Leicester City and Jamie Vardy have been on a role ever since Craig Shakespeare took charge. When the assistant manager stepped into the managerial boots until the season end, the Foxes were just a point and a place above the relegation zone in Premier League with a win-draw-loss record of 5-6-14. Fast-forward 10 games and it’s an entirely different ball game now. Leicester have won 7 games under Claudio Ranieri’s former right-hand man, losing just twice while the other game ended in a draw. Only Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have outperformed the outgoing champions over this time period. Shakespeare also took Leicester City to an unchartered territory in Europe by leading them to a maiden Champions League quarter-finals appearance.
And the catalyst behind this purple patch is none other than Jamie Vardy. The mercurial forward suffered an alarming dip in form with just 5 goals and 2 assists supplied in 22 league appearances under the former boss. But under Craig Shakespeare, he has rediscovered his lost mojo that saw him lose out on the Premier League golden boot previous term by a solitary goal. The Leicester number 9 has gone on to contribute 10 of the 21 league goals scored under the caretaker manager — 7 of them scored by him and the other 3 being assists. Surprisingly, in the two matches where Vardy failed to either score or assist, the Foxes ended up losing them both.
WATCH: @vardy7 selects a five-a-side team of players he’s faced during his career… https://t.co/mYhq7EFHnA
Another interesting stat concerned with the 30-year-old is that in the 6 European appearances he made during Claudio Ranieri’s time at the helm, Vardy attempted a combined total of six shots only to muster up a single goal. That goal came in the 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Round of 16 first-leg which coincidentally was the Italian’s farewell act with the club. However, in the 3 Champions League matches he has played under Shakespeare, Vardy attempted a total of nine shots on goal albeit scoring only once. However, the difference which anyone can clearly witness is the amount of freedom afforded to the former non-league player which has yet again established him as a defender’s nightmare. With three matches to go before the season ends and Leicester only seven adrift of completing a half-century of points, the striker would have a key role to play in the Foxes finishing the season on a high.