. Just prior to Ranieri’s comments on loyalty, I wrote about how the failing defense was most responsible for this season’s struggles. Since that moment, despite both the obvious shortcomings of which were written and the manager’s statement on failing loyalty, nothing changed.

Now, after they struggled again midweek, the two must sit immediately to avoid the otherwise inevitable. The last time Christian Fuchs started the game on the bench was the last time Leicester City won in the league, when young Ben Chilwell started at left-back and the Foxes shut out West Ham. Wes Morgan hasn’t sat a single minute in Premier League play, but he was rested for an FA Cup win over Derby County plus the subsequent loss to Millwall.

Obviously sitting a pair of defenders, with the Foxes still goalless in league play since Islam Slimani‘s winner against West Ham an appalling 610 minutes ago. The midfield is being overrun, the attack can’t deliver a competent cross, and set pieces appear to be the only time Leicester looks dangerous. Still, if the Foxes are to give themselves a chance of survival, now it’s up to the new manager to do what is right.

No, you’re right, the manager can’t step out on the field and perform; that is up to the players. The manager must be judged by the players he puts on the pitch, his tactics on the field, and his man-management between fixtures. Ranieri will always have last season to cherish, but he never left the title run behind. With Fuchs and Morgan – and to an extend Vardy and Riyad Mahrez as well – failing to perform to the standards of a Premier League team, Ranieri failed to ignore the human temptation of loyalty and instead base his present decisions on what stared him right in the face.

Claudio Ranieri will always be remembered in Leicester for the miracle he achieved rather than the failures to follow. There’s plenty that isn’t his fault: the thin makeup of the squad, the sale of N'Golo Kante, the failure by the board to truly spend the newfound coffers wisely, and the inexplicable drop in form of playmaker Mahrez. Nevertheless, relegation is a financial doomsday that clubs will attempt to avoid at all costs – even the cost of a newly born legend. The end to the Italian’s Leicester City story is a sad, harsh one, but he only has himself to blame.

Defensive regression biggest culprit of Leicester collapse

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Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Leicester City’s title run last season seemed to be.

They have both gone up in flames just as quickly.

Leicester City is fighting relegation just a season removed from one of the most improbable championship campaigns of all-time. Plenty has been written about the reasons for their continuing collapse. Some have blamed manager Claudio Ranieri, hailed as a hero less than a year ago. Others point to the utterly eye-opening goalless streak, now at an ugly 610 Premier League minutes thanks in large part to the sudden ineptitude of Riyad Mahrez. Many point to the departure of midfield adhesive N'Golo Kante, who is nearing a second title in two seasons.

[ RECAP: Leicester City falls to Swansea City, fifth loss in a row ]

Those would all have merit. However, the overwhelming perpetrator is a massive regression of the back line, and unlike the other factors which have seemingly come from nowhere, this one we all should have seen coming.

Robert Huth, Christian Fuchs, and captain Wes Morgan played a combined 9,550 Premier League minutes last season as both Huth and Morgan played every tick of the clock. This year, those three players are 32, 30, and 33 years old. How the Leicester City board never found capable replacements or backups for those players is mind-boggling. Could we really have expected that trio to continue playing at an all star level as they climbed further above the 30-year-old mark?

[ LISTEN: 2 Robbies talk Leicester City ]

Squawka Statistics ranks Leicester City as the third-worst defensive team in the Premier League by its Performance Score, but it shows directly on the pitch as well. Fuchs was undressed in the recent 3-0 loss to Manchester United, and was yanked at halftime in the loss to Swansea on Sunday. Huth has looked slower and slower, and should have been sent off by referee Jon Moss for a terrible challenge on Swans midfielder Tom Carroll. Morgan should have been called for a handball when he clumsily went to ground to block a shot. The mistakes are there for all to see, and they’re getting more and more glaring.

Sky Sports tweeted this out on Saturday before the Swansea loss. It’s meant to put the loss of Kante into an image, but doesn’t this simply serve to display the defensive frailties? Look at the massive increase in defensive errors leading to goals.

It must be said that the disappearance of both Mahrez and Jamie Vardy is a troubling trend, and Leicester can’t win if they can’t score, that much is true. As the club grows increasingly incapable of scoring goals against Premier League opposition, their chances of survival get slimmer and slimmer, and the pair may end up finding themselves benched, Mahrez just a year removed from winning Player of the Season.

Ultimately though, the defense must improve if the club is to survive, and it likely won’t come with Huth, Fuchs, and Morgan all on the field together. Expect them to start seeing less time, with Ranieri saying after the Swansea loss, “Am I too loyal to my players? I could be, could be. It is difficult when you achieve something so good. You want to give them one chance, two chances, three chances. Maybe now, it is too much.”

The club failed to strengthen in this department in January, and ultimately Ranieri may be unfairly blamed for the sudden ineptitudes of the squad he led to the title just a year ago.

Leicester defender Fuchs jokes “chicken is back” after FA Cup win

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There had been rumors of discontent at Leicester City. Such discontent, in fact, that it was widely reported that certain menu items had been removed from the training ground.

Those rumors are now debunked.

Following Leicester City’s 3-1 extra-time win over Derby County in the FA Cup to send the Foxes to the final 16 of the competition, defender Christian Fuchs posted on Instagram that “chicken is back on the menu.”

[ MORE: Leicester City downs Derby County in the FA Cup ]

With the Foxes having suffered four straight Premier League defeats to send them straight into the thick of the relegation battle, many had widely reported that manager Claudio Ranieri was losing the clubhouse, having taken severe measures hoping to turn things around. One of the measures Ranieri reportedly took was to remove chicken burgers from the post-match menu.

Well, it would seem chicken has made a triumphant return:

Fuchs was not part of the squad at King Power Stadium that took down Derby, with Ranieri putting out a second-choice squad including defenders Marcin Wasilewski and Yohan Benaloune in place of Fuchs. Andy King, Wilfred Ndidi, and Demarai Gray all scored for the Foxes in the victory.

The 30-year-old has been a fixture for the Foxes throughout the season, missing just one Premier League match this campaign, but he struggled his last time out, a 3-0 loss to Manchester United.