Jamie Vardy

Rodgers Outlines Vardy's Football Intelligence

Jamie Vardy’s ferocious pace is a hallmark of the Leicester City striker’s game, but Brendan Rodgers says his ‘speed of thought’ is also a key factor behind his continued success in front of goal.
More on this story...

- Brendan Rodgers discusses Jamie Vardy's importance to Leicester City
- Vardy scored in a 2-2 draw for the Foxes at West Ham United on Sunday
- The City manager says Vardy's game is continually being adapted
- Leicester's all-time top Premier League goalscorer has 16 to his name this term

The 32-year-old netted his 16th goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at West Ham United – his seventh goal in as many matches under Rodgers’ management.

Rodgers has been delighted with Vardy’s rapid progress since his appointment at King Power Stadium in February and says there is still much more to come from City’s lethal No.9.

“It’s very interesting when you’ve watched him from the outside,” Rodgers said, when asked about Vardy’s recent goalscoring exploits for the Foxes.

“When you watch him as a spectator, you see his goals, but you can’t do what he does in the game without being really intelligent in football.

First Team

West Ham United 2 Leicester City 2

Extended highlights from London Stadium as Leicester City tackled West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.

“His intelligence of the game is so high. That’s why he’s so alert and he always gets chances... he never switches his engine off. He’s always there, ready to press and ready to work.

“I’ve always had a central striker in my teams that is quick, dynamic and gets goals. It’s not just one player, but the collective will help him and that’s how it’s worked out.

“He’s got many more goals in him and how we want to play will definitely suit him.

“I see it in training – not only does he have physical speed, but he also has a speed of thought. The speed is in his brain, he gets into good areas and that football intelligence is really high.”

Rodgers says it has been interesting to work with Vardy one-on-one as the Club’s backroom staff look to create new methods which will enable him to score even more goals.

During City’s 2015/16 title-winning season, the sight of Vardy bursting into space to score 24 top-flight goals became common place, but Rodgers says teams have adapted to that stratagem.

He’s [Jamie Vardy] such a good player and he’s got great speed and he’s a real talisman for the team.

Brendan Rodgers

“When you saw him during that season, the ball forward came with real quality from deep, they played him in, and then he got a goal from that position,” the Northern Irishman added.

“Obviously over the past few years, teams have worked that out a little bit. We have tried in training to bring the ball closer to him in order to serve him better.

“That got better for us in the second half (against West Ham) but he’s still got great legs, you can see his speed, and he’s a such a threat.

“He can occupy the back-four on his own and he’s been a joy to work with.”

The Foxes manager pointed to Vardy's strike at London Stadium - where he sat in an offside position before jumping back onside in a heartbeat to receive Ben Chilwell's cross.

That's one of several tactics Rodgers and his team have worked closely with Vardy on - and the 46-year-old was pleased to see it pay off so successfully in the capital.

He added: “If you watch the goal back, what we’ve tried to work on is… when teams are deep - then play offside. When you watch the move, he’s actually behind the centre-backs.

“So when the ball is played wide and they’re looking for him, he can work his way back into on onside position and get across the back post.

“He’s such a good player and he’s got great speed so he’s a real talisman for the team.”

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