Jamie Vardy's Record-Breaking Run Comes To An End
Leicester City's amazing season continued with an emphatic 3-0 win at Swansea. I doubt any Leicester City fan will take any great offence at the fact that most people are more than a little surprised by the incredible form that Leicester have shown this season. Not even the most die hard Leicester fan would have imagined that Claudio Ranieri's men would be top of the league in December - and there on merit!
Today it was the turn of Swansea City to discover why Leicester City must now be considered genuine title contenders. Swansea continued their poor run of form as they were swept away 3-0 by the Leicester bandwagon. Today it was Riyad Mahrez who grabbed the headlines though with a stunning hat-trick.
Jamie Vardy came into today's game having scored in eleven consecutive Premier League games, breaking Ruud Van Nistelroy's record on the way. However, the record for consecutive games scored in English Football's top flight belonged to Jimmy Dunne, who scored in 12 consecutive games for Sheffield United way back in the 1931-32 season. Vardy fell just one game short of equalling Dunne's 84 year old record.
It would be wrong to focus on Vardy's failure to match this record however. Rather, we should be celebrating the amazing success story of Jamie Vardy and his brilliant achievement of setting the Premier League record. Football didn't begin in 1992 - but it did change. Today's game is an elite game, played by superstars from across the globe. In these days of expensive players, astronomical wages and the dominance of the financially powerful clubs, it is refreshing to watch a player who has risen through the ranks the hard way grab the headlines and plaudits.
Vardy's journey to Premier League stardom began with a playing career for Stocksbridge Park Steels in non-league football, and his path to Premier League football included stops at FC Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town.
Vardy's goalscoring run could have continued against Swansea City had referee Michael Oliver awarded a late penalty for handball against Kyle Bartley. There is little doubt that Vardy would have been handed the opportunity to take the penalty and extend his record. however, while this would have pleased those following this romantic story of success, it would have been harsh on Bartley as the ball appeared to strike his hand rather than the other way around.
Fate determined that the record goalscoring run ended at Swansea. As the title says, all good things must come to an end. Is the same true of Leicester City's occupation of a place at the top of the league? Winning the title may be a step too far in a league full of teams who can spend the wealth of nation states in the January transfer window. However, Leicester have surprised everybody so far this season and the football world needs to wake up to the fact that they could continue to do so. Today may have seen the end of a record run, but there is no reason to suggest that it will see an end to Leicester's form.
At the end of May Jamie Vardy may have something far more valuable than a place in the record books to be celebrating!