‘I voted Vardy but Mahrez deserves it’

Match of the Day 2 analysis

It has been another weekend to remember for Leicester City.

Foxes midfielder Riyad Mahrez was voted Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year, and his team are three points closer to the Premier League title after beating Swansea 4-0.

Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam tells Match of the Day 2 why he thought a Leicester player deserved the individual accolade, and why he hopes to see Claudio Ranieri’s side crowned champions too.

‘I voted for Vardy but Mahrez is a worthy winner’


No Premier League player has been involved in more goals this season. Team-mate Jamie Vardy also has 28 (22 goals and six assists)

Adam: “Mahrez is a worthy winner of the PFA award, but you could have given it to a number of Leicester players.

“Robert Huth did not even get in the Team of the Year, which amazed me. N’Golo Kante has done a terrific job for them too.

“I voted for Jamie Vardy and I know a lot of my Stoke team-mates did as well, because of his record-breaking run of scoring in 11 straight league games.

“Vardy has scored 22 Premier League goals so far this season and I think the way he works so hard for his team epitomises the way that the whole Leicester side have played.

“Tottenham striker Harry Kane can count himself extremely unlucky to miss out because again he has been in brilliant form, but it would have been a massive surprise to me if Vardy and Mahrez had both missed out.


Leicester led the table after the first weekend of the season and have not been off top spot since 23 January

“Leicester have been top of the table longer than anyone else and one of their players definitely deserves individual recognition too.

“Mahrez has had a fantastic season, because he has created a lot of goals, as well as scoring a few too.

“I’ve heard people say he has been quiet in the last few weeks, until he opened the scoring in Sunday’s win over Swansea.

“But I think that was only because he was not scoring goals. The team was still playing well and so was he, and he has done all season.”

‘Swansea win shows Leicester are no one-man team’


Leicester City’s starting XI v Swansea. This was the first time they had started a Premier League game without Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton this season

Adam: “With Vardy suspended, I was expecting Mahrez to be pushed further forward and lead Leicester’s attack against Swansea on Sunday.

“They needed someone to provide the pace that Vardy usually gives them down the channels because, without it, they would not be able to play their usual out-ball out of defence, or have anyone who can stretch the opposition defence and run in behind.

“Claudio Ranieri brought in Leonardo Ulloa up front instead but made up for Ulloa’s lack of speed with another change, replacing Marc Albrighton with Jeff Schlupp.

“Both of them played extremely well but we did not really find out whether Leicester would struggle without Vardy because Swansea gifted Leicester their first goal with a slack pass after 10 minutes and were poor throughout.

“Instead of having to worry about how to break Swansea down, the Foxes were 1-0 up, and it became a lot easier for them.

“They could sit in two banks of four, wait for Swansea to come at them and then hit them on the counter. Leicester ended up winning comfortably.”

‘Spurs are the best team, but Foxes get results’


Leicester need five more points from their last three games – Man Utd (a), Everton (h) and Chelsea (a) to secure the title

Adam: “It is down to the last two in the title race now. Leicester and Tottenham are two very different teams, in terms of how they are structured and the way they play.

“Spurs are the best team Stoke have played this season. With the fluidity in their one-touch passing and movement, they definitely play the best football. They took us apart when we played them on Monday night.

“Defensively too, the way they press with three or four players chasing you down together and looking to isolate you means it is difficult to have any time on the ball.

“Leicester play a very different way, based on defenders who just defend and looking to Mahrez and Vardy to win games for them, but it works.

“They get results, which is the most important thing, and they have done it very well all season.

“When we played them in January they were on a very good run and you could tell they were full of confidence. They come out for games thinking they can beat anybody and when teams have got belief like that, they are very difficult to stop.

“That has played a big part in their success. Every week when you see their result, it is unbelievable how they have just kept going.

“Leicester deserve to be where they are, and I hope they can finish the job.”

Charlie Adam was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

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