Football: Vardy's barren patch hurts as Foxes hunt for elusive form

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during training.
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during training.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Twelve months on from his record-breaking Premier League scoring streak, Leicester City talisman Jamie Vardy appears to have lost a little of his stardust.

Last November, Vardy set a record by scoring in 11 consecutive league matches, but ahead of Club Brugge's visit in the Champions League today, he has gone 13 club games without a goal.

His struggles in front of goal have mirrored Leicester's slump to 14th in the league table and prompted former England striker Alan Shearer to suggest he may have lost some of his famous hunger.

"Jamie is going through a goal drought and is not going to get out of it by sulking, because that is what he looks like he is doing at the minute," Shearer wrote in The Sun.

"He is not doing what he did last season and causing defenders enough problems. He is making it easy for them. There is a lack of effort there."

  • JAMIE VARDY, NOVEMBER 2015

  • 11

    Consecutive Premier League matches the striker scored in.

  • VARDY, NOVEMBER 2016

  • 13

    Leicester City matches he has gone without a goal.

Vardy, who turns 30 in January, finished last season on top of the world after his 24 league goals fired Leicester to their astonishing 5,000-1 title triumph.

This campaign, the Englishman returned to Leicester after Euro 2016 to find the club gearing up for a campaign in which they would be viewed as the team to beat.

Manager Claudio Ranieri added variety with moves for Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani.

Vardy forged a brilliant partnership with the similarly hard-working Shinji Okazaki last season, but this term he has had to adapt to different partners.

He has started six games alongside Slimani, six alongside Okazaki and three alongside Musa. He has scored just three goals - two in the league - since the start of the season and none since Leicester's 4-1 defeat by Liverpool on Sept 10.

"I just think a lot of the chances I was getting last year have not been there this year," Vardy said.

However, Leicester's Champions League escapades have given their fans something to cheer about and the Foxes will book a place in the last 16 if they avoid defeat against Club Brugge.

Vardy has contributed none of Leicester's five European goals, but he did score a diving header in England's 2-2 friendly draw against Spain last week.

"You do go through spells without scoring, but eventually it will come back and you'll be banging them in again," Vardy said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2016, with the headline 'Vardy's barren patch hurts as Foxes hunt for elusive form'. Print Edition | Subscribe