A new name has been added to the FA Cup winners list for the first time since 2013 as Leicester City toppled Chelsea at Wembley to win the trophy for the first time in their history.
The Foxes hounded the Blues throughout the 90 minutes, bettering them all over the pitch in individual battles before a stunning goal from Youri Tielemans in the second half sealed a memorable day in north-west London.
But while Chelsea were the favourites before the game, the result wasn’t really that shocking and all the credit for that should go to Brendan Rodgers and his players.
Over the course of Rodgers’ time in charge at the King Power Stadium we have seen a meteoric rise in the standard level of what to expect from Leicester.
They won the league in the 2015/16 season completely out of the blue but quickly found themselves back in their normal swing of things the following season, finishing in 12th place. They underwent a few transitions in that time, before bringing Rodgers in a little over two years ago.
Since then it’s just been progression, progression, progression. The former Liverpool and Celtic man has implemented a style of play that sees them take an attacking approach, looking to dominate the game and take it to their opponents.
They move the ball well, create plenty of chances and defensively are sound. But more than that, they’re constantly refreshing the talent in the side with young players that fit the mould of the club.
One of the biggest stand-outs of that recruitment policy is young defender Wesley Fofana, who has been absolutely phenomenal since joining from Saint-Etienne in a £36.5million deal. Many thought the fee was on the high side for a 19-year-old who had played just 30 senior games before he made the move.
But the French defender has been brilliant, showing great ability on the ball as well as leadership qualities and a great reading of the game too go with his heading and tackling abilities. It was a real gem of a find for Leicester’s scouts, to add to the likes of N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy in the past.
Rodgers has found a great blend of experience and youth, partnering Fofana with Jonny Evans in defence while Kasper Schmeichel continues to bark orders from in goal. Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison are all young but with plenty of experience in midfield, while Vardy is a wily old fox up front doing more than just scoring goals these days
Barring an almighty collapse this week they will add to their FA Cup glory by securing a top four place this season and will play in the Champions League next season.
They’ve already been able to lock up another young talent ahead of the new season, with Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare ready to come to the Premier League in a £20million deal. With the manager also pledging his future to the club despite reported interested from Tottenham, all signs are positive right now.
Leicester will continue to build a momentous team with the backing of a wonderful owner who cares deeply about the club, fans and community and every bit of success the achieve is well deserved.
A proper club who does things the proper way, don’t be surprised by just how good Leicester are. I’m not.