English football manager and former player Roy Hodgson has saluted Leicester for giving the rest of the Premier League a lesson.The England manager has promoted two of the shock league leaders’ side to his squad – striker Jamie Vardy and midfielder Danny Drinkwater.
|Roy Hodgson praises Leicester for teaching the Premier League a lesson|
But Hodgson insists it is far more than just a case of Leicester’s success being a bonus for HIM.
Before the flying Foxes host West Ham today, Hodgson said: “I don’t think they have more English players than other teams.
“They have got Danny Simpson, Drinkwater, Vardy and Marc Albrighton – and these days four is par for the course.
“Bournemouth have a lot more than four and Tottenham have more, too.
“What they have proved is that you don’t have to win the battle that Jim White on Sky TV wants you to win every January and June of, ‘We spent the most money’.
“You don’t actually have to do that. You don’t have to win that ‘league’, in which you are losers if you spent only £6million but you are fantastic if you spend £75m.
“What Leicester have taught us is that it is not necessarily a direct link between the money you spend and the success you have.
“At the start of the season, if Leicester had put their players on the market and said, ‘Who wants to buy them?’, what you would get for them would be vastly different now.
“That’s because Simpson has been all over the place, Wes Morgan was at Nottingham Forest and Robert Huth has been all over the place, too.
“No one knew the free-transfer player Christian Fuchs and Riyad Mahrez. Yes, we knew about Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa.
“N’Golo Kante? Yeah, maybe one or two knew of him because he was £12m, so he wasn’t a gift.
“And remember that wonderful picture of Drinkwater, Vardy and Harry Kane on the bench for Leicester when they were in the Championship?
“So you are maybe lucky if you can put together a good team without spending £100m.”
The England boss also pointed out that Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri’s predecessor Nigel Pearson deserved credit for where the club is now.
Hodgson said: “There are plenty of people who leave a club for one reason or another, who feel they have done a good job, then see someone else come in and do well with that group of players.
“Nigel, luckily enough, is now getting a few pats on the back and a few credits but I wonder how he is feeling."